Showing posts from 2015

Paratus 14 50

Paratus 14:50 is a feature-length documentary on the United States Coast Guard's response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The story will specifically focus on Coast Guard air rescues carried out by Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans and Coast Guard Aviation Training Center, Mobile across southern Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi in the first two weeks of the response. These men and women helped contribute to pulling more than 33.500 people from the impacted areas; the greatest single rescue in our nation's history.

It's on air over the next few days on PBS

Worth recording.
Very humbling

Difficult decisions for the rescuers often having to choose who would live or die.. who would be airlifted out and who would have to wait longer for potential help.

10 Years This Week

It's been 10 years since Katrina hit the Gulf Coast.

10 years ago, there were buildings that stood and people that lived in Mississippi and the Gulf Coast region, that are no longer there.

As a church, we wanted to reach out and help the area. Dennis Cho was the leader of that first team, and I thank him and the rest of the SGV leadership that chose Biloxi MS as the site for our efforts. Through the years, people would often refer to us as the "Katrina" team, and sometimes mistakenly, the New Orleans Team, for we served those first seven years in Biloxi MS.

Biloxi didn't seem to get as much press as New Orleans. But the damage there was much more sweeping and bore the brunt of the storm itself. The damage in New Orleans was often the result of failing man-made levees. We would see firsthand how the shallow waters of Biloxi's picturesque Gulf Coast would provide little shelter from a category 5 hurricane. Homes and enormous structures were moved blocks from their …

OKC 2015 - Our final presentation

This last Sunday, May 31st, we had our final presentation. It's a time where our team members gather with friends and family to reflect on our trip. It's a nice time to remember that the whole church and supporters sent us, as well as a time to remember of God's goodness during our time in OKC.

Craig opened us up, and reflected on the 7 years in Mississippi, and two in OKC. Gave an overview of our trip, including team members and places we worked.

Chris did a great job talking about the OKC affiliate and how he was moved by our chance encounter with CEO Ann Felton Gilliland . She represented the affiliate, Habitat and OKC very well.

Frank shared of his experience, from his preparation, the trip and his reflections upon return. It was quite well worded and comprehensive. Gave us food for thought.

Tommy introduced a combined video from Paul and Denise who gave their thoughts from Mississippi.

INTERVIEW WITH PAUL from SGV Habitat on Vimeo.


OKC 2015 - May 6 tornado

Only a couple of days after we returned safely from OKC, a tornado hit the area

The Norman Hotel, near the University was struck

This hotel is between where we were staying and where we were working
(less than 14 miles from the church where we stayed)

Thanks team member Jeff for alerting us, and we appreciate you joining us in prayers for the region.

As one of our supporters said, we're hopeful that any of the repairs we performed will help put some people at ease in the storm.

OKC 2015 Day 7 - We're back...

We had worship services at Hilltop Baptist where we had been staying at all week, so our home became our house of worship.

After service, we had the usual problem of finding a place to eat that could seat us all.. and quickly.. so we ended up at Chicken Express, and yes, some do think that looks like a rubber chicken..

Then it was off to the airport, and heartfelt goodbyes..

And then the return to LAX for us, while the Waters made it home safely to Mississippi..

Thanks for all your support, and we'll update you when we're ready for the Presentation. It's currently scheduled for Sunday, May 31 immediately after the 2nd service at church (that's about 1230p)

Here's today's Photo Album

A mini video...\

and then.. your daily Recap

OKC 2015 Day 6 - 26th Street

Our last day on a work site for this trip.

We arrived to work at 8am, and were quickly reminded that we'd get to work with two things that bring us happiness.

a) we get to work on Margie's home
b) we get to work with other volunteers/partner families

Devotional Lorin's gave the devotional with the team and our fellow volunteers. Psalm 23, her life was a bit busy, and wasn't feeling an overwhelming amount of joy before the trip, because of all her activities... but she held fast to the promise that God refreshes our souls..
 and she found more peace.

Margie's home The return to Margie's home allowed us to finish up some of that we began. It was nice to once again work under Eric and Chris. We got more materials to finish up the siding, and we, as well as our other volunteers, prepared the site for painting.

Scraping old paint, removing rotting siding, painting good pieces...As well as a special project for Tommy.. repairing considerable water damage in the batht…

OKC 2015 Day 5 - 720 NE 84 Street

Yes, we're only a few houses away from the one we were working on yesterday.

But here's some news:

Almost all, but two (not sure if it's these two) are already sold. The community is pretty lively, and neighbors were walking around, visiting with each other, and were both concerned and friendly with us, both good signs.

Devo This morning, Frank, our team medic, spoke about bad fruit and good fruit, and whatever is inside of someone will eventual reveal their true nature.. so best to be filled with God's Holy Spirit so that your efforts will be fruitful and a blessing to yourself and others.

JobsWell, it was really more of the same as yesterday. We had a pretty good crew! 
Newbies Matt, Virginia and vet Pam went up on the roof to work with Jose (Site supervisor) on putting a roof on the place.. nailing down the osb onto the once-wobbly trusses.

The rest of us were working on soffits, insulation, preparing the walls for drywall and siding.

Everyone on the team remarks on how we…

Quickie movie from Google Plus

OKC 2015 Day 4 - 728 NE 84 Street

It's Deja Vu all over again..

We returned to an area that we worked on last year. Just one block away.

It was a new build, as opposed to rehab work that we've done the two days prior. Different leaders, different set up. When we arrived, it was just the framed walls. No sheeting, no trusses.

However there were two familiar faces, Jose and Adrian. Adrian was sporting the new COHFH t-shirts that we immediately wanted to order...

Virginia led us in a morning devotional about hearing God's prompting. She cited how, when in the midst of loss, it's often difficult to respond when others would tell her of God's promises.Virginia felt
God told her the word "Redemptive" and although even when she didn't "feel" that way, that her faith helped her hold on to that as a promise.

Eventually, she saw that God was redeeming the loss of her husband, Dennis. For her to be able to come on this trip, the ministry that her Dennis, late husband, started when he …

Okc 2015 walk around 3

Okc 2015 walk around 3:

Okc 2015 day 4 Walk through 2

Pam and gary

Back where we worked last year with Jose
Okc 2015 day 4 Pam Gary blue board:

Okc 2015 day 4 walk around 1

Okc 2015 day 4 walk around 1:


Gas is cheap!

2015 Day 3 - 26th Street

Morning Devo by MattMatt spoke about taking anything that might irritate us and pray about it.. God has given us the Holy Spirit to soften our hearts towards... and do you want to choose the change of heart that God has offered us. Because you have to choose it, in big and small things.

26th Street home
Rehab site, under the same Critical Home Repair program at COHFH. It was located 5 minutes away from Leo's, where we ate the night before.... A good sign...

We learned more about the CHR program, where the partner families have to put in sweat equity, just like any other HFH program. In this case it was from 40-60 hours, 20 of which have to be on another homeowner's home. We also learned about the budget... "Critical Home Repair projects typically cost just $3,000 to $5,000." The home we were working on yesterday, as well as today... Even with the free labor (us), would have to work pretty hard to stay under the budget allocated.

The home had a lot of water, rot and sto…
Okc 2015 day 3 walk around 3

Okc 2015 day 3 house walk around 2:

Okc 2015 day 3 morning walkaround


2015 Day 2 - Grand St

The day started out drizzly, but not as cold as yesterday. Pam's DevoPam shared about a new type of Bucket List, one where you don't focus on things you want to do before you die... which are typically achievements or experiences, but this "new" version is more about finding and listing ways to bless people. It's a much more God-centered and fulfilling (and self-centered) list.
Rehab work on Grand Blvd Today would be our first work with COHFH for this year.
Today's work was at the block 600 SW Grand Blvd OKC, OK 73109 through Habitat's Critical Home Repair program
Our site lead was Chris, working under Eric and another volunteer, Jeff. Today's task was several tasks: "The Great Door" : Tommy, Jeff, Art - reinforcing the threshold and replacing the main/great door
 Replacing outdoor siding: Lorin, Virginia, Matt, Shirley, Denise, Pam, Jeff and Gary - a tiring, dirty job of removing composite siding, revealing asphalt siding, then replacing it with n…

Okc 2015 day 2

Rehab work on 2 bedroom home OKC 2015 Day 2 walkthrough: 600 sw grand blvd, OKC, OK 73109

2015 Day 1-Triple R Ranch

Morning Devo and off to Triple R
The morning started with a hot breakfast of biscuits with two types of gravy (country and another with sausage), cinnamon rolls, oatmeal and some fresh and homemade dried fruit.

Chris did a devotional on hearing and responding to God's voice... and to have faith in the big picture...

A fifteen minute ride to Triple R ranch and it was deja vu all over again. A year ago, it was cold and rainy, but this time, we were able to work with Skip and the ranch.

We split up as three teams for three tasks:

Frank, Craig, Shirley, Virginia, Lorin and Chris worked on prepping a greenhouse. Moving pottery, soil and cinder blocks. They made work benches out of some metal shelving and cinder blocks, finding it crucial to remove mortar from the reclaimed cinder blocks, hence the chipping away.

Tommy, Kelly, Art and Peter cleaned up and painted a storage shed.

Gary, Paul, Denise, Jeff, Matthew, Pam worked on the "Eco House," which when we visited last year was just…