Pat, retired UMC pastor, brought our devotion today by reading the Easter story. She reminded us that no one should have been surprised by the resurrection, the return to life, since God gave us life to begin with.
If you want to know what our work day was like today, look at yesterday. The work assignment part of our morning meeting was short. Gary just told us to go back to where we were yesterday and keep doing what we were doing yesterday. We haven’t talked to the Groom Road crew to see what was acomplished there today.
At Norwich Drive, we finished flooring another bedroom and the living room. We still have a little left in the foyer, the hall and one more bedroom. We have no pictures of of flooring being put down because it would look just like yesterday. However, since we didn’t get any pictures of Pat working on the walls yesterday, we made sure we got one today. It was a good day.
Today was another great day. It’s starting to really warm up now and we have to be sure to stay well hydrated. Today’s high was 90.
Today Ruth Ann and Dave presented our devotion from one of Rick Warren’s writings. The Scripture was 1 Tim 6:7 and we talked about fear and what that does to us. Why are we afraid to let people get to know the real us? They encouraged us to take the first step in opening up to people and to trust God. Thanks, Ruth Ann and Dave.
After devotion, Anne, Max, Roger, Pat, Janice and Marvin headed back to Norwich. Gary, Sharon, Ruth Ann, Dave, Bob and Virginia went out to Groom Road. We understand that they got the kitchen sink installed which is one of the big three in getting people out of the FEMA trailers. They have to have a working bathroom, a working kitchen and one bedroom. They started installing the flooring in the bedroom and some painting done in the bathroom. At Norwich we continued to work on the flooring and since the tile guy finished in the master bath, we were able to begin the drywall finishing there. Pat worked hard on the sanding today. The rest of us worked on flooring and are making progress. The counter tops were installed over the weekend and look very nice. As our homeowner said, “It’s looking like a house again.” It was a good day.
Today was another beautiful day. Of course, we went to church this morning at Francis Asbury. Pastor David was out today and the NOMADS were asked to speak. Anne was selected. She began by sharing a little history of NOMADS and the statistics for the number of hours NOMADS donated to our agencies last year, 120,056 hours – about 2.96 million dollars worth. Over the past 10 years NOMADS have performed over 25 million dollars worth of volunteer labor. She then talked to the congregation about the real meat of NOMADS, our members attempting to be the hands and feet of Christ in a world filled with needs and hurts. She shared some memories of various projects we have worked and ended reminding the congregation that we are all really NOMADS and we are all called to be in service to others, to love God and love others. She also used part of Gary’s devotion from last week to remind everyone that God has a purpose for them and if they look in the right place (and are willing) they will find it. The congregation seemed to appreciate the message.
The team went to Sammy’s for lunch, where the food is always good. They were crowded today and a little too noisy for good conversation but everyone still seemed to enjoy it. We had our usual 6:00 meeting and welcomed our new couple, Roger and Pat from Ohio. We look forward to working with them and getting to know them better. It was another really good day in Baton Rouge with some time to rest up before starting back to work tomorrow. We will be really pushing the next two weeks to get the two homes as close to complete as possible before we leave. Hope you all had a great weekend too.
We are becoming quite spoiled to beautiful weather. Today was gorgeous. High in the eighties, some breeze, sunshine and blue skies.
We slept in a little this morning and then readied our bikes for a ride. But before we left we we had to say “see you down the road” to Suzanne. Such a good friend. We will miss her. But, she plans to be at annual meeting in September so we should see her then. We then headed to Mandeville, LA , about 65 miles east of Baton Rouge on I-12, to one of the trail heads of the Tammany Trace Bike Trail. Tammany Trace is a great 31 mile asphalt rail trail. It begins in Covington and ends in Slidell, LA. We rode about 7 miles from Mandeville eastward toward Slidell, for a total of 15 miles including a couple of side trips. The trail goes through wooded areas and bayou areas. We saw beautiful water lilies in bloom, as well as a water moccasin crossing the trail and a small alligator in a ditch. It was Saturday so there was a good group of people using the trail today. It was nice to see the families out riding the trail.
In Mandeville there was the kind of farmers market we really like – lots of locally made food items with plenty of samples. Of course we had to make a few purchases. We have a great butter praline pound cake as well as some other goodies.
After the ride we returned to FRED to relax the rest of the day. Our new team members, Roger and Pat arrived early afternoon. We have not worked with them before so we will be making new friends this week.
Remember to pray for all the church services tomorrow. May the Word be spoken, and heard.
Thursday was very cloudy and we had some rain in the morning but fortunately we had no storms here. Just a couple of hours north of us in Rushton, LA, there was a tornado in the early morning hours. There were at least two deaths. The director of disaster response for the conference, the person we answer to in our work, is already there assessing what the Louisiana Conference of the UMC can do to help. Please be in prayer for all the people in Rushton.
Gary brought our devotion yesterday, starting with John 14:12. He reminded us that God has an important mission for our lives. If you don’t see your purpose, you are probably looking in the wrong direction. The question is not can God use us but will we be available for Him to use? He closed by reading “Daniel’s Gloves”. If you haven’t read this, you should. Thanks, Gary! We also were treated to doughnuts this morning by Joe and Jayne. Very good. Joe and Jayne had to leave after devotion because her brother flew in from Mexico for admission to the hospital in Houston with very serious heart problems. We will miss Joe and Jayne and will continue to lift them and Jayne’s brother up in prayer.
We returned to Norwich Drive with Bob, Virginia, Janice, Marvin, Sharon and Suzanne to continue working on the flooring and cabinets. Today the cabinets were completed and counter tops are to be installed Saturday. The kitchen is beginning to look like a kitchen and after Saturday it should be beautiful. We also made good progress on the flooring, completing one bedroom and closet, the huge master closet, and started in the hall and second bedroom. The plumber/tile man is almost done with the master bath so we will start finishing that drywall next week. The bedroom wall that had to be removed to install the roll-in shower hasn’t been reinstalled yet but hopefully that occurred today. Dave, Ruth Ann and Gary went back to Groom Road to work on cabinet installation and the bathroom there. They also made good progress. The cabinet install there is made considerably more difficult due to the floor not being level but it will look good when we finally get it done. We were told Thursday, the Groom Road house will be our top priority Monday and Tuesday because the home owner must be out of the FEMA mobile housing unit. FEMA is supposed to pick up the trailer Wednesday. Hopefully, with two hard days we can have a working kitchen, bath and the flooring in one bedroom. We will need lots of energy next week.
After work and showers, we all went back to Ms Pam’s house for a visit and Bible presentation. For all of you that worked on that house earlier this year, she wants you to know how much she appreciates the work you did, “even when I was cantankerous.” The house looks so good and she now has a range, and refrigerator and table in her kitchen and a working washer and dryer. She is very pleased. After our visit, we all went to Chili’s for a really good dinner and better conversation.
Today, we did laundry, house cleaning and NOMADS business. Anne has been working on updating the policy manual and today Max helped with some of the reformatting. We also went to the park and had a great walk on a beautiful Friday afternoon and came back to FRED for ice cream sundaes. A great way to end the week! Hope everyone has a great weekend.
Yesterday Jayne brought us our devotion and she reminded us to “tell the story” using Psalm 78:1-7 as the basis. She also reminded us that sometimes we tell the story with our actions not our words. Everything we do has the capacity to influence others for good or bad. Jayne also read us the poem “Sermons We See” by Edgar Guest. It was a beautiful day very similar to Monday and we all returned to the same job sites as Monday and basically continued what we started Monday. We completed a lot more painting but not quite all. We made good progress on the kitchen cabinets but not quite complete. We will get there.
Today was another great day in Baton Rouge. It was a little cloudy and the temperatures are going up, but it’s still nice. We may have rain tomorrow but it’s not supposed to be anything like last Thursday. We are again hoping to do some Bible presentations tomorrow.
Today Sharon brought our devotion from Philippians 4:4 and spoke to us about the power of praise. We were reminded to exalt the Father in all circumstances. Sharon also shared “The Dash” by Linda Ellis. You may have read it before but it’s always a good reminder. Thanks, Sharon!
We again all headed back to the same job sites as yesterday. We got all the cabinets installed pending the electricians moving some lines for the range. The cabinets look really nice. The electricians arrived this afternoon so hopefully we can complete the kitchen sometime tomorrow. Ruth Ann completed the painting of the laundry room and Jan cut in the hall bath but we couldn’t complete the tub room because the tile man returned and grouted the tile. We also got a coat of paint on the window sills and will re-coat tomorrow. Most of the painting is done. Just a little touchup is left. We spent the rest of the morning cleaning out a lot of stuff we no longer need and cleaned the floors in preparation for the laminate flooring. We sent equipment, paint, etc that is no longer needed back to the church when Darryl delivered the laminate flooring shortly after lunch. Jayne came over from the Groom Road house and joined Sharon, Ruth Ann and Anne in starting the flooring. We got one bedroom started and will proceed tomorrow.
At Groom Rd Gary, Sharon and Jayne completed some drywall and worked in the kitchen this morning. Max went to Groom Road this afternoon to assist Gary in hanging wall cabinets. It was a busy day for all.
We are making progress but are feeling the pressure of the end of our time in Baton Rouge approaching. We would like to get these homes completed before we leave. We have to remind ourselves that God is in control and we will accomplish what he wants us to accomplish.
Another beautiful day in Baton Rouge. Blue skies. Sunshine. Nice breeze when we were sitting outside for breaks and lunch. NICE!!
Of course we started the day with devotion, today led by Suzanne. She asked the question, do you live in the secular world or the spiritual world? And how can we bring those two worlds together? Suzanne shared that prayer brings those to worlds together. If we do everything with prayer we bring the two together. If we do everything we do – taking out the trash, caulking windows, painting, installing cabinets, looking for Jesus, our world will become the world Jesus has planned for us. Thanks, Suzanne.
We then all, all 13 of us, headed out to Norwich Dr with the plan to get a lot of painting done today. All our supplies were moved over the weekend because the tile man came in to install all the ceramic tile. We were still locating all our stuff and had begun pouring up paint when Darryl arrived. Semper Gumby!! Sharon, Gary, Jayne and Joe headed out to Baker, LA to work on another house. Regroup and redistribute tasks. Painting began. Max was caulking windows. The HVAC guys arrived. We discussed their plans for the day and it seemed we would be able to stay out of each other’s way. Back to work. Tile man arrived. He wanted us to go ahead and start installing cabinets. He had somewhere else he needed to work today and planned to return after 4:00 to grout the tile he installed over the weekend. More Semper Gumby. Now we had Max, Dave, Bob with some assistance by Marvin installing cabinets. Suzanne, Ruth Ann, Virginia, Jan were painting. Anne was going between everything and trying to be sure everyone had everything they needed. Darryl arrived. Super Semper Gumby! We loaded the trailer with all the construction debris and Max then went with him over to Ms Pam’s to assist in loading up all the debris from there. It was a crazy day but somehow productive. All three bedrooms now have the walls painted. The hall is partially painted. Cabinets are partially installed. Hopefully cabinets will be completed tomorrow. We also hope most of the paining will be done. We shall see. The four that went out to Baker also painted and prepared for cabinets. Not sure what else is to be done there.
Today was the first time either of us has been to Ms Pam’s house since it was finished. It looks great! Below are a few pictures for those who worked on it earlier this year. Look back to our blog posts starting February 25th to see what it looked like before we started.
It was a good day. Tomorrow should be another interesting and good day.