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La Grange, TX – Weekly Report – Feb 18-22, 2019

March 4, 2019

Having lived in Venezuela for about 8 years, I remember many of the “coros” that we sang in those church services.  Now, years later, one of those often comes to mind in the midst of a busy day.  The first line to one is…

“Dios es Nuestro Amparo, Nuestra Fortaleza, Nuestro Pronto Auxilio en la Tribulación”
This translates into “God is Our Refuge, Our Strength, Our Ready Help in Troubles”

The disaster of your home being destroyed by flooding would certainly be considered “tribulación.”  Such is the situation of many residents of La Grange, Texas after Hurricane Harvey.  Many are still waiting to find a way out of the tribulation, over 18 months later.  To assist in that, MDS volunteers strive to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

The weekly volunteers for the third week in February 2019 were a mixture of folk from Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Manitoba, and Ontario.  They included an extended family, a young couple, guys from a weekly bible study, young men getting away from the cold, and a solitary pilgrim. They joined long term volunteers from Pennsylvania, Michigan, Kansas, Virginia, Manitoba and Ontario to share their talents and energy in the process of rebuilding hope in Fayette County.

Each week the MDS volunteers need to mesh and form the teams through whom God is working on our jobsites.  Due to a variety of events, it turned out that we have three houses at similar stages in the building process. One house was a bit delayed by inspection issues.  Another house has surged ahead of schedule due to a serendipitous mix of volunteers and local contractors getting the rough-in done and inspected in record time.  As a result, three houses were in the hanging and finishing drywall stage. Not ideal, but we just needed to get it done on the houses for Ms. Jessica, Ms. Sherelle and Ms. Carolyn and Mr. Herman.

Volunteers with varying experience at this task exerted great efforts to move the houses along.  While struggling at times with the inside drywall work, the crews were able to make quick work of putting the underside insulation and house skirting in place.  Other outside tasks included hand rails and final siding touch-up and painting.  Again, rainy weather curtailed the days that this work was productive.

Ms. Valerie’s took some serious steps toward completion as the interior work of plumbing, trim, and electrical installations were done.  The biggest step was to complete installation of electrical service into the house.

As usual, any time there is a new home dedication, that event becomes the defining event of the week.  The dedication for Ms. Rosa and Mr. Americo was our first for this year in both Spanish and English.  The dual languages extended the time of the service, but did nothing to dampen the joy experienced.  When our clients could not find adequate words to express their thanks, Mr. Americo’s brother stepped forward. He said an emotional thanksgiving, with his arm around the shoulders of his younger brother.  There were few dry eyes among the attendees.

At that moment, the words of the “coro” from Venezuela came to mind.  God is indeed our refuge, strength and ready help in times of tribulation.  That help from God can come in the form of a community making things happen for a new home, donors providing funds, volunteers providing hands and feet, or a big brother providing the words to express an inexpressible appreciation.

Let’s sing it one more time….

“Dios es Nuestro Amparo, Nuestra Fortaleza, Nuestro Pronto Auxilio en la Tribulación”

From La Grange, Fayette County, Texas
Edith, Mike, Lowell, Errol, Bob, Evie, Sharon, Dick, David, Cheryl, Gene and Carl