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Lafayette, La – Weekly Report – January 12, 2018

January 22, 2018

We were able to get things up and running again here pretty smoothly, thanks to the detailed information and lots of sticky notes left by the previous office manager and project director.  David Hagelgans and Jan Schaedlich from Germany and are serving as crew leaders. Hagelgans had some difficulty with travel due to severe weather in New York and flight cancellations, but everyone was here by Sunday evening.  We also have volunteers from Alberta, Ontario, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. Not one of our weekly volunteers have ever served on an MDS project, but everyone caught on to the routine quickly.

We had five open projects waiting for us from last year. Dave Hughs worked hard to sign on more clients so we can keep everyone working to restore flood victims to normal lives. He added seven new clients in the course of the week from those presented to us from Rebuild Together Acadiana and United Methodist Committee on Relief.  Dave and Patti Hughs attended a meeting of the Long Term Recovery Group, a consortium of many organizations involved in flood recovery in the vicinity. We were warmly welcomed and many expressed their gratitude for what we do. It was a blessing to see such cooperation among faith-based groups, other charities, and government entities. We were assured that there are both funding and work to keep us going for the remaining time we have committed to being here.

One of the weeklong volunteers a veteran, shared with the group about his privilege of meeting and getting to know a homeowner who had served in Desert Storm. We recognize the sacrifice of this man and his family. One homeowner we serve is trying to help with the drywall finishing but suffers from back pain. We made great progress on the drywall in her home.  Another client, a recovering addict, works to help others become free from addiction. His ceiling got painted. At a third home, some of our young ladies from Ontario became expert floor installers and completed many rooms.

There were a few challenges this week:  One of the crews found that a window on the truck was shattered for no apparent reason. We were only without it for a day and a half thanks to an on-site technician. This Friday and the next we have to move out of our dining area for weddings that were booked in that space. Everyone pitched in and we relocated everything without much impact. Our Savior’s Church has been such a wonderful host to us, it is the least we can do to be accommodating. The week ended with cold weather and washing vehicles was unpleasant. The crew leaders struggled to get the power washer going, but it finally started and the vehicles are a wonderful sight: all clean and fueled and parked in a row, ready for the next week.

One theme that seemed to recur this week is the idea that God will place you where He wants you to serve, but it will not necessarily be the way you might envision it. We were blessed to have each of the volunteers here and trust that their own lives were impacted as well as the lives of our clients.

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