Friday, August 01, 2008

Iowa-Day 5 The Long Ride Home

Self-Portrait Friday Morning
The team left Hope Church in North Liberty (20 min. South of Cedar Rapids where we were working) at 5am. I flew in and out of Orlando and won't leave until late Sunday evening. My plan is to worship at the host church and visit with the members here. Needless to say it is very quiet around the church. Arklie Hooten, Disaster Response/Short-Term Coordinator is still here and we went to breakfast this morning. Arklie has been here for 5 weeks setting up the program of relief. Please pray for him as he has not been home in that time. If you contribute to this ministry of the PCA please know that your donations are put to good use. I'm going to tell on him now-As I mentioned he hasn't been home in 5 weeks and desperately wants to see his family. Looking for tickets in such short notice the cost is quiet high, over a $1,000. Arklie said, " I couldn't justify spending that much of MNA's money for a ticket." Well things will turn out well because his wife Kat, son Grey, and a team from East Tennessee State arrive late Sunday so it should be a good week for Arklie. Please pray for more leadership to move to this area of need; site managers, project managers, case managers. Volunteers are still coming but the need is great.
Since I didn't do so earlier in the week let me introduce you to the team from Bay St. Louis/Waveland. Carol Wasielweski, LPC staffer with the perpetually perky smile. Carol was whereever there was a need and served with a smile. Plastic anyone?Driving from the worksite back to the church with particles of fecal matter on your clothes is not something you want to get on the upolstery, even if it is only a rental.Raw sewage backed up from the teatment plants and settled into basements and throughout houses; in and through furniture, carpet, walls,etc... I doubled over several times and Simon got sick once but for the most part it was not bad. Really. I wore a respirator, not a paper mask. Thankfully no one was sick due to adequate clothing and preparation. I don't suppose these are the things you want to advertise if you are recruiting for volunteer projects but it's good to know up front. Prior to the trip I asked Arklie if it was necessary to have the rubber boots. I bought them from Walmart and I'm sooooo glad I did. It was the best $15 I have ever spent. Walking in dark muddy waters with good traction is necessary plus you don't want dookie in your socks. Yesterday, just as we were about to stop working, Aaron started to remove kitchen cabinets at Louis's house. Taking wild swings with the 25 lb. pry bar he lost his footing on the slimy vinyl flooring and hit the floor. WHAM! Keri being the great team leader drove him to the hospital where it was confirmed that he broke his thumb clear in two. He is ok and still managed to be his cheerful self, laughing and smiling throughout the evening, even forgoing pain medication.
Aaron Davenport of BSL testing out the chair with the hole in it. "What's this?," he asked. Aaron is a very thoughtful and inquisitive young man. Yesterday he had a phone interview with Americorp and will begin working with them sometime this year.
Bob Delcuze is from BSL and lives one block north of the LPC facility. Bob is a member of Main St. Methodist Church and a member of NOMADS, a relief and mercy wing of the Methodist Church. Bob is 71 but he worked circles around all of the young people. Bob retired from Stenis where he was a Mechanical Engineer. Bob was the go-to guy if we had a question yet with all of his experience he humbly directed with great gentleness and humor. It was a joy to get to know him. He knew why there was a hole in the chair. I suppose that came from being a MS State grad. They teach you those things there you know!
Bill Currie, from BSL. Bill works at Stennis Space Center and is an AWESOME guy. I can't say enough about Bill. I think he was one of my favorite people on the trip (though it's both difficult and unfair to state such a thing. I guess it was because I spent a lot of time talking with him). He, like Bob, is wise beyond his years and is humble and fun to be around. We debriefed last night and the common statement was that we couldn't imagine another team being any better. I couldn't believe there were NO interpersonal problems, fussing, or bickering. There was only a common goal to serve. There were no egos. There was service to the community and service to one another. Bill is a member from Our Lady of the Gulf Catholic Church. The only reason I state that is because we truly had a representative picture of the body of Christ working is love and service. I was truly blown away.
Penny Foret and Arklie. Penny decided to come two weeks prior to the trip. She has such a kind and gentle spirit. I suppose that comes from owning and running a day care. She's just happy to be away from all those children. I know it's safe to say, and I speak for everyone, that we have all made wonderful new friends. We are already planning our next gather which will be a meal together on the Coast.
Victoria Romano from Milsaps. I guess I am the old guy who can now say, "Those young folk are amazing." Victoria always had a smile, was always working, and loves to talk politics. I am serious when I say this, but look for her to go places. She is a special young lady.
Keri Norwood, team leader. Keri did a precious job of leading the group. She was truly an AMAZING leader. Organized, humble, smart, and a little sassy. She was the perfect team leader. I know this was an encouragement for all of the long hours of planning. The Lord truly blessed our team by appointing her as our leader.
Steven Passman, Milsaps student and Long Beach resident. Steven came because Victoria invited him to come along. Another sharp dude. He was a great addition to the team. We even found out that I know his dad pretty well. It's a small world. Pictured below is the elusive Kathleen Monti. I never could get a photo of Kathleen without her mask or without her shyly moving away from the camera. Kathleen told us last night that this kind of trip was out of the ordinary for her but she saw the add in the paper and really wanted to come. She worked tirelessly everywhere, from shoveling debris to preparing the food she was such a servant. As with the rest of our new friends I look forward to seeing her again on the Coast.
Simon Davenport is Aaron's brother. Man these guys really love each other and were the hit of the party. Simon just became a Christian this last year and is so excited to talk about God's love displayed in Jesus Christ. Aaron is a drummer and plays in the marching band at Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. He has lots of great questions, laughs a lot and truly loves life. He is is planning on taking this next year off to tour with a band and is hopeful that they will 'take off.' Simon stepped on a nail that went through his boot and had to go the hospital. He testified during the Wednesday night service about the sovereignty of God in bringing the nail so that he could spend time with Leland. Leland drove him to the hospital and it was there that they were able to connect in a deeper way.

1 comment:

jersey ryn said...

"...precious job..."

hahaha hilarious

thanks curt :)