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La Grange, TX – Weekly Report – Jan 14-18, 2019

January 23, 2019

Longing for Home 

Out o’re the dark waters we glide  My heart’s growing weary and worn
I’m longing with speed to go by    Dear Savior, I’m longing for home
Longing for home, longing for home     My heart is longing for home

A.P. Carter traveled through the mountains of the Carolinas, Virginia and West Virginia gathering songs. They were songs of life, love, pain, and faith.  When he returned home, his wife, brother, and sister-in-law would learn and sing the songs A.P. had gathered.  The Carter Family influenced many with new ways of singing and arranging these old songs.  “Longing for Home” is one of those songs.

The song tells of the longing for a heavenly home.  However, the words easily apply to the people in Fayette County, Texas, who lost their homes from Hurricane Harvey in August 2017.  Here we are in January 2019, and people are longing for home.  The goal of MDS is to put an end to some of that longing by building some homes.

To accomplish the task, we had a most unusual compliment of volunteers this week.  A group of 25 from La Grange, Indiana, plus a group of five couples and a driver from Wisconsin, arrived at Camp Lost Pines to help alleviate the longing.  The unusual part is that the 25 are a combination of three extended families, including children as young as six years old. Our camp is a big facility, so we have plenty of beds. But we wondered how many of the group of 25 would go to work every day.  How would we get everyone to a jobsite? Did we have enough vehicles? Did we have enough drivers?  In the end, we decided to give it a try.

It turned out we would usually have 30 going to a jobsite each day. Younger children stayed at camp with some mothers for school, play and exploring the trails around the camp.  With 6 drivers, we could get everyone out to the houses.  And so, the week began.

With that many people working, we made a lot progress toward relieving the longing for home of our clients. The framing on our sixth house was started on Monday morning. Ms. Sharelle and her six children have been waiting and longing for almost 16 months, with much of the delay being obtaining a permit from the city.  At last, the first steps toward satisfying their longing were taken.

Our other houses were at various points in the construction process, and solid progress was made at all of those locations. Drywall was being hung at one house, it was being mudded at another house, and it was being painted at a third house.  The house started last week is now ready for the electrician, plumber and HVAC crews to do their rough-in work.  When clients visit the sites, you can see a mixture of excitement, impatience, and expectation. The longed-for home is one week closer to reality.  Their hearts are weary and worn. They are longing for the weeks until completion to speed by.

The biggest highlight of the week is that the house we started first is basically completed.  After a punch list review and final cleaning, we will hold the dedication of the new home for Ms. Eloise next week.  Her longing for a new home will be over.

During several evenings the volunteers gathered to sing.  Most were songs of praise, joy and thanksgiving at the many blessings we receive from our Father God.  Some looked forward to the heavenly home we hope to encounter.  For now, we can look at our clients and see that our efforts are being used to satisfy their longing for home.

From La Grange, Fayette County, Texas
Anne, Ellen, Louise, Elsie, Daniel, Dan, Andrew, David, Henry and Carl