NOLA9- the whole trip!

Using a new mail sender, I didn’t add the email to come to this blog.  But here’s the emails I sent out, –  top to bottom from the Commissioning to towards the end of the week.

NOLA9-  Leaving tomorrow!

Our final number for this trip is 19.  
We meet tonight at 6:00pm to load the trailer and we have our commissioning service at 7:00pm.  We leave in the morning.  
Prayer requests would be for safe travel, and for our home-owners.  We know we will be PROBABLY starting with three projects, one is installing cabinets, one is installing exterior vinyl siding, and the other is finishing drywall.  There is a possibility we will be on a roof sometime during the week.  We’ll keep you updated.
Keep us in your prayers!  We’ll be sending pictures and updates.  “Like us” on Facebook.  Follow us on Twitter.
Thank you for your support.  It’s good to know you are alongside us.
Rod (and the team)

Getting from MN to LA-  

Just the important parts….

We got on the road on Saturday morning just a couple minutes later than we were intending.  But a good day for travel.  We got to Albert Lea and picked up Louie and Kim.

Now, Rod Sc. was driving a gas guzzling Chevy van (in 17 trips, this is the first time they gave us a Chevy instead of a Ford-  where’s the windshield wiper??? and other “hey this is different” moments))  and got gas.  Now, I guess you have to know that for this trip, we tried a little something different and used pre-paid gift cards from TCF Bank.  4 of them with $500 each for gas, food, and emergencies.  Rod Sc. and Rod St. both pumped gas and swiped those cards at the pump and little did we know, that that gas station would tie up the complete $500 in pre-authorization for 72 hours.  We found that out when we went to swipe the cards again a couple hours later and they were declined.  A phone call later and we realized what the problem was, but not before the other two cards got swiped at the next pumps, (which rendered them inoperable for 72 hours.)  We had a couple debit/credit cards to get us the rest of the way, and we learned to go in and prepay or ask to pay afterwards with one swipe.  (and for anyone worried that we might be short on funds, if God is calling you donate, – fine.  Be obedient, but that’s not a problem for us right now.)  So we have been using our debit/credit cards and trying to stay low-key enough to not trip fraud control since we didn’t call ahead to tell them we would be traveling.

We got to Cape Girardeau around 7:00pm.  La Croix United Methodist Church has a fantastic hospitality ministry.  It’s not anyone that will let a group of strangers come and stay in your church.

Got up early-  The church we stayed at fed us breakfast.  Very cool.  On the road by8:00am.  Some rain.

Just before Memphis, we saw two ladies standing with their flat-tire car on the side of the freeway.  We went up the the next exit and followed the frontage road back to them to see if we could help.  I wonder what the ladies thought when four vehicles pulled up to help them.  (They had help on the way.)

Arrived in Slidell after a good travel day.  I’m sure I say this every time, but this is a GOOD team.  I’m happy to be here with them.

We are praying for Luke and Amanda Stombaugh and their family.  Luke and the two kids were in a pretty bad accident.  You can see the news article here:   Stombaugh They have a Caring Bridge site and a Go Fund Me site.

We are also praying for Kim and Martin Eddy and their family.  Another car crash.    Older kids.  Lots of bills.

For us, we would ask for prayers for our home owners.  And opportunities to share the love and support God gives to us.

Like us on Facebook.  Follow us on Twitter (although really, I don’t often remember to post to Twitter.)  Click on this link for pictures (although the same pictures are on Facebook.) 

The First Two Work Days

It’s been a couple days…  I used to be able to stay up until inhuman hours uploading pictures and writing the emails.  The past couple nights, though, it gets to be later and I just couldn’t stay up.  I’m getting older.

We are working on three projects.  Howard’s team is putting on vinyl siding.  He’s working with Rod Sc. (me), Lewis, Debbie, Elbert, and Carolyn.  We have met the homeowners.  They were in the house during Hurricane Isaac and a tree fell on the back part of the house.  They take care of their two grandchildren.  This house is a pretty long way away from being ready for them to move in, but they have been appreciative and very hopeful to be back in their home by July.

Bob’s team is working in New Orleans at a Katrina house.  The house was damaged in Katrina, and the family living there (a Grandmother with seven grandkids living with her) has a sad and scary story of escaping Katrina and having to go from place to place and finally just going back to the house where it was safer, even though it was damaged pretty severely in the Hurricane.  They have been installing cabinets and countertops.  This is the last thing that has to be done before they can move back in.  (They are currently all living on the 2nd floor-  this will open up the1st floor.) Bob has been working with Rod St., Vince, Corrine, and Leanne.

Louie’s team is working in a home that is occupied by a Vet and his wife.   It sounds like they are both pretty sick.  He has cancer.  The house has a lot of damage from Hurricane Isaac.  They have ripped out some walls and ceilings.  Found more mold than they were originally told.  They are putting in drywall and will be doing texture and paint and other things.  Louie is working with Krissy, Ginger, Dhoods, Linda M. and Ron.

Cindy and Kim are our kitchen crew.  They have been making sure we have been well fed.
There are more pictures on our Facebook page, OR-  if you’re not on Facebook, you can click HERE and see pictures on our Picasa website.

Please pray for the health of our team.  Louie and Lewis and Elbert are a little under the weather.  (Louie more than others).

Last night we went into New Orleans and bummed around the French Quarter (read:  ate beignets and drank French coffee while listening to a bagpiper and watching all the people.)

Stay tuned.  More excitement to come.  In the next installment, remind me to tell you about the young “homeless” man we met.  Anyone that was on Biloxi 2 will remember a young lady named Angie that we missed an opportunity to serve.  We didn’t miss this one.  More tomorrow.

The Middle of the week

It’s getting tired time…
It’s funny because at the beginning of the week, everyone is gung ho and gets up early and arrives at breakfast early and is chomping at the bit.  On Thursday morning, we have to wake people and do a little coercing to get people out of bed in time for breakfast.  Happens every time.

Today I want to tell you about Josh.

The other night, Dhoods came to me and said there was someone outside he wanted me to talk to.  I went out and met a young man who said he was 23 and was in an unhealthy situation at home and needed a place to stay.  We talked to him for a while and decided to put him up in a hotel overnight.  I was doing this on my credit card and a little nervous about what he was going to do.  We took him to one hotel who was “full” and wouldn’t take him.  We found one that would and got him set up for the night.  Linda, Dhoods, and Krissy was with me while we took him.  We talked to him some and he told us that he had struggled with marijuana in the past and it had caused problem, but he was off that now.   I asked him how he got off it and he said, “Jesus.”  Now, anyone with a brain knows that is the desired response and I was skeptical.  –  So when we dropped him off and got him set up, we gave him the number to the Epworth Center (where we stay) and told him to call back in the morning and talk to someone there and they would start him on the path of getting him some help.

I didn’t think he would do it.  I thought I had seen the last of him.  But the next day, he came back to Epworth and they started the process of getting him into a homeless shelter and some job skills programming.  It has been frustrating because that center hasn’t been super-keen on taking him in.  He has spent three nights in a hotel now.  (nice, right?)  and still trying to get him the help he needs.

In the meantime, we met his mother who says he isn’t homeless, that he can come home anytime he wants.  And she actually filed a missing person’s report on him.

We will keep you updated as we can.  Pray for him and his mom and let’s see what God will do.

In other news, we are winding down the work projects.  Today (Thursday) is the last full day of work.  Bob is almost done.  Probably will finish by noon, he thinks, and then will join another team.  Louie has enough work to keep his team busy the rest of the week, and I think Howard’s team will be lucky to finish, but it’s not out of the question.

We have had some great conversations and good connecting on this trip.  Devotions have been great and everyone is getting along very well.

There is still a little bit of sickness, but I think today is better for everyone that was feeling it yesterday.  

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