Paradise, CA – Weekly Report – June 20-26, 2021

July 2, 2021

The theme this week at the Paradise MDS project was HOT! Temperatures this week kept rising into the 100’s. This presented a challenge for the workers, but we tried to all keep cool by drinking plenty of water, putting up shade tents, and adding electrolytes via Gatorade and dill pickles. We all survived well and enjoyed our work and fellowship.

This week we added Leon Martin, Leola, PA, as a Crew Leader. Now we have two Leon’s, so creative ways were invented in order to get the attention of the correct one.

Our weekly volunteers continue to come from different places. We had 7 persons from Portland, Oregon, and 4 from eastern PA. Each person brought their own perspective, and it all got mixed with humor. We were especially glad that Glenn Hillard, the Finance Manager from the Lititz office, came to work with us. It gave us all a sense that the MDS office is connected to the work we are doing.

The work this week was heavy and strenuous. Kudos to all the volunteers who pitched in without complaint. Our 2 houses passed inspection, so we began to prepare to pour the concrete foundations and slab. Then came the pour – lots of concrete which needed to be placed, spread, and smoothed, as well as getting the plate bolts placed correctly. By Friday evening we had a lot to celebrate, even though all were exhausted. What is that quote in the MDS video? “Give me two hands and two feet, and by evening you’ll be tired”. So true!

We also began work on the fourth house, by staking out the layout of the house. This includes ordering such things as a port-a-potty – so mundane, yet so necessary!

Next week we will begin framing on the two houses that now have a floor. This, of course, involves ordering a lumber package, which can be challenging in these days of shortages. We will also be preparing the house on Honey Run Road for under-slab inspection.

Two highlights stand out for me. One was having Cheryle Harrell, a homeowner for whom we are working, share supper with us and share from her heritage and experience. She has a very touching story, and volunteers expressed their appreciation. The other highlight was working for the Rubiolo family, who share deeply with the community around them via a food pantry. Even though they have their own needs, they are reaching out to their neighbors. Our volunteers took a spontaneous offering for the pantry and gave them a comforter which their church made.

Submitted by Wayne Hochstetler, Office Manager, on behalf of the Paradise Team