Showing posts from 2014

2014 Presentation and Video

As one of the last official acts for our trip to Oklahoma City, our team made a presentation to our supporters to let them know what we had learned and experienced while away.

The entire event coordinated by Millie, we enjoyed a lunch of pulled pork sandwiches from our supporters.

Chris MC'd as Lorin, Pam and Peter shared, with a guest appearance from Paul via video.

And of course, Gary's annual slide show

Thanks to Corbin for videoing the event.

Oklahoma Final Presentation from SGV Habitat on Vimeo.

2014 Slide show

We just had our presentation, one of the last parts of our trip to Oklahoma City. A video of the full presentation with testimonies and commentary will be coming soon, but in the meantime, enjoy the slideshow!

Gary's slideshows have been a welcome way to summarize our trip, as well as wrap up our presentation. It's amazing how he captures the spirit and milestones of our trip, those we meet, and those who send us.

This year didn't disappoint.

Thanks for your work Gary, and to think that you did this right after returning from a long trip. Thanks again!

Moore, OK one year later

Today show covers Moore, OK one year later It's been a year A year ago today, a tornado touched down in Moore, OK.

Lives were lost, many homes damaged and just a little bit more fear came upon a community.

Living in California, it was devastating and horrific to see an elementary school flattened and children separated from their frightened parents. But to live it, to live through it would be hard.

We worked on the very ground that houses had been destroyed. We stood right by a twisted tree that was the only thing remaining from a neighborhood. It affects your heart. It's no longer abstract, because you stood on the soil.

Oklahoma Strong Less than a month ago, we had the opportunity to experience "Oklahoma Strong" first hand. We shared and hammered side by side survivors or neighbors of the tornado. We worked in winds that didn't even cause the locals to blink.

The people of Oklahoma are indeed strong, and they're trying to pool their strength and resources t…

HFH and Crossings in the news on the 1 Year anniversary of tornado

The neighborhood we were working on the last day in Moore was featured in a local news report focusing on the rebuild.

Some familiar faces were seen from Crossings Community Church

The enthusiasm shown by those interviewed is reminiscent of Jim and Nannie's comment on making God look good.

\Habitat For Humanity Rebuilds Home Lost In Tornado

Paul's reflections (Video)

We loved Paul's participation on the mission.
Most importantly, we loved his heart and honesty in sharing

Paul's reflections on the trip from SGV Habitat on Vimeo.

Paul, the only newbie and his reflection on the week

Paul had been our site supervisor in Mississippi for years. 
Within moments of meeting him, we became fast friends. His care for us volunteers and partner families alike, his professionalism and his spiritual life spoke louder than any Habitat brochure. But friendship turned to family, and Paul chose to make his first missionary trip for Habitat to be with us for our week of service.
The only newbie on our "scout" team, he came with the most experience and unique point of view

This last week reminded me of the beauty of the unity the Spirit of Christ creates among those He holds. I am deeply thankful for the relationships we have built in His grace that continue to grow as we give ourselves to time together, united in the goal of being His hands and feet.
I certainly had moments of frustration and fatigue on the trip, but each time encountered encouragement from others who were resting in the joy of the Lord. It leads me to wonder that in those times I was able to rest, God wa…

Steve's "The Devo I didn't do"

Every morning, and most evenings, our team would do a "Devo," short for devotional, a short teaching or reflection, followed with prayer. It's a way to learn from each other and from the Bible.

Most all team members were assigned a slot, but sometimes, because of circumstances, we had to skip it.

Steve was the team's "medic," watching over us in injury or ailment. It was also his 8th trip with the team.

Because of a timing miscommunication, our team was late to the job site on Saturday, the last day of work, and the morning I was scheduled to deliver the devotional message. I wasn't sure if I would be addressing fifty or so more folks from Crossings Community, the local mega-church in OKC also scheduled to work the build, so some of the inside humor and sarcasm I would have omitted. But here it is in writing... A good rule of thumb when speaking to adults is that a message should best contain three (3) points. When addressing childr…

Last Day

We're Back!

One direct flight back to LAX and we're back!
We'll be reviewing the trip, and the team members will be posting some of their thoughts as they get settled back home, but for now, just wanted to do a quick recap of this last day
MorningMost all the team packed up and ready to go, about half of us went over to the Sanctuary side of Hilltop Baptist. It's the second of the two main buildings on the property. We've been staying on the Gym/Fellowship side.

After breakfast, it was worship, including taking communion with their congregation. For a few moments, Gary was helping greet people. Pastor Matt preached a message regarding commitment to church. This is especially poignant as they are in a regrowth swing in their church history. After being in a interim position as lead pastor, Matt's permanent position was being put to a vote later that day. 

Flight homeFlight home and the direct flight was a welcome change from the dash  in Dallas we had done when going…

Wildfire in Guthrie!

The afternoon we flew back to LAX, a wildfire near OKC broke out
The fire in Guthrie, OK, is only 30 miles away from Crossings church, the church we were serving with on our last day with Habitat.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to them

Coming home

UA 6535 arrive lax near 6p

OKC 2014 Day 6 - End of Job

Today was our last day on a work site.Tomorrow it's church, then to the airport.

Moore OKGoogle Maps Streetview in previous years
Started the day a bit behind schedule. We had the right address, but just the start time we had was 830a, but there was a group already on site by 8am.

We were told that we'd be working on a tornado work site with another organization with a team of 30. We had no idea what to expect, but some of us were not looking forward to it.

Two things we quickly found out
a) our job site was only a few blocks away from Towers elementary
b) we'd be working side by side Crossings Community Church

To be honest, there was some feeling that it'd probably be a crowded site, but we were greeted with warm smiles, a free lunch and some incredibly great fellowship. They even gave us some of their tshirts

We met a number of people. including Steve, who was filming video for the church, and will be hoping to produce a video detailing all the work they're doing for reb…

Sgvhabitat Okc 2014 day 5 quickie movie

Sgvhabitat Okc 2014 day 5 quickie movie:

Sad reminder

Today we  are working 3 blocks away from plaza towers elementary school where many of the elementary kids lost their lives during the tornado

OKC 2014 Day 5 Recap

Same site as yesterday, with Jose and Adrian
For today's slide show, click here

We opened with Kelly's devotional on being a sweet fragrance (2Cor 2:15) Jose joined us for the devotional, he really is quite sociable after you get to know him :)

Soon after it, it was a day of joist hangers, rat runs, subfascia and roof decking.

At the end of the day, it was likely the last day on this site, tomorrow, we are scheduled to work with another group at another location. A quick prayer, and we were on our way to meet with the Samaritan's Purse group
Samaritan's Purse Samaritan's purse (SP) is most often know for "Operation Christmas Child" as well as rapid response to natural disasters with their disaster relief projects. Members of our team have worked with them in New Jersey and several times in California.  Rebuilding communities is more after-disaster support where approved applicants will have their homes rebuilt by Samaritan's purse. The program in the U…

OKC 2014 Day 4 Recap

Jam packed with lots of building goodness!

And the Photo Show... click here to see the photos from the day
We had a new site but same leader and team, and more injuries.
Habitat is building over 200 homes in an area called Hope Crossing. Apparently the 59 acres of land were donated. 
When we drove into the neighborhood, we were taken aback at the quality of the homes and neighborhood. So much space and well maintained, lived-in homes.

We consider it as our Connor's Garden (North) (Connor's Garden was a HFH building development in Mississippi)

It was nice that so many homes had so many variations, and development of news were interspersed with existing homes.
Jose and TrussesJose was our lead again, and today was all about the trusses. 

We started in the morning with Paul giving us a devotional on how all our efforts have lasting impact, sometimes on those we don't know and will never be made aware.

The trusses are the structure and support for the roof. We've done this before, …
Lunch prayer
Millie and Craig with homeowner Nhi
Day 3 onsite but new site:

New site

8520 durland in Oklahoma City OK

OKC 2014 Day 3

Totally beat tired.

Roy is OK, on antibiotics and showing incredible patience, humility and strength as he finds work to do with one hand.

Met Jeff, a contractor who's been volunteering his time to Habitat for Humanity for a few weeks now. Really nice, humorous and spiritual man. Actually, he helped rebuild Grace Place Church and helped them get up and running.

Met a couple people today (including Jeff) that happened to be in Los Angeles, during the time of the LA Riots.

Grew to appreciate Jose (Site supervisor)'s significant speed in putting up the decking/roof.

Someone found out that Paul was a site supervisor in Mississippi, and he was soon put to work...

Going to let the video speak for itself.

Here's the photoshow!

Quickie Autoawesome Movie from Day 2

On our way to worksite for our second day of work.

Yours truly set his alarm on his computer tablet, unfortunately it was still on Pacific time, so it was 2 hours late to wake him up.

Teamwork-wise, Tommy made me my lunch for the day, so thanks for teamwork.

It's colder today than tomorrow. 46 degrees at this moment.

and a repeat of our recap from yesterday

Day 2 first day of work. Recap. Hello Yukon, OK

Okay, here's our work site for the foreseeable future

Google Maps

We don't really have a GPS-able address for our work site. It's in a new development

A lot of little happened today, enjoy the recap video:

Morning Pam delivered a wonderful devotional, that we have featured here..

Had briefing at the Habitat office. Learned a lot about what's going on locally. Approximately half of their load is meeting needs of tornado victims as well as supporting their ongoing typical low income housing. Usually volunteers request to work on tornado housing, they were happy that we made it clear we just wanted to work however was needed.

Homes are sold at low interest loans, at cost, even though the appraised value will be higher. Homeowners have to keep the house for 10 years before they can have it 100% released to them from Habitat. Some homes being sold at $80K, including property, but they will be appraised at a higher value. Currently have 16 active builds (that's a lot). We…

Day 2 - first work day on site. Quick Note

Busy day
Cold cold day
was a bit of a crazy day