Nearly two months after the storm, much of the debris has been cleared, condemned houses have been abandoned or demolished, and much of the big work is done. Our assignments are smaller projects – fixing fences, painting, patching holes, and removing debris from less traveled areas like gullies. However, there have been a few days where we have really been scrounging for projects. It seems that Moore is getting to a point where there is more help than there is work to be done, excluding work of professional contractors of course. What a great sign!
We spent a day and a half painting this house that had hail damage. We were just about done on the first day when it started to rain! At first we thought we could just paint through the drizzles, but then it started to pour. It poured so hard that I could rinse the paintbrushes in the water pouring from the gutters of their small shed. A smaller group of guys, including Ryan, returned the next day to find some of the paint rinsed off but not as much as we expected. It was so terribly hot the day before that the paint actually dried quite quickly before the rain came.
The owner of the home was so pleased, she called Serve Moore the following day to let them know that our group did such a nice job, she wondered if we could come back and paint a few rooms inside! How sweet. She wasn’t the only one that appreciated our work. The men who finished painting the second day went to a nearby diner for lunch, where a kind, anonymous fellow paid their bill. He just saw the fluorescent volunteer vests and was moved to show his appreciation for our presence and our work in the community.
That day, the rest of us worked at the house we’ve been living in. The church will be putting it on the market shortly after we leave, so we thought we could boost the curb appeal a bit as a token of our gratitude for having a comfortable place to stay. Judy is our in-house horticulturist and came up with great plans to spruce up the entire yard.
We added a few simple beds of mulch around the existing plants and trees in the back and on the sides of the house. We removed sagging bricks around the patio and moved them to a more useful place by the fence door. We trimmed and pruned the overgrown bushes. We painted the entryway. We did all sorts of things! It looked so nice when we were done.
Several smaller projects fill our days as well. We’ve fixed several fences, cleaned lots of debris, and even built a patio.
After every project we finish, we give the homeowner a handmade quilt made by the women of Lutheran Women’s Missionary Society (LWMS). They have been so well received. Even more than the volunteer work we do, these quilts have brought a few recipients to the verge of tears with thankfulness. Of course, handmade gifts of this type are especially dear to my heart. I hope the homeowners we’ve been working with understand how much more thankful we are to have the opportunity to share God’s love with them. It is a priceless experience.