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Wharton, TX – Weekly Report – Jan 27-Feb 1, 2019

February 12, 2019

It was a good week to be in Texas!  Most of our hometowns had temperatures below zero this week, some of them breaking records of all-time lows.  Here it has been mostly reaching the 60’s for daytime temperatures. We added Chad Weaver and Marian Gochnauer from Pennsylvania as crew leaders. Our new weekly volunteers, ten people, came from Iowa and Illinois. With the six leadership and two weekly volunteers remaining from last week we had 20 total working at the Wharton project.

This week we learned the last names of the families for whom we are building homes. Now we can cease calling them house 1, house 2, etc.  We worked only on the new builds this week, holding some of the repair work to finish later.

At the Allen house, Bruce Dyck, assisted by Noah Schulz, led the crew in putting up the trusses and attaching the hurricane straps, then sheeting on roof and walls. It was a lot of hammering, but by week end two sides and most of the roof were covered. The volunteers spent time rearranging scaffolding and moving lumber in preparation for next week. It takes time to clean up and dispose of construction debris, but we like to be good neighbors and keep a clean work site.

The Butler house crew was led by Chad and Marian with Marco assisting. They progressed to the point of sheeting about a fourth of the roof and beginning to enclose the walls. It became very muddy at the job sites and we brought out the boots purchased last week. It is a very sticky mud, and one of the trucks got stuck.

The house for the Colemans had the piers poured on Tuesday. Everyone took a break from their work to see the cement pumper fill the tubes. We can begin with the rim joists next week. That is not to say we haven’t started this house, because the siding, trim, and underside sheeting has all been primed, painted, and stacked inside the warehouse thanks to Elma and the painting crew.

The fourth house we will be building will be for Thomas and Lily Washington, who joined us for supper on Wednesday. What a blessing to meet this sweet couple. They shared how they had been flooded several times before Hurricane Harvey left four feet of water in their house. Each time they repaired their home, having been unable to get flood insurance after the first time. Now their home must be demolished and the new house will be built on higher ground. Ms. Lily said that God is on the throne and He is watching. They are so thankful for MDS coming to help. Mr. Thomas then prayed a wonderful prayer declaring God’s truth. The next day, Ms. Lily came to the warehouse to help with painting, because we were already working on the sheeting for under their house. She was delighted to have a hand in the work and the painters enjoyed visiting with her. More lumber was delivered on Friday so next week’s volunteers can continue with the Washington’s house.

It was a very productive week. It is amazing to see the progress from Monday to Friday as a house takes shape which will eventually become a home.

Patti Hughes for the Wharton team