Temperatures near 100 with humidity you could cut with a knife, giant spiders, no plumbing (aka no toilet!), dirt, grime and sweat. These are a few things the students and leaders in my group have endured the past three days. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.
We have been working on the house owned by a wonderful, resilient lady named Miss Kim.
Miss Kim’s house, which has been in her family for generations, was completely submerged after Katrina. She has been trying to restore her modest home since 2011 but many obstacles have hindered this process. She lost $90,000 to an unscrupulous contractor who took her money and either didn’t complete, or did shoddy work that wasn’t up to code. Copper wiring was stolen from her home. A gang was using her house tosell drugs while she was away in North Carolina trying to earn enough money to finish her home.
Her determination and thankfulness through this process, however, has been inspiring. She has loved on our kids and vice versa, even promising to serve us up peach cobbler on our last day!
The work has been physically and emotionally hard. Some of the jobs our students completed so far include jacking up the house to replace rotten, termite infested wood (check that off my bucket list), Measuring, Cutting and hanging concrete siding, demolishing two floors down to the studs and replacing them with safe, non termite infested flooring.
And there is so, so much work left to be done! I guess I was quite oblivious to the continued need for help in the poorest communities of New Orleans, 10 years post Katrina. Miss Kim’s story is similar to hundreds, if not thousands of other people in this area!
Please pray for Miss Kim and the wonderful people of NOLA. You can also be very proud of the hard working, determined youth of RRC for the difference they are making this week!