What a day!
And I want to start by telling about a couple guys that stopped by to help out. They were from a religious organization that will remain anonymous. I'm going to call them Joe and Jim, but those aren't their names. (I don't even know their names). They told us the day before that they would stop by and help out for awhile. And they did. They got there shortly after we did and I put them to work. They helped carry things around, putting stuff into Ian's room or helping carry up bookshelf kits that had to be put together. (they were in the basement and heavy!) And then after an hour, they left. I am grateful for their help, as were Jill and Ian. And I trust that they were doing what they have been trained by their organization to do. But I want to do thing differently than that. Our plan for yesterday was to wrap everything up by about noonish and go explore Marquette. But at 11:00 or so, it was evident that we weren't really done and needed to rearrange our plans. It was not hard to do.
Deb finished sanding the ceiling in the kitchen. It is ready to paint.
Erin and Heidi took care of almost everything that had been stored in the dining room and living room and made it look like a dining room and living room.
Rod St. and Troll put together some of those bookcases you get at Menards and Erin and Heidi used them in their cleaning up the living room.
Then Rod and Troll switched out the guts to a toilet that wasn't working.
Jon installed a handrail going to the basement. (or coming up from the basement- depending on your perspective.)
Ginger helped Jill continue to sort out boxes and boxes and boxes of papers and memorabilia she had been saving.
Ron tightened up shelving in the basement so it would be sturdy enough to handle all the things we were storing on it.
Matt helped Ian bring things from upstairs down to his room and helped organize his room. Matt also helped with everybody's "Hey Matt, can you help me here for a minute?" calls.
The end product is amazing. You would think I would have pictures, but I think I left my camera at Jill and Ian's house, so I 'll have to post pictures tomorrow.
Today we are going to stop back there one more time to check the toilet and make sure it isn't leaking. (and grab my camera).
I started this email talking about Joe and Jim, the two volunteers that showed up to help out for an hour. How cool is that? That two guys stopped by to show support for this family and helped get them another step closer to being able to get their house under control. Some people are called to stay for an hour. Some people are called to stay for a week. It would be easy to end this with "What are YOU called to?" But the question bears more importance than a flippant (and maybe arrogant) challenge. At first, I was not grateful for the hour these two guys offered. I thought it was just a shallow demonstration of service so that they could have more opportunities to share their message (which is different than ours) and that they didn't really want to do the hard stuff of getting messy with this family. I got all fluffed up by OUR willingness to stay a few more hours to get everything done. OUR willingness to spend a week. But the hour they gave us (really gave to Jill and Ian) was great! Who knows what they had to do to their plans in order to make that hour work? Regardless of their motivation, they felt called to share. And so they did.
So what is God calling YOU to? (Now I can ask that.) Which neighbor could use a plate of cookies? Or a hand mowing the lawn? Or an invitation to the movies? Or a ride to the store? Or help with their project? Or to sit with them while they hurt? Or (fill in the blank here.)? Or maybe you've been wondering about the food shelf or Habitat or Feed My Starving Children or Second Harvest or your church committee that has been trying to find someone for months. To be clear also, though, one of the wisest things my Aunt said to me once was that "every need is not YOUR need." You don't have to save the world, or fix all the problems. But if you press in and pay attention to what God is nudging you toward, maybe take that step and see what happens.
We will be home later today (Saturday) and I'll post more pictures as soon as I can.
We have another team coming out here the last week of August to install cabinets and redo the bathroom. – and do some painting and other assorted stuff. We would sure appreciate your prayers.
Are you a tool?
Christ has no body on earth but yours,
no hands but yours,
not feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which Christ's compassion for the world is to look out;
your are the feet with which He is to go about doing good;
and yours are the hands with which He is to bless us now.
(St. Teresa of Avila)