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Wharton, TX – Weekly Report – Mar 18-22, 2019

March 28, 2019

This week Wharton was blessed to have an enthusiastic and willing group of 10 Old Order Mennonite young people from upper New York. They were supplemented by two young men from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and by Pete and Kathy Reimer from Manitoba, who extended their stay just because I asked if they would consider it. These folks all worked hard, and got a lot accomplished.

This week we officially opened New House # 5 (job #15) so that we can work there, even though the Wharton County Recovery Group is doing most of the work. The focus was on getting Houses # 1 & 2 as nearly completed as possible, so we finished a lot of small things, such as the skirting around the bottoms, siding, and soffit work. We also built the back porch on House 4, plus installed doors there.

The interior of Houses 1 & 2 were painted, kitchen and bath cabinets installed, and major clean-up inside. The ADA ramps were laid out and much progress made on them. The ramps should be completed next week. Hopefully flooring will arrive so that can be installed next week.

A highlight this week was that the owner of House 3, Enrique Tavares, came to our evening meal on Wednesday, and spoke to the group about his experience with the floods, the impact it has had on his family, and his hopes and aspiration for the future. This was very helpful for the group.

Another highlight was a group visit to the Black Cowboy Museum in Rosenberg, about 30 minutes from here. The owner/manager works here from time-to-time, and was eager to show it to us, saying, “It will show you another side of Texas history, which you have probably not heard before.” The museum was well done, and he was correct. Some indicated that it was a very meaningful activity.

Another challenge at Restoration City (StraightWay) was that their walk-in refrigerator stopped working. The Center does not know yet how this will impact meals here, but it certainly is impacting their morale. We may need to find another source of meals for a couple days.

On Sunday the long-term volunteers attended church at El Campo Mennonite Church, a Holderman Mennonite group about 20 minutes from here. They welcomed us warmly and fed us well.

The week of March 25-29 will wrap up the season in Wharton. We are hoping we will make good progress. What we do not finish, the Long-Term recovery Group will complete. We are planning on two house dedications next Friday. That will be a perfect way to end our season in Wharton.

Lois and Wayne for the team at Wharton