Kicking Off Week 4

Monday, March 11, 2019

We led devotion this morning using Philippians 4:6-7 encouraging everyone (including ourselves) to hand our worries to God – and leave them with Him.  The last part is the hardest.

Then it was back to work. Butch, Cheri, Harry, Janet, Mark and Lisa went back to Ms. Pam’s house on Baker Drive to continue work on the drywall and electrical. They got a lot more drywall done and tracked down and repaired the rest of the electrical problems. More importantly, Butch got the water heater installed and the water turned back on to the house. That is a big milestone for Ms. Pam. She has been without hot water in her travel trailer for weeks.

Lisa presenting card and gift from Michigan college students Ms PamOne special moment occurred when we presented Ms. Pam with a card and gift left for her by the Grand Valley State University Campus Ministries students. She was truly overwhelmed. If you read last Thursday’s post, you will remember that some of the students worked at her house for a while that day. Before they left they got to meet Ms. Pam and hear her story. They were very touched by it and decided to give their leftover hard-earned trip money to her along with a card in which several of them had written words of blessing and encouragement.

Anne, Gary, Nancy, Randy, Mary, Stel and Jodi went to Norwich Drive to work on drywall and finish installation of the tub surround.  Lots of progress was made on the drywall and the tub surround was completed.

Max bounced around between the houses and Lowe’s. Right after lunch Darryl took Max and Stel to look at two more houses he wants us to work on. On needs new steps and a little interior work.

The other needs all the kitchen cabinets installed. The homeowner went to the store and asked for a “complete set of kitchen cabinets” without measuring anything.  It will be up to us to figure out how to piece them all together and install them. It’s good that we like puzzles and challenges.

New Week, New Team

Sunday, March 10, 2019

We started this morning by attending worship with our wonderful host church. Pastor David asked Mark to be the acolyte today and Harry to lead the congregation in prayer. It is nice to be made to feel such a part of the family here.

Lunch at Sammy's GrillAfter church we all went to lunch at Sammy’s Grill and had a great time. Some of our team members had never eaten crawfish so the waitress brought a few out for them to try. Good food and good fun.

We ended the day with our usual team meeting where we had a few refreshments and spent some time getting to know each other. Looks like it is going to be another great week.

Baton Rouge DR 2019 Week 4 Team
Baton Rouge DR 2019 Week 4 Team

Goodbyes and Hellos

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Movie nightLast night for the first time this trip, we had a great night for sitting outside with our team. We all sat outside and watched “Forrest Gump” on our outside TV. Some had never seen the movie and for others it had been quite a while. We even had an intermission because the college students came back in from New Orleans to pick up their luggage. They were going to the airport to turn in their vans and meet their bus to start their 20 hour drive back to Michigan. We were able to get some more hugs and pictures and after our prayer circle, said our goodbyes. They were such great young people. Makes you feel hopeful for the future when you work with groups like these. After they left we finished our movie. By the time it was over we had to have some blankets but is was still a nice evening to be outside.

Saying goodbye to the wonderful GVSU Team
Saying goodbye to the wonderful GVSU Team

This morning it was cloudy but by afternoon we we had beautiful sunshine. It was warm with some gusty breezes. Our high today was 79. Nice. Team members were out and about playing tourist today with some visiting the old state capital and the waterfront in Baton Rouge and others making their way to New Orleans to the WWII museum along with some great food. Our new team members all arrived within a little over an hour shortly after lunch. Everybody is safely parked and the new folks have been on a tour of the agency. All the chicks are safely in the coop. It was a good day.All In

“See-You-Down-The-Road” day.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Today was a nice day in Baton Rouge. It was a little cloudy and a little breezy but a nice warm, not too hot day.

Today was a “see-you-down-the-road” day. First we said goodbyes to Dave and Rita. They are headed home to family and grandchildren. We have heard from them and know they safely arrived and hopefully we can get together for dinner when we get back to Alabama in a few weeks. Next we said goodbyes to Jean and Larry. This was our first time to work with them and we quickly grew to love them. Very talented and hard workers. They have the longest drive today, hoping to make it to Tennessee. Wisconsin Maple SyrupWe have not heard from them yet. Lastly we said goodbye to Bob and Anne. They had the shortest drive over to Fontainebleau State Park. They will get a little R&R before heading on their way. We had never worked with Bob and Anne either but also quickly grew to love them – easy folks to love. Last night they gave each of the couples here some Wisconsin Maple Syrup that Bob and his brother make every year. We haven’t opened it yet but are looking forward to some pancakes and syrup soon. Thanks so much, Bob and Anne. Thankfully they are both beginning to feel better from the Louisiana crud. We know they are safely parked for a few days too. Sad to say goodbyes but sweet knowing we may see some of them at annual meeting in September and you never know when you will work together again.

We took today to rest and work around the rig. Tomorrow we have three more couples arriving. There are a lot of NOMADS traveling this weekend so please keep them all in your prayers.

Ash Thursday

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Today began as a rather cloudy day but we have had no rain, so far.

Rita and Dave brought our devotion today. They shared a Lenten devotion by Rev Penny Ford of Trinity UMC in Tuscaloosa. From Mathew 3, Jesus fasted 40 days – 40 days of Lent. We have ashes placed on our foreheads in the form of a cross for Ash Wednesday/Thursday, with the ashes representing our mortality and the cross forgiveness. During the time of Lent, we are encouraged to give up something to focus on God, or take on something to serve God. Thanks, Rita and Dave.

After devotion we all headed back out to our regular jobs, except for the two that had to go to the urgent care. It seems we are keeping the urgent cares in business. One of the ladies at church said “Welcome to Louisiana. It’s the Louisiana crud. We have all had it for over a month now.” Not very encouraging to us because none of us have gotten over it yet. We are all tired of being sick.

Max, Larry and Harry went back to Mr Jessie’s house to complete the front porch. They got it all completed. Mr Jessie was so happy. We presented him with the Bible from all the NOMADS. When the guys were getting ready to leave he was sitting on the front steps. He said he just wanted to sit outside and watch the cars go by. So glad we could be a small part of getting him back in a home. Now, after the VA installs the ramp, he will be able to get in and out on his scooter and up and down front steps with hand rails.


Out at Norwich, we continued to do what we have done all week. Anne, Rita, Dave and Jean sanded and applied more mud. You can really tell the improvements that are being made, but it’s still not complete. At lunch the twenty college kids arrived to load our construction debris into a trailer and help clean up our worksite. They picked up all the drywall scraps and even loaded the two cast iron tubs into the trailer. They made short work of it all. Those are some strong young women and men.


At Baker Drive, Janet, Lisa, and Anne O continued to work on drywall. Bob and Mark continued to work on electrical problems and they had to take out drywall to find some of the electrical boxes again. The ladies are never going to finish if they guys keep cutting more holes. Bob and Mark did make big progress today. They got the lights on at Baker. Good work! After leaving Norwich the college group went to Baker and cleaned up debris there, also. Before leaving there they came inside and had a prayer circle with the NOMADS for the home owner and the work. The entire team has really enjoyed getting to know these students. They have been very energizing and inspiring.


Tonight the team went back to Freddy’s for hamburgers and ice cream. So good!! We are saying goodbyes to Dave and Rita, Anne and Bob, and Jean and Larry. They have been such a joy to have as part of this wonderful team. They will be leaving tomorrow and we pray for safe travels for them all. After Freddy’s, we returned to the church for Ash Thursday services. Yes, we had Ash Wednesday services yesterday but today we had Ash Thursday service. Our college friends from Michigan were given tickets to the LSU baseball game last night so Pastor David agreed to have services for them tonight. Wonderful time with the young people tonight. They too will be leaving tomorrow so we also pray for safe travels for them. Another really good day. Now if we could just all get well.


Still Split

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

The weather was a little warmer today, but the sun was out all day.

Anne O brought an Ash Wednesday devotion today from Joel 2:13. She reminded us that ash and sin stain everything and that God is imploring us to return to Him and have our stains cleaned away.

Anne O, Bob, Lisa, Mark and Janet returned to Baker Drive to continue working on finishing the drywall and repairing the wiring.

Anne A, Dave, Rita, Jean and Nancy returned to Norwich and sanded and mudded all day. Larry went there for a little while to install some corner bead. At breaks and lunch they sat outside to enjoy the sunshine.

Gary and Harry (and later joined by Larry) returned to Old River Road to finish the porches. They finished the back porch, leaving the railing off one side for the ramp. The front porch was constructed and decked and the steps completed. All it needs are the hand rails for the steps.


Max spent the morning delivering supplies and the afternoon working at Old River Road.

This evening we had a dessert supper and attended a very meaningful Ash Wednesday service with the host congregation.

Team Picture weeks 3 and 4
Team Picture weeks 3 and 4


Three Way Split

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Happy MardiGras! It’s a really big holiday in Baton Rouge. Everyone (except NOMADS) is off today and there are multiple parades and parties. Everything ends at midnight when Ash Wednesday begins. Our day was considerably colder. It was 32 degrees when we got up. We all had on many layers when we headed out to work today.

Nancy led us in devotion today. She shared a reading from a journal of memories and messages that she is leaving for her children to one day read. Today’s entry was her thoughts on the story of Timothy and how many of the issues faced by Timothy are the same today. She encouraged them to remember their foundation of “being raised in the church but encouraged them to rely on their own personal moments with God.” This made us think about how precious these writings will be to her children one day. It also reminded us of the devotional notes and writings of our mothers that we found after their deaths – how precious they are to us. Perhaps we should all think about doing some writing to our families? Some might should be shared now. Others saved for later.

Today after devotion, we made a three way split. We now have a third project house. It is a new mobile home to replace the home that was flooded. It has been placed on a raised berm to hopefully avoid future flooding. The homeowner is a veteran with mobility issues. He is already living in the trailer but needs a front porch and steps and a back ramp for his scooter. Right now the only entrance is by way of some stacked concrete blocks. Not very safe. Max, Larry, Harry, and Gary began construction on the back porch because the VA is suppose to be bringing a metal ramp to attach to the porch. We will also be building the front porch and steps.

While they enjoyed a little time away from drywall and getting to do a little construction, Janet, Lisa, and Anne O continued working on finishing the drywall at Baker Drive. Bob and Mark worked on sorting out strange electrical problems on the Baker trailer. Today they were able to locate the light switches for the front of the house – behind the front door, covered by insulation and dry wall. Over at Norwich, Anne A, Rita, Dave and Jean continued finishing the drywall. They got second coat on the master bedroom and bath and hall. The third bedroom was also sanded. There was a lot accomplished at all three locations. The drywall is going slower than we would like but we are trying to cover as many things as we can for the agency. It was a beautiful sunny day that we all enjoyed – even if it was cold all day.

Beautiful azalea blooming at Baker Dr
Beautiful azalea blooming at Baker Dr