Wharton, TX – Weekly Report – Feb 17-21, 2020

February 26, 2020

This week we welcomed a group of six young women from Penn Yann, NY.  Some in this group had worked on numerous MDS projects. There was also a group of four men and six women from Canadian Mennonite University, including two international students from Kenya and Vietnam. This gave us a very diverse set of people and we enjoyed getting to know one another. It was the final week for long term volunteer Jacob Bunnett who served four weeks. He did a wonderful job on crews and transitioned into the crew leader role. Continuing with us this week were Dave and Patti Hughes from Ohio as Project Director and Office Manager, Doug Goertzen from Illinois as Construction Supervisor, and our Assistant Cook, Maredda Magnus from Michigan. Crew leaders were Layne Newswanger of Michigan, and Marian Gochnauer and Chad Weaver, both from Pennsylvania.

At the home of Virginia Moore being built on Outlar Street the workers did some priming and painting, but there is much more to be done there.

At 1003 Burleson, the home for Donna Gooden, the crews spent many hours priming and painting ceilings and walls and were able to complete those tasks. Next week we will be installing doors and trim.

On Kaiser Lane we are doing repairs for Janie Gusman. There we completed the flooring except for the kitchen which is awaiting cabinet installation. The front door was raised and the back door modified to accommodate the new level of the floors.

At Mr. Jessie Allen’s house on Allen Lane there was a lot of mudding and sanding and mudding and sanding and mudding and sanding. This house has sixteen-foot cathedral ceilings so it involves the use of scaffolding. The roof was damaged by Hurricane Harvey and flooding ruined the floors and walls. Next week we plan to texture the walls.

Two newly built houses were signed on last week for us to finish. The one on Spanish Camp Road, to be the home of Alfred Davis, was ready to be insulated, so crews were there for two days insulating and should complete that task early next week. The other new job will be started next week.

In the nearby town of El Campo, we completed the tear-off and replacement of the roof for Scott Saltmarsh.

We enjoyed another evening around the fire this week, toasting marshmallows and debating, “which is better: blackened, or golden brown?” Another evening most of the volunteers went to a local restaurant to try Texas barbecue.

Our Friday lunch was served by the Wharton County Recovery Team. We had Mexican food at Hesed House. This is a beautiful restored historic building which was opened last year as a community center to assist in the mental and emotional recovery of flood victims.

For devotions one morning, a volunteer read the parable from Matthew 25 about the man who left his servants with varying amounts of money to invest.  In a similar way, God gives us varying degrees of ability.  God does not ask each of us to do the same thing, but to use what we are given. How true this is on an MDS project where not everyone has construction experience!

In parting, our friends from CMU sang for us the song “God Prepare Me to be a Sanctuary” which was a perfect conclusion to our week.

Patti Hughes for the Wharton MDS project