Today was another beautiful sunny day. So we have finished our first week on the 2017 Oklahoma Disaster Rebuild Project. It’s been a great week. Today we completed our first assignment. It was a one bedroom, one bath home in the middle of the area that flooded in Maysville. The rebuild began several months ago – “before Halloween” per the home owner. The application process began even before that. The home owner said he had decided that his home was a total loss and he would just get it bulldozed and sell the lot since he didn’t have any insurance and not enough money to do anything else. Someone from United Methodist Disaster Response-Oklahoma came by to see him. He told them they could take a look but…. When he was told they could help him he wanted to know what was the catch. “From my experience ain’t nothing free so what’s the catch.” First a VIM team came in and mucked the house out. A team from Colorado came in and started the rebuild working on the interior and exterior. Several more VIM teams from Oklahoma and Louisiana worked on the house. Finally this week, we had the joy of completing the final work. Today we finished the painting, installed shelves in the closets, installed bathroom fixtures and generally cleaned up the construction mess.
It is the tradition of NOMADS that everyone who works on a rebuild writes a note to the homeowner including one of our favorite scriptures, in a Bible that we then present to the homeowner. This afternoon we presented the Bible to the homeowners of “house #1.” It was so great. The homeowners were so happy and yes tears were shed. A few months ago they were hopeless. Today, with the help of people who love God, they are back in a home that is better than before the flood. What was the catch? Only that he and his wife have been surrounded by the love of God for the past several months. They were truly amazed.
Today some of us also visited the next home we will begin working on Monday. This one has been mucked out but the rebuild has not begun. We have LOTS to do and it will NOT be completed in a week.
After work we drove over to the Elmore City Recreation Area. It is a nice area with baseball and softball fields plus a nice lake with about 4 piers for fishing and a boat ramp. Scout would have loved this place. You can walk all around the lake and there is a nice picnic area. There is also what appeared to us as a fill site for water trucks/fire trucks. Didn’t see any trucks come in but…that’s what it looked like to us.
We had a question about our devotions from one of our readers and asked that we consider sharing a little more about that time. We will try to do that as we go forward. As general information, everyone on the team picks the day they want to bring the devotion. We usually start out by singing “This is the Day” and maybe a prayer. Then there is whatever the person of the day wants to bring – a devotion from their favorite devotion book or some sort of meditation. We have a little discussion as appropriate. We keep a prayer list that we review/add to each day, and have prayer. We sometimes sing another song. The primary thought for today was that we are all called to be seekers. To be a true follower of Jesus means we must become an all-out seeker of Him. Yes, we know him, but there is so much more of Him to know. Proverbs 2:1-6, Jeremiah 2:13. The devotion was taken partially from Seedbed Daily Text.
Well, we have no snow pictures for you today. However, much to our surprise the truck was coated in ice when we got up this morning. It was cold, but the sun came out and it was a bright and sunny day. After devotions we headed back to Maysville. It was a much prettier drive today. After a few cloudy days we really enjoyed the sun today.
We started working where we left off yesterday pushing to try to finish up by tomorrow afternoon. We grouted the tile which completed that project. We all did a lot of caulking. The remaining trim was installed. We got all the holes where sheetrock had been cut for pipes, etc covered and textured. The bathroom ceiling was painted as well as more doors and baseboard. We all worked really hard and we were tired when we got home this afternoon. We are all staying in tonight so we will be ready to push to finish tomorrow. If you don’t remember, NOMADS work Monday-Thursday each week so tomorrow is our “Friday.”
We learned something new about our home for two more weeks. You may remember the picture we used earlier that said “Elmore City, Home of Footloose.” We didn’t know then that the movie “Footloose” and subsequent musical were “loosely based on events that took place in the small, rural, and religious community of Elmore City”. They have a Footloose Festival each year – this year will be April 22. Interesting little town. We will have to ask some of the locals more about this. We would like to hear more about what really happened here versus what was portrayed in the movie. Maybe we can ask some of the older members of the church when we have covered dish dinner Sunday. We will let you know what we find out.
We are responsible for devotional again in the morning so must go work on that. We have what we think are some good plans for Friday so check back.
Happy Valentines Day everyone!!! Hope you had a wonderful day and most importantly that you remember every day to tell those you love how much they mean to you.
It rained all night last night. That made for some really good sleeping weather with the rain on the roof of Fred. It was raining when we got up and it rained all day. On the way home it rained but also included some frozen stuff too.They actually changed the forecast and now we have a possibility of ½ inch of snow over night. We don’t think it will amount to much because the ground is just a little too warm. Guess we will find out in the morning.
We of course started the day with devotions. Since it’s only two couples this week we are just meeting in Fred for devotional time rather than going to the meeting room at the church. Next week we may start meeting at the church since we will have another couple. Since we have to drive to Maysville, we are meeting at 7:40 for devotion rather than 8:00. It’s really fun to meet, pray and study with friends first thing in the morning.
After arriving at our job site we continued the projects from yesterday. We finished up the cutting and laying of the tile and will probably try to grout it tomorrow. We painted the shelves for the bathroom closet that we built out yesterday. We also spent a good deal of time filling holes/patching sheetrock, and re-texturing walls. Interior doors were painted and a good deal of time was spent repairing one of the exterior doors. We are making progress but it will take at least 2 more days to finish up this house. It would be nice to finish by Thursday afternoon but ….
Since it was Valentines Day and there are very limited choices in restaurants in our area, for lunch we decided to go to Papa’s, the little place attached to the gas station a block from where we were working. Papa’s is known for their char burgers and char fries so that is what we had. The food was good and the company was great and we enjoyed a little bit of the local flavor. We all four said we wouldn’t have gone out to dinner tonight if we have been home, so not having a nice restaurant conveniently located really wasn’t a problem. Remember you can leave comments or send us e-mail and check back in tomorrow to see if there are any snow pictures.
Today is day one of the NOMADS Disaster Rebuild project in Maysville, OK. Our rigs are in Elmore City, but the flooding on June 12, 2016 was in Maysville about 14 miles north of Elmore City. Maysville is a little town of 1,232 people with slightly more than 21% living below the poverty line. Beef Creek runs thru the middle of the town and with very heavy rain within a matter of a few hours homes in the lower area of town were inundated with more than 2 feet of water. There are some videos of the area showing cars almost under water. There was one news report of cars floating down the streets.
The home owner at the home we were working on today said that his dog woke him up about 4:30am and when he got out of bed to let her out there was water up to his ankles. By the time he and his wife left the house it was up to his knees in the bathroom. The flooding quickly receded but left homes ruined and possessions lost. Oklahoma United Methodist Disaster Response became involved and there have been Volunteers in Mission (VIM), teams working in the homes mucking them out and in the home we worked in today, the VIM teams had started the rebuild. We hope to complete this home in the next day or two and it won’t be any too soon for the home owners. They had been staying with family but over the weekend couldn’t wait any longer and moved back into the yet unfinished house sleeping on an air mattress on the floor. They have no other furniture or appliances. After today, all the plumbing is working. YEA!! Today, in addition to completing the last few pieces of the plumbing, we started installing the last section of tile in the bath room, installed shelves in the bathroom closet, and worked on some drywall patching and touch up, painting and caulking.
We will continue more of the same tomorrow working to turn the home back to the owners as soon as possible. It was a good and a fun day working with Gwen and Gary. We have more team members arriving over the next few weeks so then we will be able to do even more. We are tired tonight but it’s a really good kind of tired. We feel so blessed to be able to be here.