Bennettsville, SC – Weekly Report – Jan 27-31, 2020

February 5, 2020

This week was a “tidy up week” as most of the long-term volunteers are prepared to depart. We worked on 9 jobs this week. On Sunday three new groups of weekly volunteers arrived to serve in Bennettsville. A group of 8 highly energetic women from New York, a group of 7 women from Pennsylvania, and a group of 3 men from Pennsylvania.

Dwight Kauffman’s crew served on four jobs this week starting at Barbara Smith’s home where the final coat of mud was applied, sanded, primed, and painted in the bedroom, trim was painted and installed, the water heater pipes adjusted.

Dwight’s crew moved to Ernestine Hamilton’s home where they scraped, mudded, and painted the ceilings in almost the entirety of the home.

Dwight’s crew patched a hole in the ceiling and reattached crown molding at Julia Buchanan’s home.

The final job for Dwight’s crew was replacing skirting around the outside of Timothy Johnson’s home, thankfully on a dry day.

Elmer and Mary Friesen’s crew continued work at Willie and Hattie Adam’s home installing flooring in the kitchen, dining room, and bathroom. The question, “How many MDS’ers does it take to install an exterior mobile home door?” was answered…. five, and that’s no joke!

Elmer and Mary’s crew then moved jobs to Warren and Julia Drake’s home. The crew began with the preparations to work in an inhabited home, moving furniture and belongings.  A portion of the bedroom ceiling was torn out and blown insulation rained down, so tactics were changed, and drywall was installed over the existing remaining ceiling. The first coat of mud was applied and sanded.

Gerald Leatherman from Pennsylvania led our third crew continuing work out at Dannie Bloomfield’s home. The ceiling was primed and painted, flooring and baseboards installed in the kitchen, living room, hall, and bathroom. The plumbing installed in the bathroom sink. The old decks at both the front and rear doors were torn down and new porch and steps built. On Monday when the crew arrived, they found the stove was not working, so Bob Frederick went to look finding the unit had melted and welded itself together while the family was using the stove to heat the house. After questioning the homeowner, it was discovered the HVAC unit was not working and there was no heat for the home. This was not storm damage, but discussions ensued. With the help of the caseworker a grant was found to apply for funds through a Lutheran organization to replace the heating unit. Please keep this family in your prayers that they will be approved for the grant. Also, funds were found to purchase a new stove and refrigerator for the family so they would once again have a functioning kitchen. Doug and Michele had the blessing of purchasing and delivering the appliances Tuesday night with Steven Nolan, the United Methodist Construction Supervisor. This task was not within the scope of storm work, but by partnering together we were able to help this family in a much-needed way and ALL were tremendously blessed through it.

Again, this week we had a fourth crew for a couple of days, run by Steve Rhodes, the assistant cook.  Steven took a crew of three back to Diane Perkins home to finish up a few tasks and clean. They mounted strips to install blinds in all the new basement windows, touch up paint, and install switch and outlet covers.

Steve’s crew then moved to Viola Bridges home to install a stove fan. Later, Doug glazed several windows, completing the job.

In the course of signing new jobs on Tuesday, Doug and Michele came across tornado damage suffered only days before by the family of one of our new clients. What a violent scene! The family was inside the mobile home at the time and had to be cut out. Praise the Lord they all came out alive and with minor injuries.

On Wednesday night David Caulder, the manager at CMC Building Supply in Cheraw joined us for dinner and shared stories about the area and how the storm effected the region. David was an engaging speaker and expressed appreciation for the service of MDS in the area. David also shared he impact our presence has made upon him; he hopes to one day join an MDS crew for a week of service.

Steve and Kathy got surprise news when their newest grand baby made an early appearance, so they departed on Thursday afternoon. Darlene took over the full kitchen duties with Marv assisting her when he wasn’t busy with office manager duties.

During the first month of the Bennettsville project 17 jobs were signed, 12 jobs started and 8 were completed and signed off. May the next crews exceed our numbers and many homes and lives be restored in Marlboro and Chesterfield Counties. Thank you to all who have given of themselves to this valuable work, you have left an impression, a God sized footprint in this place and upon hearts……including our own.

God Bless,

Michele, Doug, Steve, Kathy, Mary, Elmer, Dwight, Marv, and Darlene