Editor’s Note: This is the last post from the Floris mission team that went to New Jersey to help with Hurricane Sandy relief. You can read about their entire trip here.
Submitted by Team Leader Steve Bracewell
Monday, March 26
After being very impressed with Eric serving us, his “southern guests,” grits earlier in the week, Lacey UMC’s tireless chef prepared a New Jersey classic for breakfast: fried egg, cheese, and “Pork Roll” sandwiches. Good Eats NJ Style! Some folks, who shall remain nameless, had two.
We pulled the few pieces of drywall from the bathroom and completed most of it with green board for better protection in a moist environment. Loose gutters and downspouts were reattached and repaired. Steps off the back stoop were raised and leveled and the railing repaired. Any of the drywall mud that was dry enough was sanded. The pocket door was my own boondoggle for the entire day. It needed to be trimmed by two inches. After cutting the door, we discovered it wasn’t made of sturdy-enough material to mount the pocket door hardware to. Our newfound brother, Myron, assisted me with basically rebuilding the innards of the door with wood. Tomorrow, once the glue and paint have dried, Myron, who will be working with UMVIM and Port Light Strategies the rest of the week, will hang it. I hope he takes some pictures; it’s the type of work NJT2 calls a “career piece” (meaning you made a career out of getting it done).
Caitlin stayed back at Lacey UMC to bake a cake for Denise. Unfortunately, Denise has missed so much work getting the house in order and working with teams that she
couldn’t leave work as planned today to be with us. Reflecting on her decision, it’s quite an honor that she was confident in us to press on without her. I’m sure she’ll be quite touched by Caitlin’s thoughtfulness and kindness when she finds the devil’s food cake with butter cream frosting in the kitchen tomorrow evening.
In the afternoon, we had some excellent pizza for lunch from Bakin’ Bagels and wrapped up our various tasks, gathered up tools, and began to leave, a few people at a time.
I was apprehensive and at times frustrated planning this trip. We were a bit ahead of the NJ schedule for sending a recovery team, and it was difficult to get upfront information to prepare for the trip. I was truly blessed to have a team so faithful that the Lord would put us to good use and flexible enough to roll with whatever information we had. Denise’s house turned out to be an excellent fit for our skill set and exactly the type of situation I think we were all hoping to help out with—getting a woman and her handicapped father closer to getting back home. These are just regular people like the rest of us, in a tough situation, trying to put their lives back together. It’s hard enough to get a contractor to call you when things are normal; imagine what it’s like trying to get contractors in the building trades to do some work after a disaster like a hurricane. It firmly validates my belief that the help that is often needed the most is people onsite, lending a hand. For us Christians, it’s a huge opportunity to grow in our faith by literally working as the hands of Christ, helping our neighbors.