Gulf Coast Mission Trip Update #4

Gulf Coast Mission Trip Update – Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Our third day of work started without event. Breakfast was
bagels and fruit, and we got an early start. Having
finished work on Mike’s Mom’s house, one group got
started working on Katherine’s house – again untouched
since August 29. It was an emotional start, as the
homeowner, her teenage daughter and her mother were present
to see everything they owned scattered around the house in
ruins. The youth showed a great deal of compassion and
helped to get started on the clean up effort. This family
had a lot of belongings, and the group had to literally
shovel things off the floor to get into a room. By the end
of the day, the floors were cleared and progress was being
made on deconstruction.

LuAnne’s house is almost finished. A small contingency
stayed to work on removing the ceiling and the floors. To
look at the before and after pictures is fascinating –
they have removed everything down to the studs. LuAnne will
be able to get contractors in now and rebuild. (Though,
contractors are few and far between, many not as honest as
they could be, either.)

After a long day of work, we returned to the church where a
contingency had clearly not worked hard enough – they felt
the need to spread mulch for the church as a thank you for
hosting our group. Everyone showered and cleaned up, then
we joined the JCPC Community Dinner. They have a free
dinner for the Metairie community every Wednesday night, and
it is a wonderful opportunity for people to get out, have a
good meal (most are still living in FEMA trailers in their
front yards, so cooking is not as easy as it once was), and
to connect with each other. We wore our green tie-died
shirts and had a good time mingling with the other guests.
Many of the youth made new friends to play on the playground
(4 year old Alexis and her little brother). We had the
opportunity to hear different people’s stories and talk to
the residents. One resident wanted to thank us, so she
played Easter Bunny and brought us chocolate Easter eggs to
put on everyone’s pillow.

The rest of the evening was “free time” so, a group
headed to TCBY for ice cream while a smaller group prepared
an impromptu birthday party for one of our group. After
evening devotions, we sent a tired group to bed.

An update for the parents: the leaders have decided that
since it takes a LOT longer to travel than we originally
anticipated, we will leave Thursday night rather than early
Friday morning. This will bring our ETA up to about 7 or 8
pm on Saturday evening. The youth will be calling you to
give you updates on our progress. (Not to worry – our
drivers are taking naps this afternoon and preparing for the
drive – safety is our priority!) This is the last of the
updates, since we will be home soon. Thursday will involve
finishing up LuAnne’s house in the morning, working on
Katherine’s house all day, and doing a little bit of final
clean up work on a fourth house in the afternoon. Thursday
evening we will join the JCPC congregation for Maundy
Thursday worship, then pack up and head home. Look for a
group of enthusiastic but tired teenagers when we return!
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