When we last left our team, we were getting ready to wrap up. We had finished the roof and were working on finishing the bedroom in the basement.
So in the basement, we got the drywall up and the first coat of mud. We wrapped helped clean up a little outside and inside.
An old friend brought over some pizza for lunch.
And it reminds me about the importance of community. There is an African philosophy (although "philosophy" isn't really the right word and I don't know what is the right word.) called ubuntu which, in a woefully incomplete nutshell, means "we are all in this together and as you are stronger, I am stronger. As you are weakened, I am weakened." It promotes value in humanity as opposed to value in individuality. Bishop Desmond Tutu said it like this:
One of the sayings in our country (South Africa) is Ubuntu – the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can't exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can't be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality – Ubuntu – you are known for your generosity.
We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole World. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity. (taken from Wikipedia)
As Christians, we can relate to this as being a part of The Body. We all have a part or role to play, and someone else does not have a lesser role because he or she is not the head or the hand. The person that brings pizza or picks up shingles or does laundry or hauls brush is just as important as the person who is laying shingles and nailing them to the roof. We all need each other.
So when Troll told me he was coming on this trip, I was pretty excited for a number of reasons, one of which being that Troll has a gift of relating to a lot of different kinds of people, but especially people who would otherwise be marginalized and disregarded. Our homeowners son being one of those people. You can look at Ian (home owners son) and Troll standing together and pretty much get it. (see the pictures- link below). And I KNEW Troll would be a good influence on this family. Troll was definitely called by God to this trip.
And when Roma told me that Ray was going to come, I was really excited because Ray knows how to do just about anything construction-wise. Before Ray joined the team, we were not going to try to tackle the roof, but leave it for a bigger team. When he "got on the bus," we decided we could do the roof. Ray's enthusiasm and positive attitude really helped carry the work this week.
And when I met Annette and Larry, and heard their hearts and saw their love, I KNEW they were in the right place. Annette did such a fantastic job helping manage the cleaning up, that nobody really knew she was managing it. Her sense of humor, compassion, and love for God and for others were in EXACTLY the right place. And Larry did a great job managing the second job in this project. He had the right skill set and mentality to put up the walls and get them sheet rocked in the basement.
Roma and Justin and I played our parts exactly like we were supposed to as well. Justin's knowledge of roofing and roof projects AND his ability to "stick to the roof" made the project possible. Justin could get around on the roof when some of the rest of us thought it was too steep.
And there were people that didn't come from out of town that came by and helped out. Don and Dort offered their home for us to stay in and made us breakfast every morning (if you're ever in Marquette at breakfast time, ask Don to make you a smoothie!). They came to the worksite and helped out each day. They went and borrowed tools and equipment from friends. They ran to Menards for us. They were "here I am. send me" people. Don and Dort exemplify Jesus.
Their daughter, Heidi was also on site every day. Heidi is actually the person that has spearheaded this project. She is the one that introduced us to Jill and Ian and was our liaison. She coordinated some meals and got a few meals donated. She pushed and continues to push for more serving for this family. "Good enough" is not good enough for Heidi. I believe her vision is a complete home make over and I wouldn't be too surprised to see her getting donations above and beyond what we can do, just to bless this family. Not because they "deserve" it or have earned it, but because we are all people.
Brian A. is also in Marquette and is a contractor and helped define the projects and did a lot of the initial evaluation. He also got some materials donated.
Bob M. let us use his scaffolding and ladders.
Bob and Lolly M. fed us dinner and supplied another couple meals.
The list goes on. And on.
And it's not over. There is still much to do. Next on the list is a bathroom renovation and a kitchen renovation. There are no cabinets or counter tops in the kitchen. The chimney needs to be tuck pointed. The bedroom in the basement needs to be finished. And there is more stuff to go through and help sort.
Are you called to come be a part of this story? We are trying to pick some dates now to go back. Justin is talking about bringing another team towards the end of the summer. And maybe another team around the beginning of August. Let me know if you're in. There are several ways to participate. First- Your support- pray for us. Pray for the home owner, Jill and her son, Ian. "Like us" on Facebook. Tell your friends to "Like" us on Facebook. Look at the pictures. Tell your church or group about this. Second- Your time- Join us in Marquette. Third- donations: money or materials or meals. To join this story, you can email Rod by clicking HERE
Thank you everyone who is and was praying and supporting and reading these emails. You already are a part of the story.
See you soon.