What a super productive day! We got up, ate our breakfast (eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy), loaded up our truck with the lunch and water cooler and set back off to our worksite. When we arrived, we split up and half the group cold-sealed a trailer roof while the other half of us touched up the trailer that the group before us painted. (I even got to walk around the corner and do a load of towels at the Laundromat for the group! Not having to re-use my towel=HEAVEN!)
We ate lunch (sans cheese….how do you forget cheese?!) and then organized the tools and supplies so that the contractor and Will could take them back to the camp in his truck. With half a day left, we asked to please go to another site to work, and they sent us to Ms. Jeannie’s house. When Ms. Jeannie got home, she walked right up to us and said, “I’m Mamaw, ya all.” It was too cute. We were building a wheel-chair ramp for her front door, and she was thrilled. She came over and talked to Christine and I for a while, and we learned that she has two sons, both terminally ill, living with her. One of her sons is on dialysis and has to leave the house every day at 4am in order to get to the clinic which is 45 minutes away. He is wheel-chair bound and the ramp will make getting him out of the house that much easier for her. She was so thrilled with all of the work the groups before us had done also. They cleared out her backyard of weeds, took a couple of trips to the landfill, and helped her get the ‘barn’ organized. She kept re-iterating how neglected her house was because she just didn’t have the time taking care of her kids to get to it. I was fine until she started crying and telling us how blessed she was because we were there. It chokes you up to realize that the little bit of work we were doing is going to change her life, literally, for the better. The teens loved her, and are excited about going back to finish up tomorrow. (It was an optional work day, and the teens unanimously said that they wanted to go back. Awesome!) We should be able to finish the ramp and cleaning out her back yard.
We left Mamaw’s and came back to the dorms. After unloading everything, the girls waited patiently for the showers and the guys decided to look for the ‘traveling gnome’. Every day, the staff “hides” a gnome somewhere on the grounds, and the first person to find it and bring it to the “Riverhouse” (which is a fancy name for their store), wins a free work shirt. John and Brady found it first, and since Brady already had a TE work shirt, John won it. (Although, now we must all call him Manuel because the work shirts have other people’s names on them and that is his.) hehe!
Knowing that we would be working with weeds, I made yet another run to the store to get long gloves. (We will not be having a repeat of last year!) Some of the teens needed other essentials, so it wasn’t a wasted trip. I made it back in time for chapel, and as usual, the music and message were both very uplifting. Our staff member, Matt; plays the guitar in the praise band and does really well. The message was about how words can hurt and that a mouth that praises God shouldn’t be tearing people down at the same time. It was very well done and I think the teens got a lot out of it.
After chapel we headed to the cafeteria instead of our usual spot because we had all of the makings for Skyline Chili Dip. We made two large batches of it (in the microwave) and shared it with groups from all over the U.S. It was fun to watch some of their faces when they tried it for the first time. (Most people loved it, but we all know that it is an acquired taste and those that didn’t will come around. Haha!) After our snack, we headed outside and did our ‘Hey Gods, Yeah Gods, and Mad Props.’ It was a great night, and we are ready to do it all again tomorrow. Thanks for all of your thoughts and prayers. We miss our family and friends and are excited to share our stories with them when we get home. Please keep praying! We know He is listening!