Today was another sunny, humid day. The high was only 85 and we had a little breeze part of the day so not quite as bad as last week but the humidity was still 100% this morning. It’s only 77% right now. We had a good deal of rain last night but so far no rain today. They are predicting rain from the subtropical storm to come in tomorrow and Tuesday but they are now saying it won’t be as bad as they were originally thinking and it’s going further east.
The team went to Sunday School today at 10:00, the same class we visited in September. Again they were very welcoming and a good class. Now they are studying the book, The Thirteen Apostles by J. Ellsworth Kalas. Today’s study was on Philip, the Deliberate. Interestingly, Kalas was Carol’s and Dave’s former pastor. We then went to worship, another good service. This congregation has been so good to the NOMADS. We really appreciate them.
This afternoon we joined Dave and Carol under the pavilion to share lunch and spent some time just visiting. We then had to get ready for our team meeting. Phil came in early afternoon and then later our final couple for this week, Wayne and Debbi arrived. It was nice to get to know these three new team members. This is Wayne and Debbi’s first NOMADS project. Welcome to NOMADS.
Team meeting ran a little longer than we expected but it was a good time of sharing and getting to know each other. Phil was not able to bring his RV this time and is staying at the R3SM volunteer house where we have been eating lunch each day, just about 5 minutes from our job site. We have decided we will leave here about 7:30 in the morning and go the R3SM for devotion so Phil will not have to drive all the way to Oak Grove and then drive back across town after devotion. We will see how that works. Really think this is going to be a very good team and looking forward to getting James back in his house.
Finally, a day of rest. This morning started off cool – and foggy – then another hot afternoon and then rain. In fact the rain cooled the air so much we had to put on long sleeves while we were sitting out in the pavilion with the team.
We started out day with a 16 mile bike ride on the Longleaf Trace, a wonderful rail trail here in Hattiesburg. When we were here last year we started at the Jackson Road Station and road away from town. (click here to read about it.) Today we rode into downtown. On the bridge over I-59 several someones have copied the “love locks” tradition from Paris. We rode past the trail gateway into downtown until we got stopped by a train and turned around. It was a fun ride and even though there were quite a few people using the trail today it did not seem crowded.
After we returned to the church we got together with the team for a pancake brunch. Max cooked up a couple of pounds of sausage patties and a pound of bacon (for future use) before we cooked pancakes and eggs. Carol brought some fresh blueberries to go on the pancakes. Great fun, but we ate too much and after we cleaned up we took naps.
We got together again later in the evening to decide which service we would attend tomorrow.
This morning it was time for seven of our team members to get back on the road. Mary Ann and Gene left before 7:00 and are headed back to Kentucky. Next it was Larry and Gloria, followed by Norman and then Bryant and Jackie. Safe travels to you all as you drive to your next destination. We enjoyed working with you all and hope to see you in Memphis.
We worked around the rig the rest of the morning. We had to get our tools reorganized and put away. Anne still has some work to do in the paint bins. There was also a lot of laundry to do. We got really dirty this past week especially when we started working under the house after the rain. Anne also spent a good deal of time on estate business. Carol and Dave arrived early afternoon and we thank God for their safe travel. They will be with us for the next two weeks. After they got parked we all went to the grocery store and then later went out to eat. Great to have some time to just visit with Dave and Carol when we weren’t having to be concerned about work. Oh, and Nula gave us some more banana pudding. Thanks so much, Nula! Hope everyone has a safe and fun holiday weekend. Don’t forget to remember what Memorial Day is all about.
We have had pretty much the same weather all week. Hot and humid with sunshine until the afternoon when we have had thunderstorms.
This morning Gloria and Larry were responsible for our devotion. We again enjoyed good music before we started. We will miss Bryant and Gene’s music next week. Larry and Gloria challenged us to quit worrying and trust God, because He loves us. Thanks, Larry and Gloria!
After devotion we headed back to James’ house. Max, Anne, Gene, Bryant and Gloria continued the work underneath the house, installing ¼ inch plywood to seal in the floor insulation. One of the few times Anne found it to be advantageous to be short. It is hot and dirty work but we made some progress. We are almost halfway done. Upstairs, Mary Ann, Jackie, and Larry worked on touching up the paint and generally cleaning up and loading up tools. We only worked until about 11:00. We then headed back to the rigs to get cleaned up in order to attend the 2018 Appreciation Banquet Celebrating Volunteers and Partners sponsored by R3SM. It was a very nice event and NOMADS were recognized for our service to the community and received a very nice plaque, along with the Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) who completed their work yesterday and are headed back to PA tonight. For those that don’t know, we are known as the M & Ms – Methodists and Mennonites. The M&Ms are known as the last to leave a disaster area because we work to meet unmet needs. A lot of the businesses and churches that have worked to raise funds for the recovery as well as other volunteers were also recognized. We learned that there have been over 35,000 volunteer hours worked in the Hattiesburg area the past year, valued at over 1 million dollars. Thank you, R3SM for all you do in the Hattiesburg area.
Tonight the team went to Leatha’s BBQ for our last dinner together. Great food and service at a small local BBQ, but the fellowship was even better. This has been another good team and we will miss them. Everyone but Max and Anne and Nula are leaving in the morning and headed home. We wish them all safe travels until we meet again sometime down the road. After a wonderful meal we returned to Oak Grove UMC and Nula served us all banana pudding. Thanks so much, Nula. The pudding was wonderful and gave us a little more time with the team.
We now have to do some work to get ready for the new team members who start arriving tomorrow. Looking forward to two more weeks of service and hopefully getting James’ in his home.