Marianna, FL – Weekly Report – Dec 9-13, 2019

December 17, 2019

Any time I find a Guy Clark song I’ve not heard before it is a special event.  In about 2007, Vince Gil and Guy Clark performed a duet of Guy’s song called “Almost Home”.  The song touches on a lot of themes. It’s about going home. It’s about the love between a father and son. It’s about searching for answers and direction in the midst of difficulty and hints at finding God in some unusual places.

Something about him felt familiar

And it made me stop and stare.

The way he held his hands before him,

Looked like he was lost in prayer.

Those could be the themes of our last week for 2019 in Marianna, Florida. There are still a lot of families searching for answers 14 months after Hurricane Michael. Some have received direction as applications for replacement of destroyed mobile homes are one or two steps further along.  With the observance of the gift that God made of His only Son, we cannot comprehend how great a gift to earth that really is.

There’s somethin’ I must give you,

The compass that my father made.

It’ll point you in the right direction,

In case you ever lose your way

Most of our short term volunteers for the week hailed from Virginia, but there were also men from Nebraska, Georgia, and Ontario blending in.  They and our long term volunteers tried to get as much done before the Christmas and New Year break as possible. Our first week of rainy weather curtailed some tasks, but opened us up to taking on jobs in a different direction as well.

The crews continued work on building out the insides of houses for Ms. Bobbie and Ms. Leverne.  Hanging drywall was completed at both locations, and efforts turned to taping and mudding.  Those can often seem to be tedious jobs, but the more that those tasks are done, the more the building looks like a house on its way to being a home.

Our other crews focused in the front half of the week on replacing the metal roof of a house built about 1950.  At first, the job might look like a lost cause, but with walls built of concrete block, a good foundation and sound framing for the roof, the house has a lot of potential to be a sturdy home for Mr. Charles, plus a brother or two.

In the last half of the week, the roof crew was split up.  One was able to finish two porch, steps, and handrail jobs we had started, giving those clients a new outlet to the world.  They also dismantled and rebuilt a front deck and steps that a big tree had landed on during the storm. Lots of happy smiles all around.

You know, I’ve got somethin’ here in my pocket,

This here little silver cross.

I think my son would want you to have it,

When you think all hope is lost

The other part of the roof crew was sent out in response to an urgent call.  A family disaster had left a home and three siblings with no parents. The disaster also left a big hole in the main entrance of the home.  Our crew was able to clean up debris and remove the remains of the damaged entry.  By the end of the second day, a new door, secure framing, sound siding, a new window, insulation and interior drywall had been put into place. The oldest sibling had a response that reflected some new hope and direction for the remaining family.

Three other families received an indication that all hope is not lost.  They each went through the interview for new homes, resulting in signed papers and yellow flags in their yards where the new home is to be located.  More than one said that was a really wonderful Christmas gift.

I left him sitting at his table

But I didn’t feel alone.

For a moment I could see the light

Oh, we were almost home.

For a moment I could see the light

Oh, we were almost home

As MDS volunteers leave Marianna for Christmas, we think of home and the heavenly light found in times spent with family and friends.  Not everyone left behind in Marianna has a home where they can gather yet.  But there are a few more families who can see that light.  We look forward to returning and being the hands and feet of Jesus, accomplishing the job of helping these families to be fully home.

From Marianna, Florida; Jackson and Calhoun Counties

Carl, Laura, Adam, Edee, Dorothy, Reuben, Jordan, Fred