Written by Mary Alice Ferguson
On the first day of work our, group split into 2 teams. One of those teams worked on a porch at home of a grandmother, Connie, and her five grandchildren.
The original porch was demolished. New posts were placed and the framing took shape. New planks were installed. Nancy, Sue, and Marilyn checked that each post was plumb and level before securing it into place. Ron, Marilyn, and Jim tackled many heavy loads together. Lucy mastered the use of the table saw. Audrey and Liza were a joy as they worked with everyone. I found my niche as the remover of scrap and trash. Our supervisor, Tim, explained and trained all of us on the proper use of the electrical equipment. Sue securely screwed each board in place. This site was alive with activity. The music of a family cockatoo blended with the chatter of the children and family dogs.
The children were wonderful, despite very poor living conditions. Buddy/Roy wanted to help with everything. When he was behaving he was called Buddy, but when naughty he was addressed as Roy. Emily, Courtney, and Corey were beautiful young girls that helped their grandmother. Audrey and Liza became mentors and friends to the children. They created a "school spot" in the shade of a tree where reading, numbers, conversation, and talks of Jesus became an important part of our mission. The family dogs were held and petted. Soon the children brought fingernail polish outside and several of us got our nails painted.
On the porch, the finished steps and handrails stood sturdy and strong. Goodbye and tears were exchanged as we left a completed project. Prayers for each child filled our hearts. The children built a wooden cross with a single red flower for us to take back to FHPC.
Written by Bradley Long
When I first heard we were doing a roof again this year I have to admit that I was a little worried. Last year we had done a roof that took the whole week and was quite challenging (I had to throw away a tar-covered pair of jeans when I got home!)
Thankfully this year's roof, for a lovely lady named Nadine, was much easier! We worked to install a bright red metal roof over the shingles, many of which had become worn. Despite some occasional banter and disagreement about how to proceed (there were 2 pastors in this group - myself and Bob Button!), we were able to finish the project in two days.
Nadine was very thankful and also very gracious. On the first day, she brought out an almost empty bag of Milky Ways to offer to us only to exclaim, "My goodness! I didn't realize there were so many of you!" Nadine shared with us about her work as treasurer at the church she attends. She also is a collector of dolls and insisted that any of us who had young girls in our families take a doll home with us.
This project was a true blessing to those of us who worked on it, especially because we could see Jesus in our new friend Nadine.
Written by Bradley Long and Marcy Heffinger
Goldie is a lady who lives by herself in a small trailer that is just off a busy road that sees non-stop trucks hauling coal on it every day. Her back deck was in severe disrepair and we were able to replace it over the span of 2 days. First, we dismantled the old deck and then set about building the new one under the direction of our site supervisors Art and Tyler.
What was so special about this deck was the way the youth took the lead in the work we were doing and saw the project through to the end. Their confidence shown through, using the skills they had learned all week, so much so that no one gave a second thought to Emilee using a miter saw or any of the boys measuring and leveling the railing. Jim continued his roof routine by sealing Goldie's roof from a ladder.
Both of us (Bradley and Marcy) feel so blessed to have seen God changing lives, especially the lives of our young people, through the service we did.
Written by Sue Lyford
This mission trip was a great experience for me as I have never been on one of this nature before.
My second project with my team was to help fix a deck/porch that was already built but needed some extra support and stability. This deck was for a woman by the name of Silvia who had the most beautiful view of the mountains from every side of her property. Although her trailer looked as if it had been around for quite a while you could tell that she cared about it. Her yard was well kept with flowers growing in pots around her home. Silvia was a very sweet woman, soft spoken, and quiet. She came out to talk to us when we were finished with the project. She praised us for the work we had done and looked very pleased with the way it turned out. She gave Audrey, Liza and I a hug before leaving her to enjoy her new improved porch. I cannot remember her exact words but she did express what a blessing our coming had been to her.
Although it had been our last day of work and we were all feeling a little weary and wanting to be through for the day we were blessed to have extra hands come to help us finish the project that day! It felt really good to be able to go on this mission trip and be a part of a great group of people helping others no matter what shape or form our help took. In the end we all received a little extra support and stability so to speak (emotionally, spiritually, and physically) by interacting with new people as well as those we already knew!