Winter Haven, FL RV – Weekly Report – Feb 17-28, 2020

March 3, 2020

Hope and Blessing.  Tears and smiles and hugs. Tough patches and bright spots.  Sometimes they come together, sometimes by themselves and are harder to bear.  This month we welcomed volunteers who have recently said goodbye and laid to rest elderly loved ones in their families. We also had grandparents who have just welcomed their newest tiny member into the family.  This is the tempo of life, is it not? Being in a place of serving does not make us immune to that tempo.

These are the ups and downs of everyday life, and we experience them here, too.  As we were completing work on Julieanna’s home, some were sent ahead and had already begun on the next, in another neighborhood—this time in Eagle Lake.  The Dedication of Julieanna’s home celebration was especially sweet, as we saw her settling in with a new verve for life and looking forward to seeing her daughter come back into this newly refurbished, bright living space.  She had already arranged some of the furniture in the livingroom and was making decisions on others as we helped to unload the heavy pieces from her storage POD.  Florida Restores again partnered with us in this celebration of completion, and new beginnings. Bev Moore presented a wall hanging that she had made and gifted for the event. John Buckwalter presented the new Bible that MDS had purchased and we all signed along with words of blessing, and Roxanna Livermore gave the lovely Cherry Blossoms picture that she had painted.

One very special time happened when Julieanna surprised Fred and Millie Hershey with a gift that she had prepared: a wall plaque that she had had made, expressing her grateful appreciation for our help, and the hope it brought.  That moment brought tears to more than 1 eye, and lightened her heart and ours that had been made heavy by the prospective separation. 

Now onto the next! This small ranch home has had the roof replaced and we are cleaning up and repairing walls and ceilings, floors and doors.  Ray Heisey & Joe Livermore built a new handicap ramp for the approach to the new front door—which Fred Hershey and Jim Weaver had crafted into place. Ev Moore and his wife Bev make a skilled team of flooring installers, carefully fitting the new laminate flooring around each doorway and corner—including 3 tight doorways in quick succession at the living room end of this small hall. On Monday, Naomi Weaver replaced receptacle covers on one wall after the other that she had helped to scrub last week. These freshly painted walls- that was John and Laurel Buckwalter’s main task—that and caulking, were dressed with trim that Roxanna  Livermore primed and painted—between the raindrops of passing showers. 

It’s not all scrubbing and hard work.  We found time for an excursion or two.  One was to Bok Tower Gardens with its magnificent carillon, where we felt especially blessed to have Laurel Buckwalter with us.  Laurel is herself an experienced carillonneur, who was able to introduce us to GEERT D’HOLLANDER, Bok’s carillonneur and resident musician.  We also experienced a lovely tour of the Chain of Lakes together as we are wrapping up another month and must say goodbye to the 2 couples (Buckwalters and Heisey’s) who have completed their commitment with us and are moving on to other pursuits.  And so it continues.  Some come and some go, and we praise God who rules us all with love and grace.

Written by Mim Heisey Office manager (Ray and I are one couple who are moving on.  Say hello to Ruth Basinger, who is taking over this job of Office Manager for the Winter Haven RV Project for the month of March)