July 15, 2013

From Crew 2 - Day one in the field

Day 1 for Crew 2
"Today was our first day of real work.  We were assigned to help an 81 year old man with some repairs to his trailer.  We will call him "Dave." He lives alone with his dog "Buddy."  Unfortunately, the trailer is in really tough shape.  We teamed up with Crew 6 (Jamie, Chris V., Aidan, Jake, Chris C., Cam and Spencer.  Their Crew is building a handicap ramp off the trailer. Dave has some health problems that have worsened recently and he can't negotiate stairs. He told us that he has not gotten further than his porch in two years.  There is a carport on the property and Dave used to enjoy sitting under it and watching the world go by.  He really wants to get back out there soon. He seems to realize that he may not be long for this world. Dave's trailer roof was leaking badly, but the group that was in last week fixed it. As a result of the leak, the living room and bedroom ceilings are falling down. We spent the day tearing them out and removing molding and soaking wet insulation. New insulation, sheet rock and paint are next. Dave has no back door. There is a ripped up screen between him and the yard, but that is it.  Lots of mold throughout the interior, which is very damp and a powerful smell makes it difficult to stay inside for too long. Dave was thrilled to have us and could not have been more gracious. He moved between a well-worn chair on the porch to watch Crew 6 working on the ramp and a chair in the kitchen to watch Crew 2 work on the new ceiling. Dave was married and then divorced. His ex-wife passed away 11 years ago. He has one son who lives out of state, but he hasn't seen him in a long time.  Dave seemed to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the day with people moving in and out and stopping to chat with him about his life. He served in Korea in the Air Force and then became a carpenter. He has lived in Virginia for most of his life. Dave's nurse stopped by today to organize his medications and change the dressing on a badly swollen and ulcerated left foot that greatly reduces his ability to walk.  A gold placard of the Ten Commandments hung on the wall in the living room and Phil noticed a Bible by the bed. We all really couldn't comprehend that a person lived in this trailer, let alone and elderly sick man. Remarkably, Dave told several of us that he had a great life and that he was so happy to be in his home with his dog Buddy.  Christ was present in the eyes of Dave. Christ was present in the words of contentment that Dave offered.  Christ was present in a man who hobbled around a dilapidated old home and made perfect strangers feel like they belonged there. We found one of the least of our brothers today, and helped him. It felt really good.

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Maria Wilson on July 16, 2013 7:23 AM
I love reading your blog!  You are all amazing people people doing amazing work.  I am sure you will think of Dave often throughout your life.  God bless.
 
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Gregory Connly on July 22, 2013 1:05 PM
Maria,
 
Thank you so much for your support and prayers throughout our week in Virginia.  We finished up our last blog last night and it should post this evening.  It was an amazing journey.
 
Greg
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Michele Connly Scola on July 16, 2013 6:38 PM
Thank you so much for sharing your day in such beautiful detail. It is amazing to read your words and truly visualize what you are experiencing. You are all in our prayers as you do God's work! You are making a difference in Dave's life- but he is also clearly making one in yours! God Bless!
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