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La Grange, TX – Weekly Report – Mar 25-29, 2019

April 2, 2019

Ron Block is one of those amazing talents in music whose names are not widely known. His solo performances and recordings are excellent, but his efforts are often focused on making other people sound better.  In the process, he has received 14 Grammy awards, plus awards for bluegrass, country and gospel music excellence.

As part of Union Station, he helps Allison Krauss sound better, as well as writing songs for her and the band to perform.  A Living Prayer, recorded in 1998, won the Gospel Music Association award for best bluegrass gospel song.

Through These Trials Of Life I Find            Another Voice Inside My Mind
It Comforts Me And Bids Me Live               Inside The Love The Father Gives

In Your Love I Find Release                        A Haven From My Unbelief
Take My Life And Let Me Be                       A Living Prayer, My God To Thee

We have had wonderful volunteers over the past 18 weeks.  They each committed for a time to be the hands and feet of Jesus that MDS needs.  By their actions, they became “Living Prayers” for the people of Fayette County.  Some clients call them “My Angels”, but I think “Living Prayers” is more accurate.  Our clients rely on those living prayers to remind them of God’s love for them.  They have found havens in that love.  Friends, family and community have also been living prayers, providing comfort and care.

The weekly volunteers for our final week were 11 high school students, plus three parents, from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  They joined two men, Al and Cal, from Manitoba, plus our long termers from Manitoba, Alberta, Pennsylvania and Michigan.  It is hard to predict what a group of high school students will bring to a response.  Well, except for energy. You know they will bring energy.

Despite being young, all of the volunteers quickly found their way into productive roles on their crews.  I had allotted two plus days for a couple of painting jobs “saved” for this final week. They only took one day.  After that, my prayer was to have enough meaningful work for these volunteers. It was fortunate that two additional jobs had been signed up. They both were completed well before the end of the week. Did I mention energy?

In addition to the painting, David was able to lead a crew back to Flatonia and begin insulation on the house for Ms. Laura and her grandson.  We had agreed to start the house, knowing we would not complete it.  However, with contractor rough-in work completed, we returned for one more week.  With the youthful energy and excellent leadership, the insulation and all of the drywall were installed in the house by end of Thursday.  Ms. Laura looked at our crews as living proof that she could rely on and live in God’s love.

One of the added jobs was putting the final coat of paint on the house of Ms. Virginia and Mr. Daniel.  Any volunteer who ever worked on their house came away believing they had received more than the efforts they gave to the work.  Ms. Virginia outdid herself with a pulled pork sandwich lunch for ALL of the MDS volunteers on Tuesday.  Despite being well fed, the crews returned to productive work for the remainder of the day.  The house looks great outside and inside, 100% restored.

The next day was our final new home dedication this year.  The red house for Ms. Jessica and her children was made into a party location by the “Welcome Home” signs and ribbons in the yard, and the balloons inside the house.  About 70 people packed into the space and amid huge smiles and ample tears, the house was blessed and prayed over. Ms. Jessica talked about her unbelief in ever finding a solution to their housing needs. She said her family, friends and community had been the voices reminding her of the love God had for her and her children.  Living Prayers.

The rest of the efforts revolved around getting MDS vehicles, tools, office gear, and kitchen items packed and ready to leave Camp Lost Pines.  Again the work was completed ahead of schedule.  On Friday morning, after vehicles received their final wash jobs and had their fluids and pressures checked, things were ready to roll.  The Michigan group left camp by mid-morning.  A short time later, the caravan of seven MDS vehicles left camp to be parked and stored, awaiting their next assignment.

By Sunday afternoon, the long term volunteers were either back home or on their way. We experienced many blessings received by clients and volunteers. That experience provides many wonderful memories.  The memories will help us in the future to listen to the voice inside our minds.  The voice will be telling us to live in God’s love, and be willing to be Living Prayers once again.

Leaving La Grange, Fayette County, Texas
Judy, Larry, Willie, Connie, Lillian, Phil, Tom, David, and Carl