Last Day In Lumberton

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Sunrise in LumbertonToday we had a gorgeous sunrise and then a bright sunny morning. This evening clouds are starting to come in and storms will be here tomorrow. The river is already at 17 feet, 4 feet above flood stage and is expected to go to 19.3 by Sunday. Lumberton is now under a flood warning that has gone from moderate to major severity. Moderate flooding is currently occurring and major flooding is forecast. The flood warning now predicts that over 50 dwellings will be inundated or isolated due to flooding. We will be leaving early in the morning to avoid any risk of road closures along our route. Currently the flooding is not forecast to close I-95 again. However, with 2-3 more inches of rain predicted this weekend, we can understand the frustration and anxiety in Robeson County. This area just can’t seem to dry out. Everything is just so wet. Even though the NOMADS project is now over for 2018, we will carry this community in our hearts.

Last Morning DevotionThis morning’s devotion was by Gary and Nancy. Gary read us the “Fellowship of the Unashamed” prayer. This was a prayer of a martyred pastor in Zimbabwe over 100 years ago. It is a powerful prayer. Nancy then shared Isaiah 43:1 – “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; Nancy's BibleI have summoned you my name; you are mine.” This is one of her favorite scriptures. Then she showed us her bible. She has written verses on the front and back cover, and the sides. An impressive testament to her love of God’s Word. Thanks for the blessing of your devotion, Gary and Nancy.

Today after our time of worship and prayer there were no work assignments. All the work is done. Today was Bible presentation day. We headed out the Terry’s house first where the entire team was able to see the work that was completed there. Then Anne did the presentation and prayer for Terry and his children. We then went to Bruce and Elsie’s house and Nancy did the presentation there. It was great to see them again and the living room looked great with their Christmas decorations in place. Next we drove out in the country on the opposite side of town to Mary and Jim’s. We got to see the completed bathroom. Mary has already decorated it and it looks lovely. Next was Jackie’s house. She was there to meet us and is just so excited to get her home back. She hopes to move back in soon. Mary Ann made our presentation there and everyone got to see the final work done at Jackie’s. Unfortunately, Carolyn was not at home today so we had to leave her Bible on her front porch.

 

 

We all went to Cracker Barrel for lunch. It was another good time of visiting. It was so great to see our home owners one last time. There were hugs and tears. We are just so thankful that God brought these people into our lives. So thankful we were used to improve their living conditions. It’s been a great project.

Back Bay Road
After lunch we drove down to the Back Bay Road area today (where we worked last year). We saw many piles of household goods still beside the road, but did not find anyone home at Mary Elizabeth’s house.

The afternoon was spent packing up and readying for travel as we will all pull out of Lumberton tomorrow. We will try to get an early start to hopefully be hooked up and on the road before the rain begins. We know it will be a rainy drive and we will probably have to set up in the rain in Johnston but we pray for safe travel for all NOMADS on the road tomorrow.

Last night together
Great last night together

Tonight Jeff and Ann cooked dinner for us at the church. We had some great chili, grilled hot dogs and all the fixings. Oh, and there were many wonderful desserts. It was such a good time to have to spend with Ann and Jeff and some of the others with the NC Conference. Thanks so much!! We have grown to love Ann and Jeff and will be carrying them in our hearts as well. They have been working so hard for so long, and the work on Florence is just underway. They need our prayers for strength and stamina.

Time to get some sleep. Another busy day tomorrow.

Completions In Lumberton

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Another frosty morningIt was another cold 28 degrees this morning. Several of our team members water was frozen today. It was not predicted to get below 30 so no one brought in their hoses. Oops. Fortunately Max did leave the light on in the water bay but he also left our hose and pressure valve out in the cold. We had water, so that was nice.

Carol shared the story of the origin of the birthday cake for Jesus at our devotion time. We discussed our various family traditions regarding Christmas and ways of reminding ourselves and others of the real meaning of Christmas. Thanks Carol for sharing.

After devotion we all got our work assignments. Phillip and Cindy went out to Mary and Jim’s and finished the threshold strip from the bath to the bedroom. We still need to get the debris removed but we think Jeff will have someone else do that. Now Mary and Jim’s work is complete.

Mary Ann, Carol and Dave went back to Jackie’s and worked on touching up the paint, spent lots more time removing masking tape and completed the final cleanup there. Jackie’s house is complete.

Max, Anne, Nancy, Gary and Bruce went back out to Terry’s house. Bruce, Gary, and Max headed on over to Elsie and Bruce’s house as soon as the sun had warmed things up a bit. They soon discovered, however, in the winter the sun never really reaches the roof of their house so Max and Gary were cold sitting on the roof to make repairs. They completed the installation of the new section of roof and then made some repairs to the older roof. Elsie and Bruce’s house is now complete.

Anne and Nancy completed the installation of the vinyl plank flooring. Each piece on the last row had to be cut with the jig saw which Nancy did like a pro. (She just learned to use the jig saw yesterday.) And it looks very good in our opinion. Next was the installation of the base boards. Gene arrived and helped us with this task since neither Nancy nor Anne had used his small miter saw. Today Nancy learned to used the miter saw. After cutting the baseboard we nailed it in place with Max’s new Dewalt nailer, another new skill for Nancy. After installing the baseboard there was caulking and painting. While the ladies worked inside, Gene worked on the completion of the deck railings. Soon Phillip and Cindy arrived and Cindy joined Gene on the deck while Phillip designed and installed another transition strip. He did a great job! By the end of the day Terry’s house was complete.

We have completed five houses in the last few days. Tomorrow we will do Bible presentations to all five homeowners. This is truly a unique situation. We have never completed this many houses all at the same time. Never made more than three presentations in a day. Another first for all of us on the team, is that we are leaving no unfinished homes that we started. Yes, there are more homes in Lumberton that need work, but none of those homes were assigned to us. We have completed all assigned duties. A really nice way to finish our time here in Lumberton.

Another Day, Another House

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Sleet accumulation on our steps this morning
Sleet accumulation on our steps this morning

The sleet that started last night lasted quite a while. However, we stayed above freezing and it was just about all gone by this morning. However, we drove about 12 miles north to work on a different house this morning and there was a lot of ice there. Their back deck was extremely slick. We really enjoyed seeing the sun this afternoon.

Philip brought us devotion today. He began by asking us what we were afraid of in life. What to we worry about or what are we anxious about? Of course we all have internal and external sources of anxiety. A number of years ago Billy Graham said that we were living in the Age of Anxiety. Anxiety can be a crippling disease. God wants so much more for us. Read Philippians 4:8-9. Philip closed by reminding us we need to focus on God’s word. Thanks, Philip.

Gary pulling out stuck truckThen we received our work assignments. Max, Anne, Nancy, Gary and Bruce went to a new assignment at Terry’s house. First thing on the agenda when we arrived as to help Terry get his son’s truck out of the mud he was stuck in.  Everything is a muddy mess around here.  Gary hooked a chain to the truck and pulled it right out.  Anne, Nancy and Max began installing vinyl plank flooring in a bedroom. Max was also working with Bruce and Gary on the railing for the deck. Another group repaired the decking and also repaired the flooring in the bedroom and installed ¾ inch plywood which we then installed the vinyl plank over. The guys needed more materials and got a materials list to Gene so he could make another trip to Lowe’s.

 

Gene also picked up the metal roofing for Elsie and Bruce’s house. The guys went over there right after lunch and installed the metal. They got all roof panels installed and installed new flashing. They plan to go back tomorrow to install the ridge cap – have to do that before the rain returns on Thursday/Friday. Anne and Nancy continued on the vinyl installation. They have two rows left to install and then clean up to do. Don’t know if we are going to install the base board or if someone else will do that.

 

Mary Ann and Cindy went back to Carolyn’s house that they started yesterday and completed sanding the drywall, priming and painting the bathroom. That house is now complete!

Dave, Gene and Phillip were working at Jackie’s again but not sure what happened there today. We haven’t talked to anyone. Mary Ann said this afternoon we were going to try to finish everything up tomorrow because Thursday we have five Bible presentations to make. That will be the most we have done in one day. We also have dinner scheduled for Thursday night. Ann and Jeff are cooking for us. Busy time trying to get every home completed before we all pull out Friday morning.

Rain, Rain Go Away!

Monday, December 10, 2018

The rain continued all night and was still coming down this morning. Water is everywhere. The river is moving swiftly and is out of its banks in the downtown area. Crossing the Lumber River on I-95 the river is way outside it’s banks and getting fairly close to I 95 again. Right now they say the river will continue to rise until tomorrow evening and then begin to fall. There are no roads that we need to travel affected by the water but there are some roads that are impassable.

Mary Ann shared devotion with us today using “Meeting God In The Ruins”, a devotional book for disaster volunteers. She offered the team encouragement to continue their good works/efforts assuring us that what we do does matter. It does make a difference in peoples lives in many small and large ways. Thanks, Mary Ann. We are down to crunch time now and we keep telling ourselves that we just need to get out of the way and let God accomplish what needs to be accomplished in the next three days.

Today we added a new house that Jeff wanted us to finish up before we leave if at all possible. Max, Cindy and Gary went there to paint the living room ceiling, repairing drywall in the bathroom, caulking the tub and then painting the bathroom. Today they completed the living room and repaired the drywall in the bathroom. It should be ready for sanding tomorrow, then primer to cover the water damage and then paint.

Mary Ann and Bruce went out to Mary and Jim’s house. There they completed the caulking and painting. Tomorrow the transition strip will need to be installed and one area of water damage to be painted. The debris we have been piling in the backyard also must be removed.

That left Anne, Dave and Nancy to start at Jackie’s with Carol and Phillip starting by painting the wood trim on the pump house roof for Mary and Jim’s house. They then joined us at Jackie’s before first break. At Jackie’s we worked on general cleaning, installing transition strips, installing mirrors and bathroom accessories, caulking, and painting some newly installed trim. We are also having to work very hard to remove masking tape that was placed on the floor by someone when covering the floor with heavy paper for protection. It has been down quite some time now and does not want to come off the floor. Painters tape would have been a better choice. Much easier to remove. We will have several more hours of work to do removing tape.

Gene joined Max’s group for lunch and then took Gary to help him deliver and install the pump house roof at Mary and Jim’s. Mary Ann said they were so pleased. They were going to wait for it to quit raining and dry up a little before they walked out to check it out up close.

The rain had finally stopped by late this afternoon. It is cold and we decided to stay in for a quiet night at home. Another good day.  It’s now 8:00pm, 34 degrees, and it is sleeting.  Time to head south!

Last Sunday In Lumberton

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Our view all day
Our view all day

Today was another horribly rainy day. It rained all day. At time the wind was really blowing and we had heavy rain. The river is still rising.

Despite the rain we went to worship for our last time this year at Chestnut Street UMC. It was another great time of worship and lots of hugs since it was our last Sunday here. We went to dinner at Ruby Tuesday and then back home to watch it rain all afternoon.

This evening, we had a Christmas gathering at our usual Sunday meeting time. We made grilled cheese sandwiches to go with the veggie soup that Mary Ann made and chili from Nancy. We also had pies from Cindy. Carol brought all the paper goods and some really good snack mix. The food and desserts were great but the we enjoyed the good time of fellowship even more. Jeff and Ann joined us for a time. We played the dirty Santa game with some gifts and we all signed Christmas ornaments with the NOMADS logo and 2018 on them. We will each have an ornament as a keepsake of this team. Good times.

Jeff and Ann - God's Servants and Our Friends
Jeff and Ann – God’s Servants and Our Friends

Touring Homes

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Betty Carol's DinerToday was a rainy day. Cold rain. And yes, the Lumber River is rising again. The team all went out to breakfast this morning. We went to a little local cafe, Betty Carol’s Diner, that was packed with people. The food was good and we got to meet Betty. Love these little local places. It was cash only and Miss Betty was working the cash register and out doing refills on coffee part of the time. Fun time visiting with our friends.

After getting back to FRED, we made a batch of cookies for the cookie exchange. We are getting better at baking in FRED, but still miss the Kitchen Aid mixer so we think we will just make a place for it and travel with it from now on. At least we will try it for a while.

After lunch Mary Ann, Cindy, Nancy and Anne toured the homes on the Lumberton Tour Of Homes. The proceeds from the ticket sales benefit the Robeson County History Museum which also was on the tour. The first home we visited was one of the county commissioner’s home and it was probably Anne’s favorite home on the tour. After all, he had a garage for his 45 foot Prevost motor coach and numerous antique cars. The garage also had a soda shop in one end. Upstairs in the garage was another area with numerous other antiques, not auto related. The home was also a beautiful open plan with Christmas trees in almost every room. The commissioner showed us through the garage while his wife and daughter showed us through the house.

There were other homes on the tour with even more elaborate and interesting Christmas decorations. One home had an upside down Christmas tree and the same home had a tree with owls. So pretty. There was one room with a tree decorated with the Native American pow wow regalia of the owners’ son. Gorgeous trees, table settings, stair case decorations, yards beautifully done. We also saw a couple of good signs is one house.

Pump organ in the museum
Pump organ in the museum

We ended the day at the History Museum. The museum has just recently reopened and is still on modified hours, due to ongoing repairs from hurricane Florence.  They sustained significant roof damage resulting in some water damaged ceilings and collapse of some ceilings.  Some rooms are still not reopened.  For an area of this size, economically depressed, and operating totally with volunteers and donated funds, the museum is remarkably good. The most recent display is on “When Tobacco Was King” and tells the story of when most of the farming in the area was tobacco. We have noticed a number old, no longer used, tobacco drying barns on our daily drive to Elsie and Bruce’s house. It was an interesting and fun afternoon.

Tonight it continues to rain with the rate increasing. The flood warning has now been increased from mild to moderate flooding. Some home may be flooded again. Please be in prayer for the sweet people of Robeson County and ask your friends, neighbors, and church members to do the same. Thanks.

Fun Day

Friday, December 7, 2018

Mike and Lee preparing to leave again
Mike and Lee preparing to leave again

It was another cold morning with another heavy frost. We stayed in for a while, until it stared warming up. Mike arrived last night and he and Lee headed back home this morning. We enjoyed having Lee for another week. Hopefully we will work with her and Mike down the road.

This morning we worked on laundry, grocery list, and business. Still a lot to get done before the end of the year. We made some cookies and went to the grocery store this afternoon. Also, Nancy and Gary returned today. So great to have them back!! Jeff called us today and the roofing material is in for Elsie and Bruce’s house. They had said it wouldn’t be here before we leave but now Jeff would like for us to try to get that finished. He moved the roofing to the top of our priority list. Flexibility. We do need to get the other two houses finished this week too. The stuff closing down a project is made of. We want to get it all done but we only have four days remaining.

This evening Cindy, and Bruce went with us to the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at the Lumberton city hall. We were actually planning to head to the church but Cindy saw the announcement about the lighting on the evening news so we headed there first. There is a really large and nice Christmas tree in front of the Lumberton town hall. They had horse drawn carriage rides and music on the lawn in front. There is another beautiful Christmas tree inside city hall. Santa also paid a visit to the festivities. The mayor walked over and introduced himself to us. We told him were were with the NOMADS and started to explain what we were doing and he told us he knew exactly what we were doing and started thanking us profusely. After talking a few minutes he walk off and began talking to others and we noticed he was pointing at us. Turns out he told the others we were NOMADS and then the entire city council came over and introduced themselves and thanked us. The mayor then had us sit in the VIP section and during his opening remarks introduced us to all the people attending and they gave us a round of applause. So nice. Shortly there was the count down and the beautiful tree was lit. Fun.

 

After the lighting ceremony we headed over to Chestnut Street UMC to view the collection of nativities on display. Then we went by their Sweet Shop. The ladies of the church bake cookies and they are sold by the ½ pound and one pound boxes. You just pick up your box and browse through and fill your box with what ever cookies you want. They have a little of everything.  Since we really weren’t hungry and the team is having a cookie exchange this week, we just bought two cake pops and made a donation. The funds are being donated to the disaster relief fund. We drove around town to look at the Christmas lights and then headed back home. It was a fun day.