Family Christmas

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Looking down on the living roomThe forecast was wrong again. It rained all night and was still raining this morning. It did stop by about 9:00 and just an occasional shower after that. We actually saw about an hour of sunshine mid-afternoon and then is clouded over again. We are hoping to find we are not stuck when we plan to leave in the morning.

Delicious BreakfastWhen we went into Randy’s this morning Debra had already been cooking. She had a beautiful Monkey Bread just coming out of the oven. It was picture perfect and tasted great. Installing chair railAfter breakfast, we remembered Debra had mentioned to Randy that we had a new trim nailer.  Randy came in with some chair rail and Max and Randy installed it.  Debra had asked for the additional chair rail for her Christmas present.  It is now all installed.  Merry Christmas, Debra.

After an enjoyable, slow start to the day we got busy preparing for our mid-afternoon dinner. Dave and Jennifer were first to arrive, then Philip, Lauren, Dorothy and Tabitha and then Marsha and her friend Carl. It was so great to get to spend time with the family.

We had a wonderful meal together and if anyone went away hungry it was their own fault. Then we just sort of kept grazing all afternoon. Debra decided the ladies would do something fun today so Jennifer brought all the necessary supplies and expertise and we all made new Christmas wreaths for our doors. We all had fun and were happy with our end results. Jennifer’s Mom owned a flower shop before she retired so Jennifer knows how to create beautiful arrangements and bows. Jennifer didn’t tell us exactly what to do but assisted us in making our wreath the way we wanted. Thanks, Jennifer, for all your help. The rest of the day was spent catching up with each other. We don’t seem to have enough time together. Before long it was time for the kids to be heading home. We appreciate them taking time during this busy time of year to join us today. We knew Christmas would be different this year but in spite of missing Max’s mom terribly, it was a good day.

Rainy Travel Day

Friday, December 14, 2018

Well, the forecast was wrong. Instead of starting to rain after 9:00 am, it began raining in the very early hours of the morning. So, we all got to get ready to leave in the rain. There was a little break about 6:00 and we all were busy doing the last of the packing, pulling in power cords, slides etc. The first to pull out of Lumberton were Gene and Mary Ann. They had the longest drive today since they were going all the way back to Kentucky. Next to leave were Nancy and Gary, then Philip. We pulled out about 7:30, leaving only Carol and Dave and Bruce and Cindy.

 

As we left Lumberton on I-95, the water was noticeably higher than yesterday along the highway. It won’t get on the interstate again based on current predictions, but some of the access roads could be underwater by Sunday. As we approached Florence, the PeeDee River was way out of its banks. There was water everywhere. It appears there was more flooding around Florence than Lumberton. It was also raining very hard as we approached Florence. Traffic really wasn’t too bad and people were mostly driving safely. We stopped at the rest area after entering South Carolina, about two hours into our drive. The rain was down to a light drizzle and we stretched our legs and ate some breakfast. We then had an uneventful, although wet, drive the remainder of the way to Johnston, SC. As we were arriving the rain dropped to a drizzle again long enough for us to get parked and set up. Thank you, God, for safe travel. As the afternoon progressed, we heard from each of our team members and then later this evening we got the final word from Gene and Mary Ann that they had arrived safely to their destination. Praise God for safe travel, on treacherous travel day, for all our team members.

Wet ground
Ground was a little wet when we got to our destination

It was great to see Debra when we arrived. She was busy in the kitchen getting ready for our family Christmas dinner tomorrow. Anne helped out where she could and we all had a good afternoon of visiting. Randy and Debra have the house all decked out for Christmas and we particularly like the mantle display. We think Randy did that for us. Randy was driving a bus today and didn’t get home until after dinner, but it’s always great to be with Randy and Debra. Others family members will be arriving tomorrow and we are looking forward to seeing everyone. Thanks for everyone’s prayers today.

 

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.