Showing posts from April, 2013

2013 Day 1-Summary

Beautiful Day.
Great team
very tired

Arrival on the site
Went out to the site to see our friends Paul and Denise, and meet our other Americorps volunteer staff. The site is two houses away from our site of two years ago.

Kelly led us in a morning devotional, then Paul had us collectively decide our stretching routine, including Heang calling for Jumping Jacks. The Habitat staff had loaded toolbelts, but were good sports.

Today we put up a few walls, worked with Jack/King Studs for the window sills. OSB went up on one of the sides, and we got to learn a bit about Heang and tools. Watch the videos, that's all we're sayin'.

We'll let you see the photos and maybe that'll tell a story.

Visit School Ave Home with Miss Jackie
We stopped by School Ave, the site of the LEED certified home we worked on last year. We were just
concerned of invading her privacy. Once she saw us, she invited us in. We sent in a couple of guys with the women, and you can see the video on our other e…

2013 Day 1-First day on Job site (Videos)

Early Morning First day on the job site (published earlier)

Gary's Official day 1 Video

Millie knows how to use a palm nailer,
but was having fun with Jeff, who was using the sledgehammer

We took a visit of the house we worked on last year, on School Ave., Miss Jackie welcomed us into her home to visit.

2013 Day 1 just put up a Wall

Heang really wanted to do it before lunch

2013 day 1

Watch "2013 Day 1 morning" on YouTubeWe're across street from site of two years ago...

2013 Day 0 - Gary's notes

Very tiring first day as usual.  Not much sleep and the weather is warm (air is not too bad but the sun is very strong).

On the second leg of the trip from Dallas to Gulfport, I sat next to a couple from Gulfport.  As I got to know them more, I found that the wife Pamela (shown looking out the window) is dealing with GI cancer.  She went into ER with extreme pain and they found large tumors in liver, pancreas, gallbladder.  It is inoperable and they cannot do radiation either.  She is going to the Cancer Treatment Center in Dallas every 10 days for chemotherapy and they were on there way back after treatment.

I shared Donelle's story with them and how God had planned them to sit there in those seats.  I inquired whether they had a support system and they said their church was very helpful.  I shared the verse I had planned for the devotional tonight which was Genesis 18:14 ... "Is anything too hard for the Lord".  They were very encouraging to me even though I could see Pa…

2013 Day 0-Arrival, Orientation, Pier, Home Away From Home

Orientation As soon as we landed, we went to Habitat for Orientation and to see old friends. Teetra, an Americorps volunteer-turned Habitat staffer, gave an excellent orientation. 
HFHMGC (Our local Habitat affiliate) has received a federal grant to improve the energy efficiency of some local homes. Occupants must meet some requirements, including earning below 200% of the federal poverty level. It's all part of Habitat's "hand up, not a hand out" efforts to improve their clients' financial solvency by reducing their costs, as a proactive form of providing financial assistance. 
This week, we will be doing some framing, similar to our first few years, working on a new build, with our friends and site supervisors, Paul and Denise. It's a coveted stage of building, seeing the initial walls go up. Later in the week, we'll be working in some hot, humid attic spaces, working on the energy saving efforts mentioned above. 
Lunch with Brad Our dear friend and old…


Thanks so much to the crowd that came to send us off. Heang, one of our two newbies, mentioned that he was surprised how many people came out to see us off and pray for us. 7 years into these trips, it's humbling the amount of support we receive. Sometimes it's confusing who's actually going on the trip because there are so many previous team members intermingled with the team... and that's a good thing.

Pastor Victor led us in a time of prayer, we prayed for our team members, took some pictures, and released our friends and family.
We went inside and chatted among ourselves, and observed the surprising number of late night travelers. Our plane boarded at 130a without incident. 
The trip had begun

Gary had an encounter on the plane...

Click here for the Photo album of our Sendoff

Landed in Gulfport

After a bathroom stop, we prayed to return thanks for a safe arrival and the week ahead.Meet Brad downstairs....And took so much time that they took our luggage off the carousel... Note waiting for them to bring it over to the ticketing counter....

Waiting it out for our 130a flight

Waiting it out for our 130 flight chatting it up with each other and people we're meeting. Oh and if you have suggestions for things to do in Raleigh, NC post them... Someone we met would appreciate them.We're trying to guess who's the most introverted and extroverted of our group.... Let us know your ideas on that too....

Layover dfw

Craig does his devotional in the corridor, Steve demonstrates a step by the sink. Craig demonstrates a large touch screen.Craig's devotional talks about being busy and not having time for god. Reminds us to make time for Him, the reason for our trip.

weather forecast

77 degrees with elevated humidity, chance of rain. Sounds like a chance of elevated humility as wellThere was a chance we would be working on framing, but with the rain, who knows?And as much as  we're sure that Paul and Denise are used to the weather that is a little warm. :-)If you want to see off, we will be at American Airlines at 8 o'clock tonight LAX

Kuleana: A few days before departure, a note from Pam

Of this year's two married couples on the team, Art and Pam are both returning team members. (We look forward to the opportunity of Steve and Shirley serving together, hopefully side by side)

Here's a note that Pam wrote to some of her supporters, that we'd like to share with you..Dear Friends and Family,

It's been two weeks since Art and I returned from a wonderful, relaxing 10 days in Kauai and Oahu. I'm loving the islands more and more.  It is paradise on earth but true paradise will be at Jesus' side.

And here we are getting ready to leave for MS on Sunday to work with Habitat.

Listening to Hawaiian songs would bring tears to my eyes even though I have no clue what they're saying.   I just learned of a Hawaiian word, although not while we were on the islands. Kuleana.  Unlike English, the Hawaiian language can say many different things in one word.  Kuleana is path, posse, responsibility, privilege, concern, cause, reason...Kuleana may be those to whom or f…

2013 Kids Church

Evergreen's a multi-generational church. We've got newborns to their grandparents.

We like to include everyone in all aspects of our church. You'll see octogenarians volunteering a kids' events, teenagers helping young adults, and in this case, an exchange of blessings between our team and some of the young ones of our church.

Shirley, assisted by Heang, Jeff and Steve, taught a simple lesson to some of our kids, asking them to remember to pray for us.

In turn, the kids took the time to pray for us. It's always a powerful and humbling thing.

Thanks to (not in our photos) team member Chris for taking pics!

A week to go, Commissioning and a Prayer Update

Prayer Update: We've secured our housing, and the plan is we'll be staying at a familiar place.. Praise God! We continue to pray to prepare our workplaces, studies and families for our absence in the coming week. Recently there have been airport delays in excess of three hours, and in some cases, cancellations. We hope that won't affect our flight, especially because there is a layover. We depart on Sunday Evening, the 28th Church Commissioning It's always an honor to be representing our church and our God. Our church,, takes the time to publicly bless us during our Sunday service. It keeps us grounded in our goals, not just to build and rebuild housing to those in the Mississippi Gulf Coast, but to try and have a spiritual impact as well. Supportive friends and church members come forward and place their hands on us, praying for us during service.

2013 EvergreenSGV SGVHabitat Children's Message

Video of the Children's Message, presented by Millie and Steve
Concept was developed after a few of the members with families had to deal with the separation anxiety that some of the kids felt when the team member went away on mission...

Quickly painting while it was raining

Gary found this time lapse video from that rainy day last year... where we were able to work on a house of a friend of Paul's

2013 - A prayer request at our last meeting before we go.

Now everything starts happening. Fast

We had our last team meeting before we leave on the weekend of the 28th. This weekend, we found out that our planned housing has experienced some complications with our reservations, and we'd appreciate your prayers. At this time, our housing may have to be adjusted, but we'll know more in the weeks to come.

In the meantime, could you keep these dates in mind?

4/14, we will be presenting a Children's message during our church service. Steve and Millie did a dry run of it today, was informative and amusing.

4/21, we will be commissioned/prayed for by our church during the 11am service. If you're able, please attend, we'd appreciate your support. We'll also be doing a small lesson for some of the kids during their Church School hour

4/28, we leave, and will be flying out of LAX. We'll have more flight information, but currently we're planning to be at the airport at 8pm