Wharton, TX – Weekly Report – Feb 24-28, 2020

March 3, 2020

Arriving this week from Iowa was a group of four men and four women, including some who had been here last year. We also had three men from Ohio joining us. One additional young man came from Alberta and will be staying two weeks. Also serving 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. It was the final week for Crew Leader Layne Newswanger of Michigan who has been a great asset to the project. Marian Gochnauer and Chad Weaver from Pennsylvania were the other Crew Leaders.

Crews worked this week priming, painting, and installing flooring at the home of Virginia Moore which is being built on Outlar Street. The flooring was partly finished, and we will resume with that next week.

At 1003 Burleson, the home for Donna Gooden, we continued the work of installing doors and painting trim. The trim is ready to be put up next week.

For Janie Gusman on Kaiser Lane we are repairing flood damage. This week crews laid flooring and painted the trim which will be installed.

At Mr. Jessie Allen’s house on Allen Lane, a repair job, the mudding and sanding was completed. Next was the texturing which was applied to the walls and ceiling with a texturing applicator. This was a new process to most of us. I went on fast and we were pleased with the result. The crew, under Chad’s leadership, did an excellent job on this project. Now it is ready for painting.

Volunteers completed the insulation at Alfred Davis’s house on Spanish Camp Road. Scaffolding was set up and material delivered in preparation for hanging drywall next week. Mr. Davis joined us for supper on Thursday. He described the situation at the time of the flood, repeating that he had never seen water like that. It was “water, water, water”! Fortunately, he was able to get out and stay with family, but the streets were closed for several days and the police would not let people back in. Mr. Davis stops by the house often to express his gratitude to those working there.

At the home of Annie Allen, the roof was about ¾ completed. We will continue with that next week and begin work on the handicap accessible ramp.

At Wednesday supper we were joined by Vince Sims who is a construction manager for the Wharton County Recovery Team. He explained the role of his team in connecting grant money and volunteers with the clients to restore the flood victims to a functional level. Vince has worked in many disaster recovery situations, including four times for Hurricane Harvey.

Thursday night, a group of us went to see the Black Cowboy Museum, founded by Larry Callies who lives here in Hungerford. He showed us many fascinating exhibits and told of his own faith and family history. We were reminded of this the next morning in devotions time when Chad read from Romans 8:14-15 about how we are children of God, adopted into the family. We can therefore say “Hey, Cuz!”  because we are family.

Our Friday lunch this week was arranged by the Wharton County Recovery Team and prepared and served by members of the First United Methodist Church of Wharton. We were joined by Thomas and Willie Washington for whom we had built a house last year. The group from Iowa had worked on their house and wanted to see them again. What a joyous time of reuniting with these clients! As always, everyone expressed their gratitude for what our volunteering does for the whole community. After lunch we had our picture taken next to the giant dinosaur, a local landmark, then went to see the Colorado River which had flooded the town.

Patti Hughes for the Wharton MDS project