Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Last day of work before a short break...

Putting in the blocking/bridging

Tuesday morning Thane and I went by the NOAH warehouse to pick up additional lumber for Mrs. Holloway's home on Pauger St. At that stop I talked with the tile setter working this week at Mrs. Phillip's house on Law St. He is going to finish the bath room tile in the hall bath and may be able to install the 1/4" concrete backerboard for the laundry room. The electrical team has been there all weekend and they have found one problem after another with the work a local electrician has done at this house. Mrs. Phillip has called this man several times, but he has not stopped by, the volunteer electricians think they know why...he has and is taking advantage of Mrs. Phillip and has basically stolen from her.

We arrived at N. Galvez and found the crew from Boston ready to get to work. 38 HS students and their adult leaders were eager to turn lumber into a house and Cory and I along with a carpenter with them sent the teams to finishing the floor system and decking. About 9:30am a crew of 12 from YouthRebuildNOLA stopped by for a day of work. These young men are going through a program from The Hope Center. Cory Roberts is the head of all construction education and has been teaching them framing for the last week. With more than fifty of us working the floor joists and 3/4" sheathing were being nailed down quickly. As lunch was approaching we realized we would be 3shts short on the decking materials.
A group of young men from Youth Rebuild NOLA.

Thane and I were leaving at lunch to finish the door installation for Larry and Yolanda Searls, but as we prepared to leave Cory asked if I would stay the afternoon and help him lead this large crowd. We came to a deal, I would stay, but he would have to help me install the doors after our day framing. We decided that by working together we could finish the floor system and finish the doors for the Searls, even if we had to work late.

A quick trip to Home Depot and food for Cory and Thane prepared us for an afternoon of hard work and progress.
One of 38 students from Boston that came to work and did!

If you have never taught a large group of eager students to build homes you do not know what you are missing. With Cory, myself and Andrew the builder from Boston we divided the projects up into three large teams and lumber, nails and the sounds of hammers bamming literally filled the the air beside Jackson Barracks.

At 3:30pm we had the floor deck complete and had laid out the exterior walls. By Wednesday afternoon those students from Boston should see the four framed walls of a house standing. By Friday, the structure should be ready for the roof framing crew to build the large gable roof system.

38 HS students will return to Boston having worked hard, experienced much and seen for themselves that NOLA is in desperate need of more folks like themselves and billions of $$$ to rebuild the homes of the people of this unique and blessed city.

Tuesday morning as we were working my phone rang and it was my friend Milton Brasher-Cunningham. He called to tell me how proud he was of the work I am doing and to tell me personally how he, his wife Ginger and their church are praying for me and the work I am attempting to complete here in NOLA. While listening it struck me...Milton was 920 miles away praying for me, Pilgrim UCC and their pastor Ginger are praying for me. I was standing on a jobsite rebuilding a home for a couple in their 70's surrounded by over fifty volunteers and workers from four different Christian organizations and several denominations and people from another denomination were praying for me and the work we are doing. I told Milton how many people were there and told them Milton and Pilgrim UCC were praying for us. At that moment, I truly felt God smile. His kids are loving each other and loving the world together. Could this be what heaven will be like?
Emily was one of several adult leaders that worked and lead hard to make things happen.

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