Sunday, June 17, 2012
One of the highlights for me is being able to work with EFCA's Touch Global. It's an extremely well organized group, and the staff is amazing. We had gotten to know some of the staff last year, and we loved reconnecting with them this year. This is Ronnie, Jen, Katie, and Chelsea.
It was a great trip, and I'm sure it may not be our last trip to New Orleans. Katrina may have hit awhile ago, but 25% of the homes in New Orleans are still not lived in, and 40% of the homes in the 9th ward have either been leveled are uninhabited. Keep praying for New Orleans, EFCA, and for all those living there!
Friday, June 15, 2012
It's been a full but good few days.
We have continued working at the various sites, and building relationships with the various home owners.
Mary Hart was so appreciative of her team, that she bought them a good ole Louisiana meal for lunch on Thursday (catfish, fried chicken, sweet potatoes, gumbo on rice, cake).
The group at Walter's house all but finished the fence today (fri).
The group at the Upper Room Church took on a massive project of trying to scrape of the old layer of floor to leave just the concrete underneath. They made good headway. And in the mean time had some good conversations with neighbors in the area. A highlight for Scott was getting to join a few of the local teens in a pick up basketball game.
The 4th team spent a few days working on the house of a man named Michael (a fascinating man, who it turns out is a very talented musician).
Tonight we are going out to dinner to enjoy some time together and the food!
Tomorrow morning we will get on the road early to start our drive back to Arlington. Please pray for safe travels.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Yesterday marked our half way point, and a good day of ministry.
About half our group started the day on a prayer walk at the House of Hope (a relatively new church ministry in the upper 9th ward). We were able to walk through the neighborhood, meet a few people. A highlight of our time there was stopping to visit Ms. Ruby. Part of our group worked on our house last year and really built a strong realtionship with her. We were able to check in with her, see how the work on her house is coming, pray with her. It was wonderful to see her!
All of the crews continued on their jobs with good success.
Later in the day, we had a block party at the Upper Room Church. we cooked a few dozen hotdogs, handed out some bottles of water, played games with a few of the kids. We met a few of the neighbors, and learned a lot o what it has been like to live in New Orleans post-Katrina.
Today the other half of our group will be spending the morning doing a prayer walk at the House of Hope, and then we all are working on our sites
Thank you for your prayers!
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
The crew working at Mary and Tiny's house had another busy but full day. They made enough progress that they were even able to start painting in places.
In the midst of their productivity, the team took a prayer walk and had a great time interacting with the community.
The team at Walter's house continued working at putting up his fence.
Two exciting things happened though as the day unfolded. One is that we are hoping to begin work on his neighbor's property by the end of the week to get it to the point where it wont be fined (and thus taken over by the city). Hopefully the necessary paper work is being filled out now so that work can start ASAP. Praying for everything to fall into place.
Also, a lot of the neighbors just started stopping by the see what was happening, and why this crew of volunteers was helping out their friend Walter. And this is in a neighborhood where a lot of the houses have been destroyed and their are a great deal of vacant lots - but word got around, and people came by. And several of those people stayed to help. It was a great chance to get to know people, hear their stories and share the real reason we are down here doing this work.
The team at the Upper Room Church spending the day sanding down the pews in the balcony, and painting the balcony.
While on a prayer walk, they met a guy named Fred, who shared with them photos of his house after Katrina (which had nine feet of water in it). They had a chance to pray with and for him.
This morning most of our team is starting off the day with a prayer walk at the House of Hope in New Orleans.
We will then divide into 4 teams (one extra work crew today), and finish the day with a block party at the Upper Room Church.
Please pray for our day at the worksites, for productive work, for good interactions with people in the community.
Pray for Trevor, who has tonsilitis. After resting all day yesterday and getting the right mediciation he fells a lot better but would still appreciate your prayers.
Pray for our block party tonight.
The New Orleans Mission Team
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
We had a great first day on the worksite.
The team that went to Mary's house met both Mary and her husband Tiny (who is not so Tiny in stature). It turns out that in addition to losing their money to ahook contractor, their house was was also bulgarized and coper stolen from the roof (leaving the ceiling damaged). The group was able to get some good work done with the work on the dry wall, etc.
The group building the fence met their homeowners. Walter was told by the city if they didn't put up a 6 foot fence they would be fined. The city is assigning a lot of fines right now for people not maintaining things (like grass according to a certain height etc). And if people didn't meet the regulations, or cant pay their fines their property is being seized to pay the fines. Thankfully Walter is going to have his fence built in time, but Walter's neighbor who has been in the hospital for the last 2 years has not been able to maintain his home. He is at risk for losing his property because of fines he cant pay. The team is hoping to finish up the fence either today or tomorrow.
The 3rd team is working on The Upper Room Church. It is a wonderful building that had four feet of water damage because of the storm, damage because of weather over the last 8 years, and vandalism. But they are hoping to restore it so that they can use it to minister to those in the area. We met one woman who said she had two sons who were around 19-20 years old. We asked them where they hung out, and she said no where that the area was so run down that there was no where to really hang out or play ball.
We are returning to our same 3 sites tonight to work, and looking forward to building more relationships.
Please pray for Trevor, who we think has an ear infection.
Pray for our team, as they are working hard, in the heat and humidity. Pray for our safety, pray for good spirits
Please pray for the relationships among our team, with the EFCA team, and with the team from North Carolina. Pray that in all that we say or do we can glorify God.
Pray that we may be a light to Christ in all we do.
With love and blessings,
The New Orleans Mission Team
Monday, June 11, 2012
We are off to our 3 job sites this morning.
The first is owned by a woman named Mary Hart. About 5 years ago, she paid a contractor to work on her house. He did a phenomenal job making a pretty looking roof. But the roof leaked causing major damage in the house. And at that point, the contractor left with Mary's money. Lew's team is going to go in this morning to do some gutting and to assess what needs to be done.
Our 2nd job is actually a fence installation. This family lives in the lower 9th ward and has to have their fence up by June 20th or face serious ramifications. Pastor Gerald (who EFCA works with on prayer walks) ask us to help us with this fence. Rob will be leading this team.
The 3rd job is at the Upper Room Church. A church from Slidell has come and planted this church in a church/school. We are going to do some initial painting/prepping.
Please pray for us as we go out to the sites
Sunday, June 10, 2012
We have made it safely to Covington, LA (which is our home base for the week). It was a smooth, easy trip down. We arrived just in time for orientation and prayer.
There is one other group here with us for the week, from High Point, NC.
Rest of the night will involve time in prayer, settling in, time in devotion (just our group), and a much needed early bed time.
Rob preached this morning and will br flying to New Orleans in the morning- pray for his safe arrival.
In the morning, we will divide into our work teams, and head out to meet the homeowners. Pray for good meetings, and a good first day of work.
Thanks for your prayers! We appreciate every one of them!
The New Orleans Mission Team
Saturday, June 9, 2012
leaving to make the drive to New Orleans. We are partnering with the
disaster relief branch of EFCA.
I am very excited to see what God is going to do while we are there
-please pray for our team members, they range in age from 13 to 80.
Some of us have traveled together on mission trips before and for
others this will be there first trip of this nature. Pray that God can
bring us together, and that we may be able to grow together and hold
one annother accountabile.
- pray specifically for our summer youth intern, Lora Cordova. Going
on a mission trip for her will be a new experience, and I am praying
that it will open her heart to hear even more clearly what God is
speaking to her.
- pray for the youth guys coming on this trip, those that are good
friends, and those that are coming in barely knowing anyone.
-pray for the girls coming. It's a smaller group than the guys. but
may they form a bond, and feel as if they are making an impact with
the work they are doing.
- pray for our adults - Lew, Homer, Rob, Sophie, Scott, Lora, Russell.
Help us to stay rested and to have a great time as we get to serve,
play, and do God's work.
-pray for our interactions with the people of NEW ORLEANS. Some of
the people we have the privilege of meeting have been struggling since
the storm. What a humbling privilege that God allows us to be the ones
to serve them in their time of need.
Pray that we may be willing servants, that we may preach Christ
crucified, but that we also learn and walk away with full hearts.
Thanks you for your prayers!