July 17, 2013

Crew 2 - Day 2

> Day 2 for Crew 2 at Dave's.  We hit the ground running today having already met the person we are helping this week. Crew 6 was back on site as well making steady progress on the handicap ramp that will make it possible for Dave to get over to the carport.  We were back inside continuing our work on sheet-rocking the living room ceiling and beginning the demolition of the bathroom ceiling.  After saying hello to Dave on the front porch, Paula and I walked around to the back of the trailer and approached the torn out screen door.  We both paused and readied ourselves for the smell, but as we entered the house, it hit us harder than yesterday...perhaps because we had hoped it might have dissipated somewhat with the windows open and the fan running all day on Monday. It had not.  Paula and James started taping and compounding while Jacqui, Emily and I ripped down the disintegrating tiles and insulation in the bathroom.  Tim and Phil were up on the tin roof for the better part of 7 hours laying down some kind or water barrier.  They volunteered for the job and it was not easy work. It was much hotter than Monday and the heat really took its toll on both Crews, but we all made good headway.  One of the Construction Supervisors from ASP came by and was so impressed with how things were going that she added another ceiling and large hole in the exterior bedroom wall to our list of things to fix. We are not sure we will get to them....so many things need attention.  She also pointed out that she had not seen Dave's spirits so high since ASP had starting working on his home earlier this summer.  We met Dave's neighbor from further up the hill.  He lives in a trailer that was previously owned by Dave's brother.  It was sold when his brother died.  The neighbor has an eleven year old boy and a three year old daughter.  He and his wife were taking the daughter to the eye-doctor.  She has a lazy eye and requires glasses.  One of pieces that goes around her ear broke, but they have no money to buy a new pair so they are hoping the doctor might have a "mismatched" one they can attach.  We will learn in the morning how they made out.  The little boy told us he fills Dave's bird feeders for him, brings in the mail and keeps him company.  He has a little dog named Sparky that joined him and played with Dave's dog Buddy for a couple of hours.  The boy had a Nintendo and one of the Crew asked him what his favorite game was.  He told us he only had one game because his other games were pawned off to pay some of his parents' bills.  It didn't seem to bother him and he reported that he had become quite good at that one game.  When he first came up on the front porch you could see Dave smile.  He teased the little boy in a grandfatherly sort of way telling us all that he was the ugliest baby Dave had ever seen when his Mom and Dad first brought him home. We left Dave's feeling good about what we got done on Day 2 and Chris Valente, one of the leaders of Crew 6, stopped by a Walmart and picked up a Barbara Doll and a new Nintendo game for the kids. We are all anxious to see the looks on their faces when Chris delivers the gifts.
> At our prayer service tonight, Rachel gave a beautiful reflection on our lot in life.  We didn't choose our parents or where we were born or how much money we have. We didn't choose the house we live in or the cars our mothers and fathers drive or the jobs they have. Why were we so lucky when people like Dave and his neighbors seemingly drew really bad cards in the game of life.  Rachel went on to remind us that our circumstances can change in an instant and all of the sudden we are the ones in need of help.  A mother gets cancer, or a father becomes disabled and cannot work or a child dies or a job is lost or our house burns to the ground....there are countless things that can happen that are completely out of our hands and that we are not prepared for.  Perhaps it is not luck or the randomness of the universe that finds us in our current place in the world...perhaps it is God who has blessed us in so many amazing ways for a reason...and it is God that challenges us to use these blessings to serve others?  We can all recall saying "There but for the grace of God go I."  These are powerful words as we come face to face with people who seem to find genuine happiness in their relationships, however uncomplicated they may appear on the surface. Moreover, their words and deeds persuade you that they are truly grateful for what little they have.  We must ask ourselves if we are grateful for what we have, and if so, to whom; or are we instead forever chasing after the "Jones."  Our answer to the question might surprise us.  Good night from the mountains of western Virginia.  Crew 2 (Greg, Paula, James, Emily, Jacqui, Phil and Tim)


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Bob Holmberg on July 17, 2013 11:07 AM
Thanks so much for the updates Greg! They are not just informative but truly inspiring. So proud of all of you guys. I'd say "Keep up the great work" but I already know you will.
Greg Connly on July 22, 2013 8:07 PM
Thank you so much for your support and prayers throught the week.  I could not have asked for a better co-leader than Paula.  She was amazing. 
All the Best,

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