Friday, August 14, 2015

Last day of the mission trip.  I would venture to guess that everyone who has either been on a mission trip or even on this one has fond memories of what he or she has experienced.  Just as a reminder-not about the house, but about the relationship!  

In Romans 5 (4-5): "And perseverance, character, and character, hope.  Now hope does not disappoint because the love of God  has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us".    This whole week, we have seen God working through us.  We have met the homeowner, Frank, and he, his wife, and daughter have HOPE that they will be returning to their house soon.  In speaking with one of the other United Way workers today, he HOPES to have Frank and his family back in their house by mid -September.  The one who was in charge of us this week at the work sight was really surprised at the progress that has been made this week.  We all give God all the glory, honor, and praise.  We have-by the grace of God, been given the talents and abilities to get His work done for His glory.   ( am not saying we are all not a bit tired after the efforts, but glad to have done what God has enabled us to do.)

Hope, character, and perseverance-we all have experienced those three things this week as well as the homeowner.  There are plenty of stories to share and we will continue to share these as we return to our perspective churches and share the experiences with congregations.

Continue to keep us in prayer as we return home tomorrow!  Thank you for you support and prayers.  We and the people here appreciate all the prayers.  14,000 people here in Ocean County are still displaced from their own homes.  Keep them in prayer as well.  Thank you, again!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Today is day four of our mission here in Bayville.  Colossians 3:15-16 says: "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called to be one body, and be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching , and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace  in your hearts to the Lord."

The homeowner (Frank)stopped by at lunchtime today-he is unable to come to the dinner at the church tonight.  I really wish we could have had him there.  The host church here (Morning Star) had a feast of a meal for sure!  Great food, great fellowship, great conversations and a bit of guitar playing and singing from Kelly and Rev Peter DeVries.  We also had a couple of folks here from our co-helpers from United Way, as well as a bunch folks from this very welcoming and accommodating church.

Today we completed a lot of drywall, and "mudding"!  Most of our day for us was spent on top of the scaffolding putting finishing touches on screws and then being the task of completing round one of the mudding in the living quarters of Frank's home.   The folks that are working on the garage also had a productive day.  Their process is taking a little bit longer finishing there because of the changes in laws since SuperStorm Sandy made a mess of this whole area.  14,000 homes-just in Ocean County are still affected from this storm.  Needless to say, that's a whole lot of people who are displaced and not in their perspective homes.

In speaking with Frank today-he is seeing progress being made.  He and his wife bought take out food and ate in their back yard picnic table, hoping to be back in their home-Sooner rather than later!  He is very frustrated at the process, but is VERY appreciative of the work that he sees being done.  And he praised groups, like us that are making it that much closer to them being back in their homes.  The guys from United Way (Rob, (Big and little), Rod, and Matt are a great bunch of guys that we have worked with.  Thanks be to God for putting this whole group together, again all the glory, honor, and praise go to Christ.  He has strengthened us to get through His mission to get done what He wanted us to get done.  Thank you all!  And keep the prayers coming for safety as our last working day will be here tomorrow-and for a safe trip back home.  Thank you all for taking the time to read the blog and to keep us in prayer.  One more "working" day blog, same bat time, same bat channel tomorrow evening.

Signing off today...

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Today is the third day of our mission tour here in Bayville.  From Psalm 9, "I will praise you, O Lord, with my whole heart;  I will tell of all of your marvelous works.  I will be glad and rejoice in you, I will sing praise to your name, O Most High!"

A very productive day today with the drywalling process.  Now comes the next part-"mudding"-sounds like fun, right!  I am sure we will make it fun!  This crew has had lots of laughter and fun amidst all the work that is being accomplished-all glory to be give to God.  He gave this crew talents and abilities.  We have had very favorable comments on what we have been able to do.  Again,  all the glory and credit be given to God.

Tonight we had supper near Seaside Heights, and then walked the boardwalk.  Petey even had fried Oreos on the boardwalk after supper.  Several had ice cream after supper.  And a couple even went on rides at Seaside. A nice break after all the work that has been done by this crew.  I will try and update with some more pictures tomorrow night, so stay tuned!

We will continue to do the work He has planted us to do here.  Tomorrow evening the host church here (MorningStar) will be providing supper for us and the homeowner we have been working for.  We are looking forward to sharing the meal with the homeowner, his wife and daughter, and the folks here at MorningStar.

Continue to keep us all in prayer for safety here and for the trip home.  Thank you all for your support and prayers.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Today is day two of our Mission trip to here in Bayville, NJ.  We continue to do drywalling at Frank's house.  We were able to get scaffolding to help us along and make the drywalling on the ceiling and the garage a bit easier.  We are working side by side with some folks from United Way.  We have all developed new relationships and new friendships here.  God has given us all different talents and abilities to use.
Psalm 106 says "Praise the Lord!  Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.  For His mercy endures forever"!
One of the guys in our other "working family" had a birthday celebration today.  It was complete surprise to him-as he was getting the scaffolding, a couple of young ladies in that group went out and bought cupcakes and cookies for his surprise celebration.  He is a humble young man, and we all enjoyed his birthday-with him!
The homeowner came again today and saw the progress that has been made.  WE give all the honor, glory, and praise to Christ who brought us all here together.  Again, reminded us that the house is not the real important part of this, but it is about relationships-including our own relationship with Christ.  I am sure that all of us have had our strength tested here already-and sure that Christ has strengthened His relationship with us!  Some interesting questions have come up in out daily devotions after the workday has ended.  This group has bonded as often does happen during these Mission trips.  If you have never gone on a mission trip, I for one would highly encourage participation!  Here are some pictures from today! Working, celebrating a birthday, and some of the other work that got done today.  Here are pics (#1) Gregg , Lydia, and Brook putting up drywall in the garage.  #2-Matt  #3 Kelly, Ron putting up drywall on part of the ceiling.  #4 Jeff, Jack, Rob, Ric, Ron putting up drywall on scaffolding on part of a top of the ceiling #5-Celebrating Matt's birthday!  Stay tuned for another exciting day from Bayville, NJ.  Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Today is Monday, August 10, 2015.  This was the actual first working day of our mission trip here to Bayville.  In Romans 12 (4-6), For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function.  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.  Having gifts differing according to His grace, that is given to is, let us use them."

There are so many stories to tell already!  We are in the midst of drywalling in the house and garage of one of the MANY families affected by Hurricane Sandy.  We met the homeowner today.  His name is Frank (he is a disabled Army Veteran) and his daughter, Melissa we also met.  They are living in a retirement community-a one bedroom home, not far from their home.  But therein lies the problem still!  They are not living at HOME!  There are still 172 homes just in this community the people are still living elsewere.  As I wrote in last year's blogs, people are still homeless three years AFTER Superstorm Sandy hit the NorthEast.  We will be having supper with Frank, his wife, and daughter this Thursday at the host here, MorningStar Presbyterian Church here in Bayville.

Keep looking here-will given an update the end of each day -trying to capture some hilights of the day, the mission, AND the relationships that develop between us-AND those we come in contact with.  Another contact happened to us tonight-we'll keep on posting here.  

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Mission Trip to Bayville NJ

Today, August 9th -nine of us have made the trek from the Mars/Paris/Pittsburgh area to Bayville, NJ.  We started out the day after church, with prayers and God has granted us safe passage to our host Church here, the MorningStar  Presbyterian Church here in Bayville, NJ.  Our hosts have been very gracious to us and we will now begin our journey and our mission at our job sight tomorrow AM.  Here at the church they have a wall of hats which has artwork from its volunteers from the many churches that have assisted victims of Hurricane Sandy.  Still 4 years after Hurricane Sandy, people are homeless!  We will be assisting with whatever we can do to help folks to get closer to the goal of getting back to their own homes.  We will end the night tonight with prayers of thanksgiving and devotions.  We are ready to start this journey tomorrow after a much needed good nights sleep.