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.
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.
It was a lot colder today. The high yesterday was 75 and today the high was 49. It was mostly cloudy and tonight we had another heavy rain. Our low tonight is predicted to be 29. Average low for this date is 49. We know it’s not nearly as cold as our northern states, but it’s considerably colder than we all expected when we signed up for Baton Rouge. Oh well, we will survive.
Today Janet and Harry led our devotion time. They pulled their information from the book, “Enjoying The Presence of God” by Jan Johnson. We talked about how to integrate prayer in everything we do. Father Lawrence had four suggestions to assist in the integration. First reflect before each task. Remember you are doing it for God, no matter how simply or seemingly insignificant the task. Repeat a short prayer as you work. Reflect after you finish each task. Turn your thoughts to God as you work, keeping God in your head, much like getting a song stuck in your head. We had some good discussion during our devotion time. Probably more importantly, conversations returned to doing our work for God as we worked on each job site today. Some of us were having a little trouble finding Jesus in our drywall mud. We all eventually came around. Thanks, Harry and Janet.
We were glad Bob felt like working with us today, but today his wife Anne was too ill to work. Nancy just worked til noon because she was sick, too. We will be so glad when we are all well again. Today, Rita, Anne, Jean, Larry and Dave returned to Norwich and worked on sanding and mudding the drywall. Rita, Anne and Jean decided to attack one of the bedrooms while the guys worked on mudding corner bead. We have one bedroom we think we will call complete tomorrow after we take a look when everything is dry. It may need a little sanding. We will be excited to declare one done! We are making progress. Out at Baker Drive Bob and Mark worked to frame in some cabinets in the kitchen. Lisa, Janet and Nancy worked on finishing the sheetrock. Harry, Lisa and Gary worked on hanging the last of the drywall and and corner bead. A good part of the afternoon was spent tracing and trouble shooting the electrical wiring. It was another busy day. BTW, Max says Anne’s group didn’t do anything because there are no pictures. Yep, Anne is in trouble again. Maybe pics tomorrow.
The congregation of Francis Asbury UMC provided another delicious dinner for the volunteers tonight. This week we are being joined by 20 college “kids” from Grand Valley State University in Michigan. We really enjoyed the dinner and visiting with the young volunteers.
Between the weather and most of the team feeling poorly with pollen allergies, upper respiratory infections and one case of pneumonia we didn’t do much this weekend. Friday was spent mostly with house cleaning and grocery shopping, Saturday was spent working around the church and on the RVs. We did move a large brass cross and picture in the sanctuary at the request of the pastor. Today we worshipped with the host congregation then went out to eat together followed by a stop for frozen custard. Then it was back home to rest. Please pray that the team will be back to full health this week.