|July 19, 2013
Crew 2 - Day 4
We arrived at Dave's along with Crew 6
and there was a real sense or urgency as
we only had 2 days left and there was still
so much to get done. Crew 6 got busy on the
hand-railings for the ramp and Crew 2 was back
in the trailer breaking out the paint. Tim,
having mastered the art of roofing during the
first three days, was assigned to roof the front porch.
A prior ASP team had built a new porch off the
front of the trailer, but they did not have time
to roof it. Cam and Aidan joined Tim in this effort.
Paula, Phil and James went to work cutting
in and painting the living room ceiling.
Jacqui, Emily and I sanded down the first
coat of joint compound in the bedroom and
then the girls moved on to paint the bathroom
ceiling. Our construction supervisor, Rebecca,
stopped by and told us to finish sheetrocking
all the way to the back wall of the bedroom
even though it had a large hole in
it (we had stopped 18 inches from the
wall to give the next group of volunteers
some room to fix the hole). We managed to
screw a piece of waterproof plywood to the
exterior of the wall to prevent water from
coming in until the hole gets taken care of.
Dave was out on the porch for most of the
morning and Jamie was quietly confident that
he would get our friend on solid ground
before the end of the day. ASP was throwing
a cook-out for us at Leeman Field in
Pennington Gap (the next town over) and we
had invited Dave to come with us.
He wouldn't commit, but he said he
would think about it. You could tell
he was somewhat uncomfortable about
the whole idea of leaving his house.
Dave also mentioned to Chris that he
didn't really own any clothes to go out in.
He had been wearing the same pair of
pants all week and they were stained
and very dirty. We did notice he
changed his shirt once, but it was
also in need of a good cleaning.
Chris told Dave he would buy him a
pair of pants and a shirt so he could
come to the party.
It was clear that
Dave had some reservations about
going...not surprising for a man who
had gone no farther than the porch
since the summer of 2011.
Chris measured Dave's waist with a
piece of rope and headed to the store.
He came back with a nice pair of jeans,
a new shirt and a new pair of velcro
flip flops that would fit over Dave's
very swollen feet.
We worked through a couple of heavy downpours,
but finished the day in good shape. Tim, Aidan and Cam finished laying plywood on the porch roof, Jamie, Chris V., Chris C., Spencer and Jake got 90% of the ramp done and we got 85% of the inside work done. We asked Dave if he was up to joining us at 6:00 p.m. for the cook-out and he said he would go. We told him we needed to go back and shower, but we would return at 5:30 p.m. to get him. We also invited the family up the hill with the little boy and girl and they accepted. Both Crews left the trailer around 4:00 p.m. and stopped by Walmart to buy gifts for our "goodbyes" on Friday. Then it was back to the Center to shower. We got to Dave's right at 5:30 p.m. and he was still inside getting ready. The pants were too long, but he had managed to find a pair in the spare bedroom that fit him better. He had his new shirt on and he had shaved. It was obvious that he had missed a few spots under his chin and nose, but he cleaned up pretty well. Dave told us there was a wheelchair in a shed at the back of the property that we should probably take with us. We located a rusty old one and tested it out with Cam. It worked. So we helped Dave into the wheelchair and everyone gathered at the base of the ramp as Tim Duvall wheeled him down onto God's great earth. We all cheered and some of us got a little choked up. It was a really cool moment and the kids felt so good about being such a big part of it. Off to Leeman Field we went and we had a terrific time meeting the families that the other Crews had been helping during the week. Dave was the hit of the party and so many folks from our group of 46 stopped by his chair to chat. He told us that he played at Leeman Field as a boy, but that he had not been there in decades. Dave ate and talked to anyone who would listen. After about 90 minutes, Dave told me his feet were really bothering him so Chris V., Jake and I took him home. He walked up the ramp with Chris by his side and when we got him back to his chair on the porch he told us that he was so happy that he went. We said goodnight and that we would see him in the morning. As we drove away, we talked about what a great ending it was to a great day.
Our faith sometimes calls on us to do things
that we are not comfortable doing. W
hen we left for Jonesville almost a week ago,
it was clear that some of us were uncomfortable
over what we had signed up for.
That feeling remained when we checked into the
Center on Sunday and as we drove out on Monday to
the homes where we would be making repairs and
forming new relationships with total strangers.
But by Thursday evening, Crews 2 and 6 felt "at home"
in Dave's home. It was now Dave who was feeling
uncomfortable about accepting our invitation to the
cook-out. After pondering the situation for most of
the day, Dave decided to go because he knew it was
important to us. He put aside his fears and anxiety
about leaving the trailer to be with us and to
celebrate our new friendship and to express his
appreciation for what we had done for him.
It was a wonderful act of kindness that we will
never forget. Being there for people (even strangers)
when they really need you, especially when it is
uncomfortable or hard to do, is what God asks of us.
We do not always answer that call, but Dave answered
it for us on Day 4.
Our Love to All,
Paula, Greg, Tim, Emily, Jacqui, James and Phil.