Be The Tool- Back in Marquette

Well, it has happened again.  We find ourselves in Marquette for another round of work on Jill and Ian's house.  This is supposed to be the last one.  Let's see if this team can wrap it up.  

And actually, Ray and Roma (from Marquette1) and their spouses came up to the U.P. on Friday night, had a vacation day on Saturday, and worked today (Sunday) on Jill and Ian's house.  Ray and Company installed a few more electrical outlets and hooked up the light switch to the dining room light that we took apart last time we were in town.  (long story full of drama not worth repeating).  
The team this week is mostly from Apple River Community Church in Amery, Wisconsin led by Pastor Justin Hosking.  There is a long list of things we are going to accomplish this week.  
There are also some veteran Minnesotan team people here in Marquette.  Howard, Ron, Ginger, Erin and I are here.  Justin's team has Justin, Larry, Annette, Marie, Bev, John L., John S., Hanna and Hannanai.  
Most people are staying at an RV park right next door.  (they are missing out on the Don and Dort Hospitality express!)  
Did I tell you we are staying at Don and Dort's again?  With 14, this will be the the largest Marquette team yet.  Mealtimes will be interesting.  
I'll keep you updated.  
Please keep us in your prayers.  There is a LOT to finish.  We want to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and get done the things that are important.   Pray for productivity, unity, and safety.  
The new team hasn't done anything but arrive in town, so there aren't any real pictures to show.  
But here we go!  
Thanks for coming along for the ride.  
R

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)

Marquette2- the last work day

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.  
Until soon-
R

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)

Marquette2- Almost done!

What's this?  Only the 2nd email about this trip and we're almost done?  Well, I haven't been very good about writing updates.   

Work wise, we haven't gotten as much done as I hoped.  And this makes me nervous about the next/last team and getting everything done we are trying to do.  But let's take inventory….  
In the kitchen-  we took off the old ceiling and replaced it with new drywall.  First coat of mud and tape.  I was hoping to get it painted and the trip put back on, but that will have to wait until the next team.  We also took off the first layer of floor (which is an older linoleum)  – but with hardwood under that.  The adhesives stick to the hardwood.  We laid 1/4" luan on top of it and will put new linoleum on top of that.  If someday, someone wants to get back to the hardwood, they can, but it will take a lot of work…  We have also knocked out the wall between the kitchen and the living room.  The next team will knock out one short wall and put cabinets where the wall used to be.  Opening it up really did wonders for the house.  There are electrical issues that have to be addressed by the next team.  (Anyone want to come out the last week of August that is an electrician?-  Ray Baker?)  
The next team is going to put in cabinets and countertops.  And finish the floor.  
In the basement, we got done with Ian's room.  walls, paint, door, trim, carpet, baseboard, and we built him a bed platform.  
We did a lot of laundry today.  Lots.  
Which brings up my struggle for the week.  During the time I was doing the laundry at the laundry mat, I kept thinking of how we will NOT do laundry again.  And in fact, there should be a system in place where there is accountability, and systems of rewards and consequences and change so that this doesn't happen again.  And then I remembered that we say that we don't have any expectations or strings attached to what we do.  We just do it because it is the right thing to do and because it serves someone that Jesus loves.  That's it.  So I had to be deliberate of making sure I had no requirements about laundry (or any other response.)  
We have spent some time playing in Marquette also.  We went to Presque Isle Park where Troll and Erin and I jumped off the black rocks into Lake Superior.  It is a beautiful park and we were there at sunset more than once.  
We have one more day to work and get everything done we were shooting for.  
As always- thank you for your prayers and support.  We are grateful!  Feel free to "Like" us on Facebook.  (We're on Twitter and Instagram, but I never remember to post there- if anyone wants to come on the next trip to be the media person- talk to me-  I have an AWESOME idea!)  click here for our Facebook page
Here is the link to the pictures (which was fixed-  thank you to Ly Lor for pointing out it didn't work the first time I posted it!)  click here to see the pictures
Peace!
Rod

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)