Week Three at Grand Isle

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Last Friday (3/31) was an unusual day.  Sara, Ken and Michele, Levina and Herman, and Jack and Beth, all left us. We thank them for their service to this community and pray for their traveling safety.  Saturday we were joined by our new team, Kevin and Suzan, Mary and Phil, Mike and Carol and Dale and Anne.  Another great team.  Once again, we had a beautiful week in Grand Isle.  It did get pretty hot with highs in the mid-80’s a few days but with the wonderful gulf breeze and plenty of sunscreen we could continue to work and accomplish a lot on Chris’s house.  We spent all four days this week completing the house wrap, installing all but one corner piece of the trim, installing lots of siding using the lift and scaffolding, and of course painting lots of trim and siding.  This team gelled almost immediately and just jumped in and started working.  As leaders we just needed to make sure they had everything they needed and then just stay out of their way.  We feel we left the team for next week in good shape to complete Chris’s house in 5-6 more days.

On Tuesday, the team had the joy of participating in the dedication of a new home for Jane.  Sadly her home was a total loss from Ida and her husband died in January so he never got to see their new home. The Bayou Community Foundation, Rebuild Grand Isle (the agency coordinating all the rebuild work on Grand Isle) was instrumental in raising the funds to provide Jane a brand new home.  The team was very thankful we were invited to the celebration even though we did not actually work on the house.  Such a joy for NOMADS to be a small part of helping the people of Grand Isle.

Wednesday evening the team went out to the marina at the very far end of the island for pizza.  We sat outside overlooking the water and watching the large shrimp boats and work boats come and go.  The dolphins also put on a show for us.  We had a relaxing, peaceful evening getting to know each other a little better.

This week being Holy Week, there was lots of activity at Our Lady of The Isle Catholic Church, our host church.  Father Mark asked the team to participate in the Thursday evening service and joined us for devotion Thursday morning to explain to us what to expect.  During the service he thanked all the NOMADS that have served on Grand Isle since October and talked about how the people of Grand Isle had felt forgotten.  There have been many more disasters since hurricane Ida, so they felt Grand Isle is no longer of interest to most volunteers.  The people are still really struggling.  Father Mark told us that NOMADS have been instrumental in restoring hope for the people of the island.  Remembering how Jesus became a servant washing the feet of the 12 disciples at the Last Supper, Father Mark asked our 10 team members along with, the Mayor of Grand Isle, and Jane (the lady whose house was dedicated this week) to allow him to wash our feet as a part of the service.  It was a special time of worship for us all.

We turned over leadership to Kevin and Suzan Thursday evening.  They, and their teams, will stay in our prayers and we hope, your prayers as well.  Experiences such as our time on Grand Isle are the reasons we continue to be involved in NOMADS.  May we all be faithful servants.

Week Two in Grand Isle, LA

Sunday April 2, 2023

It was another beautiful week on Grand Isle.  The weather has been really nice for our outside work with no rain.  It would seem the plants would be needing some water by now but everything still looks good.

With Herman and Levina and Jack and Beth joining us last Saturday, and Sara, Ken and Michele staying with us for one more week, we had a good team with big plans for the week.  Most of the crew worked at Chris’s house for the entire week with Ken and Michele taking a little time to return to finish up Denise’s house.  We set up the saw horses to continue to paint the siding boards and completed the first bundle – finally.  We will continue to put a second coat as needed and touch up the pieces that get a little scratched up in the installation process.  With the use of ladders, scaffolding and the lift, and the entire team, we completed the siding installation on one side of the house by quitting time on Thursday.  We also began the siding on the front.  We still need to install house wrap on the upper part of two other walls.  All the lower windows have been trimmed out with only the upper windows on the front and one side still in need of trim.  There was also a good bit of caulking completed this week.  We were all tired when the team sat down for dinner Thursday evening, but we were also happy that Chris’s house is looking better each day.

We were honored this week to present two families with their Bible signed by our NOMADS members.  The visits with the homeowners, listening to their stories, and praying with them is always such a special time. Please join us in remembering these precious people in prayer. They have been through so much and have scars that still need to heal.

Friday morning we had to say good bye to our entire team.  It’s unusual for us to have our entire team leave the same day.  However, we have some good friends and great NOMADS coming in to join us for next week.

Please continue to pray for the safety of our team as we continue to work on higher sections of the house and we will give you another update next week.