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La Grange, TX – Weekly Report – Dec 3-15, 2018

December 13, 2018

Beautiful, Beautiful Star 

“Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” is a Christmas song believed to have been written by Arthur L. Phipps in the 1940’s.  Sheet music was distributed widely and it became a popular song for this time of year.  The earliest commercial recordings were by Jimmie Davis in 1963 and the Chuck Wagon Gang in 1970.  My favorite is Patty Loveless’ version in 2002, which featured an all-star group of vocalists and musicians.

We have had other stars to notice recently.  Venus is the bright morning star shining in the east that perhaps hints at what the wise men saw.  As the United States, and Texas in particular, observed the funeral of George H.W. Bush, mention was made of his “Thousand Points of Light” campaign to encourage people to volunteer in service to neighbors near and far.

Remembering all of this, we can see the points of light that our MDS volunteers bring to Fayette County and La Grange, Texas.  We are blessed with a group from La Grange, Indiana and a single person from Winnipeg, Manitoba for our final two weeks before the break between fall and winter.  They are not a thousand points, but the light is reaching into a few more places.

The framing crew led by Dennis started work on our fourth house for this year.  Ms. Valerie had been very discouraged at the slow pace of events while rains delayed her foundation.  Her spirits and the light in her smile went up a few notches as the framing crew went to work.  The visible early progress as the house takes shape is always an exciting time.  For a client who has been waiting over a year, it is looking to be a very bright Christmas.  We expect to have the house fully dried in and ready for interior rough-in work for plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems.

Ms. Eloise’s house is farthest along and we hope to get the inside painting completed before our break.  Rooms are well defined by the drywall and Ms. Eloise can see the spaces in which her life will resume.  Next step for her is to pick out the light fixtures and flooring we will install upon our return in January.

Ms. Sandra’s house is not far behind.  On the inside, drywall hanging is almost complete.  On the outside, the blue grey siding, snow white trim and crimson red roof is very lovely.  Some taping and mudding may begin yet this week, and this house will be in good position for a sprint to a January finish line.

The house for Americo and Rosa is getting the final pieces of siding installed this week, while the contractors work on rough-in.  Their red roof is all done now and keeping everything dry. Once inspected, it will be ready for insulation and drywall in January.

One of the great things we’ve found working in Central Texas are the local vendors. They are like bright stars in the often dim realm of businesses.  The roof trusses, kitchen cabinets, metal roofing, boards, doors, windows and various fasteners are all critical to building a home.  We are blessed that most of them go “above and beyond” in their efforts to keep our volunteers working. 

As we approach our Christmas break, and celebrate Christ’s birth, we can see several beautiful stars shining all around us.  Our prayer is that you may also be dazzled by the Beautiful Star of Bethlehem.

From La Grange, Fayette County, Texas
Megan, Cindy, Dennis, Ginny, Herb, Robert, Jordan and Carl