2013 Day 5 Summary

Weatherization at Samantha's Home

This really has come full circle.

On the way to our last work site for the week in Gautier, we passed near the very first home we built in Mississippi. We had a few moments, so we drove by.

It was nice to see it be part of a neighborhood, lived-in an standing strong, despite our learning curve at the beginning. It was poignant to be in a car with three people that have been here every year since we began these trips.

Miss Samantha's Home
We arrived at the home to see the crayfish mounds in the front yard. We had heard about this a few days ago, and most of us didn't believe it, so yes, we googled it. It's very bizarre to think that crayfish are in your front yard.

We unloaded the trailer and began our work.
-sealing ventilation leaks in the attic (hot, hard work)
-wrapping the hot water heater
-sealing/caulking other ventilation leaks in the home
-replacing light fixtures with more efficient ones (including Jeff and crew putting in another ceiling fan)
-installing low flow shower heads

yes, we accidentally put a hole through the drywall from the attic. But we have to say, it made the attic cooler to work in. Don't worry, we patched it.

Actually, the attic would get noticeably hotter as we kept filling the cracks and leaks we would find, a testament to the amount of energy that was being lost.

We also took out some tack strips that were on the bare floor because one of the kids had hurt themselves on it.

We finished the day with sonic slushies and praying for the family. Many people, including the family were brought to tears.

Saying goodbye to Quakes

We stopped by Quakes, the ice cream shack, for presumably our last visit. Marie remembered us and we got a nice snack, on the way home where Brad was preparing an Indian (Tika masala, curry ) meal for us.

The realization that we were saying goodbye to much of the Southern Hospitality was settling in.

Brad's Indian meal was delicious and the company was great. We got to hang out with Brad and his friend, and they joined us for a bit of our worship time, and our time of reflections about the trip. Our new friend Melissa chimed in and expressed heartfelt thanks to us as someone that experienced Katrina firsthand. Craig restated that this week was a Gift from God. Part of the gift was that we got to work with resident families. So often we would build homes in hopes of future homeowners we might never meet. To work, talk and pray with the people that were living there was a significant blessing to us.

As usual, we had a team debrief. It's a time to be candid about events during the trip, including any potential misunderstandings, hurt feelings, etc. As much as we are very much a "family" as Millie had called us earlier in the week, we can still have similar dysfunctions of a family on a road trip for a week. The idea is for us to air any problems or misconceptions so they can be addressed before we go our separate ways when we return home. It's really a great time of growth and appreciation.

The wind-down
We're done. Tommy's given away his signature hard hat.

We have no job site tomorrow, but just our last church service in Mississippi. Is this the end of these trips? Maybe, we're not sure, but we'll revisit it later.

It's very bittersweet.
We have grown to really love a community that we never knew before, and over the last seven years, it had grown from a place we wanted to help rebuild because our hearts broke for their loss in Katrina, to a part of the US that our hearts will always remain.

These are good people out here, and we're proud to serve them. But just as God had told one of our team members, this trip was a "gift to the team from God.' We weren't sure what that meant before we started, but a week after starting a new build, then spending some very hard working days with well deserving and hospitable families, we know that the past seven years have been a gift to us.

We've grown individually in courage and faith.
We've grown to love this region
We've grown to love watching God care for people, whether it's via our hands in rebuilding, or seeing how He's watched over our safety and hearts for so many visits. We just want to see Him doing cool stuff, it's just nice that taken out of our element (home), it's been easier to see what that is.

Well, it's late, and I'm sorry to say that the guys had to pack and get to bed early for our church and travel day tomorrow, so we don't have too many photos, but we'll add some more on this page as soon as possible.

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