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La Grange, Texas, Weekly Report, Nov 19-23, 2018

November 26, 2018

Alone and Forsaken

“Alone and Forsaken” is a song written and recorded by Hank Williams in 1948. It was finally released in 1955 after Williams’ death. It is only Hank and his guitar and sounds more like a folk song than a country song. Loneliness and despair are the main themes, like many of Hank Williams’ songs. Many others have recorded it, but no one can put “lonely” into a song like Hank Williams.

Alone and forsaken by fate and by man

Oh, Lord, if You hear me, please hold to my hand

Those are not words normally associated with an MDS response, but during our third week they seemed to fit. We had passionate and skilled volunteers from Winnipeg, and great crew leaders to guide the work, but some things were not going very well. As a project director, I felt alone and forsaken.

We were still waiting for a foundation to start another house. The contractor had forsaken his commitment and no progress was made. Then, the local disaster recovery team switched contractors and the new crew accomplished more in 2 days than the other had done in 2 weeks. Now, we are hopeful instead of feeling forsaken.

Our first house, Ms. Eloise’s, was ready for contractors to install the rough-in HVAC, electrical and plumbing. We had a great crew on hand, eager to install the windows; however, no windows arrived at the local lumber yard. After a few phone calls, the distributor in Dallas said they never make deliveries on Thanksgiving week. No windows in La Grange until next week?

Talk about feeling alone and forsaken! What will our crew do without windows? Where else can we get some windows? More phone calls. The McCoy’s store in San Marcos had all the windows we needed, and after a few hours of driving, the windows were on site. The crew quickly got them installed, flashed and trimmed. Siding work went into high production mode.

They soon ran out of work there, so they shifted to another house. MDS had worked the inside of that home last spring. The crew got back into high production mode, ending the week with about two thirds of the siding done. We hope this will be a boost to the family who’ve been caring for two children and working hard to pay the bills, while living with the overwhelming task of restoring their flooded home.

At our second house, Ms. Sandra’s, the framing crew made great progress after first draining the standing water from the heavy weekend rains. The house went from subfloor to “dried-in” and ready for metal roofing by the end of the week. Even with the hard work and muddy conditions, the crew was in good spirits and encouraged each other with words and examples of good workmanship.

Since these Canadians had already observed Thanksgiving they were ready to work through the holiday. The local community supported this dedication by delivering Thanksgiving meals to the crew at lunch and delivered a couple of cooked turkeys to the camp for the evening meal as well. We could not feel alone and were very thankful for the warm hospitality.

We finished the week with the warmest day and volunteers were mostly working in short sleeves and t- shirts. No longer alone and forsaken, I am thankful for the progress made and for God holding firmly on to our hands throughout the week.

From La Grange, Texas in Fayette County

Dennis, Cindy, Jordan, Ginny, Megan, Dave, Brenda, Laura and Carl