Sunday was a great day of worship at Lester Memorial. Our Appalachian Service Project (ASP) Mission team arrived back in Oneonta Saturday and several of the team members shared their experiences at worship. We had several youth who made their first ASP trip this year and it was great to hear of the impact on their lives. Got to get folks mission oriented at a young age. Our children are even doing a local service project as part of our Vacation Bible School program this year.
After Sunday School we again checked on our Aunts and they are about the same. We then headed home for some lunch and then headed to Camp Sumatanga. We were asked a few weeks ago to help out in the kitchen Sunday and Monday. We helped cook for 300 people involved in the Cowboy Camp. It was a little reunion with friends who routinely prepare great meals for NOMADS when we have projects there. Sunday dinner was barbeque and three different desserts that we helped make and Monday was taco boats with churros. We worked on the salads, condiment cups and churros. Fun way to give back to camp.
Today Anne did some shopping, NOMADS business and Max cut the grass and worked on getting Fred and the truck ready to go as we are trying to get everything done so we can get on the road Thursday morning. BTW, it’s a great year for fresh homegrown blueberries. Max cooked some awesome blueberry pancakes.
So, when we last left you we had completed our last day in Laurel, MS on the spring DR project. We spent Friday, doing paperwork, meeting with the Restore Jones County folks and getting Fred ready to roll. Friday evening we had dinner with the Restore staff and then drove back to Alabama on Saturday morning. It was an uneventful travel day and we were able to back Fred into his usual parking spot at Aunt Helen’s house and get him set up before the rain returned. Sunday we were able to attend worship at Lester Memorial and then visit with our Aunts after Sunday school. It was so good to see them and they are doing fairly well. We spent the following week catching up on things like cutting grass, trimming hedges, and just routine maintenance at Aunt Helen’s house. We were trying to prepare the house for guests – some mission volunteer family members.
Randy and Debra and Leon (Jennifer’s Dad) arrived Sunday afternoon and David (Randy’s and Debra’s son), Jen and Miriam arrived Monday night. All this last week we were working on Calvary Baptist Church in Warrior, AL. Our schedule was arise at 4am, depart Aunt Helen’s at 5am, start work at 6am, finish at 6pm, eat supper with the group, drive back in time to shower and go to bed, then repeat. That didn’t leave much time for blogging. Work on their new building was begun several weeks ago and now Constructors for Christ will be working there for five weeks. It was such fun to reunite with friends we haven’t seen since last year when we worked on building Pine Grove church. Love this group of God loving volunteers! The women’s devotional time is always so sweet for Anne. The guys and a few of the gals spent a lot of this week on rough electrical and final framing. Our group size was up from last year but still not back to pre-Covid years.
Randy and Max spent most of the week working with various team members on the entrances to the sanctuary and fellowship hall and framing the sound booth.
Most of the week David worked with others on various framing details.
Others worked all over the building adjusting framing and installing electrical components.
We finished another good Constructors week Friday at lunch and had to say goodbye until next year. Safe travel dear friends. Today we said goodbye to Randy, Debra, Leon, David, Jen and Miriam. This afternoon we have been doing laundry and taking naps. Looking forward to another Sunday worship with our Lester Memorial family tomorrow.
So what happened this week? As is our custom on Sundays, we watched the 8:30 worship service from our home church Lester Memorial and again as is our custom, we served each other communion in Fred with the rest of our congregation in Oneonta. It is always meaningful to us to serve each other holy communion. After that service we headed to Laurel First UMC for their worship service. We have enjoyed our time of worship with the Laurel congregation and look forward to seeing the friends we have made when we return in the fall. After church, the storms hit Laurel and we were drenched before we could get back into Fred. It was a good excuse to rest and stay home the rest of the day. There was actually flooding in downtown Laurel Sunday afternoon and with more rain overnight and everyday this week, there has been flooding in several areas.
Monday, with only four days remaining, we discussed the final priorities with Robby and then got to work. We began with texturing the walls and ceilings that we previously repaired and finished. Robby also delivered the flooring so we got our exercise for the day unloading the laminate flooring. After the texturing, the next priority was installing as much flooring as possible, so that is how we spent the remainder of the week – on our knees. We completed two bedrooms with the laminate and then the laundry area with vinyl plank flooring. Yesterday Mr. Jim joined us along with Chris from the Mississippi Conference, and Laura and Robby from Restore Jones County (RJC) for a Bible presentation. It was a sweet time. It’s been a blessing to watch Mr. Jim go from being quiet and withdrawn to smiling and laughing with us. He is so excited to be moving into his new home soon. RJC is hoping the old house will be burned next week, then the debris will be buried and the trailer moved to Mr. Jim’s home site shortly thereafter. Making progress. Sad we didn’t get to see it all happen but blessed to have been a small part of the process.
There is still much work to be done here in Laurel and we hope we get to be a part of the continuing efforts. It has been fabulous to work alongside all the community volunteers, everyone with Restore Jones County, and The Glory House. We thank them for inviting us to join their work of restoration and hope. When we returned to Fred yesterday afternoon, we pulled up the NOMADS signs and stored them in the church until our fall teams return. Have a great summer Laurel friends and we hope to see you all again soon.
What a week! Beginning Tuesday morning we had YWAM young people with us at the trailer. If you are not familiar, YWAM is an acronym for Youth With A Mission and you can learn more about this group by clicking the links. There are 12-15 young people in Laurel working with the The Glory House and Restore Jones County. We had four or five hard working young people at the trailer Tuesday through Thursday. Their first day and part of the second was spent pulling the staples from the floors. The manufacturer of the double wide thought more was better when it came to stapling anything and everything to the floor. Our knees were very appreciative of the help! YWAMers also cleaned walls, removed tacks, nails, tape and screws from the walls and then began painting. By Thursday afternoon there were two coats of paint on the two back bedrooms. That means we may begin flooring next week. Max and Anne spent most of the week working on the drywall, priming walls and also sealing the flooring areas that were wet from the roof leaks. The master bed room and bath are looking much better. Thursday Robby took some of the young people to Mr. Jim’s home site to work on getting it ready for the double wide. They were able to get everything moved out and the fire department is scheduling the burning of what’s left of the old house. As soon as that is done, they can have the trailer moved to Mr. Jim’s land. He came to see the trailer Thursday afternoon and was so pleased. It was wonderful to see the big smile on his face!
Friday morning we were once again up at four and on the road by 4:40 back to Alabama. We had an actual closing scheduled for 10:00 am but were very doubtful that it would actually happen. They sent us documents to review Friday afternoon and we found several errors, some of which would make it a no-go to close. However, we were working and emailing as we made the drive – glad the company was a time zone ahead of us – and one by one they made the necessary corrections. By about 10:30, they had corrected everything and thankfully we had taken our printer back to Alabama. We printed out the corrections, and we were finally able to close out the sale of our house. We are now officially houseless, full-time RVers. After all the stress of this last week trying to make the closing happen, we are pretty exhausted. We have rested today, worked on chores and paperwork, filed address changes, and watched it rain. Maybe with one more good night of sleep we will begin to have our energy back. Thanks for everyone’s assistance, prayers and support though this process.