2019 April Texas Disaster Response Rebuilding Team, Day 5

The team continued the work started yesterday as siding was completed, installation of insulation continued, and the first sheets of drywall were installed in the kitchen.  It was more important a day of building relationships.  A key part of our mission here is both build a structure and to build relationships with the persons we meet. 

The caretaker for the elderly bed-ridden lady that is the sole occupant of this home is her granddaughter.  Our interactions with her have been brief but today she came alongside of us to help move items in the home as prepared for work in the back bedroom.  We confirmed our previous thoughts that she is the sole caretaker for her grandmother.  Other family is away including a brother who is in the Navy.  The car in the driveway has a bumper sticker that states, “Navy Grandparent.” We learned the grandmother raised her and her brother as children through them becoming adults, giving up a woodworking shop and the garage to provide two bedrooms.  As God so loved the world that he gave up his only begotten son, so we return this love to Christ and God by our daily actions.  Heidi is living this scripture in her own personal way.

Our project manager with the Rio Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church has been onsite previously with interactions as he arrived with supplies, answered our questions, and gave approvals.  Today and yesterday he paused to share his story of becoming a Christian, the circumstances that found his path to this ministry of helping others, using his knowledge of construction and love for people in his daily work.  His always has a continual smile.  His work is a daily blessing to this team.

A new person today was the person who takes care of the yard.  When the brother left for the Navy he agreed to take over the responsibilities for the yard.  Today, he confronted his challenges of a largely overgrown yard and a riding lawnmower that would not start, a broken belt, and a flat tire.  Using the advice of others, information from the Internet, and the compressor we had onsite for our nail gun, he persevered.  He is an inspiration for the team to know that when the staple gun jams, or the siding board will not fit just right, or the drywall lift is not working after assembling, we must live the Christian spirit of having a heart to continue with an uplifting spirit knowing this problem is small compared to others.   Our task is to overcome the difficulties of the job and life in good spirits and we will be rewarded.

The day ended with a group photo with new siding as a background.  Look for the granddaughter and project manager in the photo.  The photo credit goes to the person who takes care of the yard.

Tomorrow will be our last day onsite.  There is a lot to do and we will embrace this day with all the energy we have remaining, looking forward to the stories and memories we will share with loved ones as we return home the following days.

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