Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday, October 12, 2012

Day 4 found all of us working diligently on our assigned tasks.

Greg Grant, Art, and Carlos slaving away at the remodel house.  There are a lot of loose ends to tie up but thankfully another team will be here next week.

Rick, Blane, Shane, and Greg Todd continue to install flooring at Odessa’s house.  The boys got a really good shot at speaking with “Earl” today.  Earl is the son of the mom with 5 boys living at home in the remodel house.  The boys seem to think an indelible imprint was left with Earl today.

Shawn, Brent, Mark, and I got a lot done today with our hands.  We are hopeful with the help of some other volunteers tomorrow that we can get the house “sided”.

The highlight of our day was dinner, again.

Art Mann and Rick met Norm and Margot on our flight out here from Phoenix.  They told us at the time they were going to invite us over for dinner. They did and we went.

Their home is beautiful and we were served a variety of wings, sausage, potatoes, etc.  Just another dinner that put a “hurtin” on us. 

Norm and Margot are great people who continued to shower us with praise for doing what we do.  We constantly reminded them that we were blessed by being able to do what we do.

They told us a story about Margot’s dad who had Alzheimers and passed away by drowning in the family pond.  Margot was visibly upset when Norm told us the story about a speckled dove that sat on their car during the funeral, flew off the car onto Margot’s shoulder as they were headed to the gravesite, and sat down on her dad’s headstone.  They were both given her dad’s hymn book and a page was marked in the book that related to a speckled bird.  They both knew that something was at work.  Norm admittedly told us he wasn’t “religious” but this event moved him and Margot.  We prayed with them before we left.  What a wonderful evening.

We have had a great week and we are looking forward to getting home but all of us will be leaving a small part of us here in Tuscaloosa.  We are already talking about coming back here in the spring.  I’m personally excited about tomorrow and what may be revealed to us.    

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Last night, the entire 11 man team went to my Aunt Katherine’s house for dinner.  It was a pleasure to have my friends meet my family.  And yes, dinner was great. We got hurt by the amount of food consumed J

Before we went to dinner, we spent some time with members of the First Baptist Church here at their Wednesday night chicken dinner.  It was great to spend some time with these folks. 

The team continues to be split up into three groups.  Shawn, Brent, Mark, and myself are spending our days at the “Webster” house in Forest Lake.  The roof is on, thanks to Shawn, the front porch is built thanks to Brent and Mark, windows and doors are in, paper is on the exterior and the next step is to install the siding on the house which may happen tomorrow. 

Art, Greg, and Carlos continue to help with the remodel at Earl’s house.  Art continues to install tile in the bathrooms, Carlos has begun work on the hardwood floors, and Greg continues to install doors, moulding, and trim.

Greg Todd, Shane, Blane and Rick continue working on the tile and hardwood floor installation at Miss Odessa’s house.

Art met a very nice couple on the flight from Phoenix to Birmingham.  We got a call from them yesterday inviting us to dinner at their house tomorrow night.  We accepted and are looking forward to it.

We have tomorrow and half a day on Saturday to continue our work with our hands.  We are hopeful that He would send us some work to do with our hearts.

We miss our family, friends, and our church.  We look forward to seeing you soon. 

In His Grip!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tuesday, October 9

Trouble is often the tool by which God fashions us for greater things- Greg Todd via "i dont remember who said it"

Day 1 of service-

Our great team was split up into three different teams working on three different houses in various stages of rebuild and remodel.  Brent, Greg, Mark, Shawn, and Blane were on the Webster house in Forest Lake.  It is basically a framed house right now with Shawn doing the roof and the others shoring up interior framing.  Rick, Shane and myself were at Miss Odessa's house.  Rick and I stayed busy painting for most of the day while Shane was busy on the bobcat moving dirt around for most of the day.  I think he was just having fun with a toy...  Art, Greg Grant, and Carlos were busy at the remodel house all day laying tile accompanied by a 4 member team from Pennsylvania and Dennis.  Shawn and I served with Dennis in Nashville last year and it is good to see him. 

While Art and Carlos were in the bathtub area on their knees laying tile, Carlos, with Art, accepted our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into his heart as his Savior. Hallelujah!!!  We announced this at dinner also and it was truly a very joyous occasion.  I dont know what can top that but HE always has His ways of showing off.  He is truly amazing every day. 

Shane wandered across the street midday and spoke with Miss Lynette who was on her porch enjoying the sun with her dog.  Miss Lynette is a Christian woman who has some health issues but her faith was ever present.  Shane asked her if we could pray with her so Shane, Miss Lynette, and myself stood on her porch and prayed for her health and for the salvation of her family members who have strayed.  It was a great experience. I hope we get to spend a little time with her tomorrow. 

All is well and HE continues to bless us every single day.  Will post more pics tomorrow night. 

In His Grip!!!!!!

To be is to do- Socrates

To do is to be- Plato

Doo Bee Doo Bee Doo- Sinatra

Monday, October 8, 2012

Monday, October 8, 2102

Well, it has been a couple days since our arrival and we have been very busy, having a great time.  We arrived Saturday evening, set up our camp, went out to dinner, and crashed.  None of us slept very well anticipating "Talladega" the next day.

We were up at 6 AM, at McDonalds for a wholesome breakfast at 6:30 and off to Talladega 100 miles away.  We arrived at Talladega, drove right in without issue to the credential office.  We received our "Hot Pass" from the credential office, met with Andy from K Love radio and he was our host for the day.  Ok, lets see, Andy took us to the garage area first where we met Phil Parsons, the owner of the K Love sponsored vehicle, we met the driver Michael McDowell, and then we went to the Nascar prayer service at 11:10 that was attended by many of the drivers and their families. Darn, Nascar and church also in the same day, what could be better.  We then went to lunch, on the house, and hung out at the Parson's trailer some more.

At about Noon, we went over to the actual track. Yes, we stood on the racetrack, watched the drivers introductions, took some pictures, and hob knobbed with the celebs, Joe Gibbs included.

We then proceeded to the pit area and watched the ENTIRE RACE FROM THE PITS. It was an awesome once in a lifetime experience that will never be forgotten.

Today, we went and had breakfast with some locals at "Rama Jama" restaurant for a couple of hours. The restaurant is right next to Bryant-Denny stadium. I called my cousin and he arranged a tour of the stadium for us.  After we saw the home team and  visitors team locker rooms, sky boxes, pouring room, the recruiting room "the zone" , we were allowed to step foot on the hallowed sacred ground known as the Crimson Tide field.  It was awesome. We kissed the turf at the 50 yard line.

Quotes so far this trip:

Carlos- I became now an Alabama Crimson Tide fan.

Brent- Where's Ellwood?

Shawn- Livin the Dream

Blane- Roll Tide! Where's your shirt Ellwood?

Dave- All of this is possible because of the awesome presence and leadership of Shane Tiller, our mentor and humble servant.  :)))  Are you kidding me? Trying to keep 11 grown men together for a tour is a feat in itself. Where's Grant and Ellwood?

We just truly believe that we are now God's favorites.

We begin serving Him tomorrow. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October 2012 Alabama Mission Trip-
2 days and a wakeup and we are off to Tuscaloosa!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

We are home!

Sunday- February 12

After working for about 2.5 hours on Saturday morning, we left Tommy's house and went back to the church to pack up. We packed up and then went to a local "swag" store and bought some "swag". The gents are outfitted with University of Alabama gear and are wearing it proudly. Roll Tide!

We got to the airport in plenty of time, turned in the rental car, went through security, and proceeded to the airport Quizno's for lunch. We were able to view Josh Mann's television debut while waiting for our flight.

We kind of knew by the wind blowing pretty good that the flight out of Birmingham may be a bit "bumpy". It was, but too bad. The 4 1/2 hour flight to Vegas seemed like....... 4 1/2 hours. We had to wait on the tarmac for about 15 minutes for another plane to move out of our gate. This wait made us walk quickly to the other gate to catch our flight to Sacramento. The attendants on the Birmingham flight were nice enough to announce to the passengers to remain seated so that the Sacramento passengers could deplane and gallop through the airport.

We are a bit tired and after speaking to some of the guys this morning at church, seems like all of us got caught up on our sleep on Saturday night.

It is nice to be home. But, I think all of us have left a little bit of ourselves in Tuscaloosa. Whether it is our sweat and hard work, the impression we have of the people there, the memories of the trip we will have forever, or the blessings He has bestowed upon us, this opportunity will leave a mark!!

Please know too that the support of all of our families, the church, and our friends is not unnoticed and extremely appreciated. Personnally, I want to thank all of you who supported this trip with prayer and financial support.

God is in the people business. If we have touched one person, including ourselves, by going when HE sends us, then we have served His purpose. A line from Just Walk Across the Room; "If we will just persevere, the potential is colossal, one more treasure, one more priceless human being, might be snatched from the clutches of a horrendous lifeless eternity because of our work. Go now and bear witness. Sow the seed. Take the walk across the room. Leave what is comfortable FOR THAT WHICH IS ETERNALLY SIGNIFICANT. Know that we will never regret our decision to go."

We look forward to "going" near and far, again, soon.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday, February 10

Friday- February 10

Wow. What a surprise. Another awesome day!! It was an absolute blessing to witness the dedication of Stephannie's house. There were probably 75 people there including media. It should be on the news sometime today! She was excited to get into the house and she is staying there tonight. She said she was happy that she would be able to cook again!

We met Tommy today. We have been working on his house all week. He is a very nice young man who is employed by the University of Alabama. He is one of 6 butlers for a 360 person sorority. We will get to spend a little bit of time with him in the morning.

Shawn, Aaron, Matt, Josh, and Doug spent most of their day at Tommy's house working on siding, grinding out cinder block mistakes of others (Shawn) and installing flashing. The exterior of the house looks very close to being done.

Brent spent most of the day at Stephannie's doing odds and ends to prepare for the dedication.

Art, Tony, Jeff, and myself were called upon to go help a crew at a local church. The church, still without power, had the roof torn off last April and they are trying to raise the funds to rebuild. The basement of the church had flood damage and it was our task today to help the crew remove the debris from the 7 rooms in the basement. It reminded us alot of the clean up projects in New Orleans. We didnt talk much to the other guys when we were walking except exchanging pleasantries and grunting alot. When we were done, we went outside and struck up a conversation with two of them. Funny, but as we were talking, those two realized things about each other that they didnt know and they have been friends for years. One of them was born in San Berdo. The other had a construction business here in town. He lost his house in the storm. He had a great attitude and all of us assured each other that if we didnt see them again here in Tuscaloosa on another trip, we would see them with our heavenly Father someday.

We will work a partial day tomorrow. Come back to the church, pack up, and look forward to our flight home that arrives in Sacramento at 7:30 PM.

By the way, Pastor Jeff wins the prize for the first commenter on the blog!!! And, thank you Michelle!

It was a blessed week and we look forward to coming back. We will be praying about it beginning Sunday!

Im out!

Dave and the Guys

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thursday- February 9

Wow. What an amazing day! He continues to provide miracles every day. Stephanie's house will be dedicated tomorrow at 3:30. They are expecting a very large turnout of media, well wishers, and the general public. This is the first completed Samaritans Purse rebuild house done. We saw the foundation of this house being poured when we were here in October. Art and Brent completed the punch list and the final inspection occurred today. We were very concerned that her dedication would happen without grass in her front yard. Tony, Jeff, and myself prepared the front yard yesterday and readied it for the sod. Today early, no sod. Mid morning, no sod. Noon, we received a call that there were 6-35 yards of rolled sod available after lunch and we would have to go pick up three of them. We did. These rolls look like big rolls of hay that you see out in a field somewhere. The company came and rolled out these rolls. We installed it. Art and Josh watered it and it is ready to go.

We met Percy today. He is an older gentlemen who lives across the street from Stephanie. He lost his home, his workshop, and most of his tools in the storm. We didnt get into his story too much. He asked our project leader Dan if we might be able to help him a bit with the Bobcat by clearing out his lot some and cleaning it. Dan consulted with Brent and Brent was on the Bobcat on the property in a moment. Brent then handed off the Bobcat to Jeff Stewart and Jeff got it going. We will hopefully be able to help Percy out tomorrow. At the end of the day Tony and I asked him if we could pray with him and he said yes. Its heartbraking to know that some of these folks have nothing left. But, we know our God is a Great God and He has a purpose for all things.

Aaron, Shawn, Matt, and Doug were ever-steady on the"other" house installing siding, soffets, finishing the roof today.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wednesday, 2/8/2012

From Dave E.


All things are going well. We are having a great time of fellowship with the team.  The weather and food are fantastic!!!!  We are working on two different houses. Shawn, Aaron, Doug, Matt, and Josh all worked on a house in the middle stages of rebuild today finishing the roof and installing siding.  Jeff, Tony, and myself worked in the yard of another house that will be dedicated to the owner on Friday. Its kind of exciting that we will be able to witness the dedication to "Stephanie" and her kids. We have heard that it will be quite the event with national media coverage as it is the first completed house rebuilt by Samaritan's Purse in Tuscaloosa.  We were able to spend some time with her today and she is very excited about being able to move into her new house.  She was in her house when the tornado came through and demolished her house. She wasn't hurt as she and her son huddled in a hallway and watched as the roof of their house was torn off.  Art and Brent are busy doing all of the "punch list" stuff of many details on the dedication house.

We met Minister Tilley today. His church is directly across the street from the house we are working on.  We received a lunchtime sermon from this  southern preacher of 70 something years.  It was a treat. His teaching today was the Hand of God!!  It was powerful and passionate.

We dont know where tomorrow will lead us but we go with servants hearts!

We were able to go to my Aunt Katheryn's house tonight and have dinner and it was a real treat.  Everybody walked away with a painful fullness of belly!

Hopefully I can get some photos up tomorrow night.

Our best to you from Tuscaloosa!!

Tuesday, 2/7/2012

From Dave E.
We got a late start today because it was the first day and orientation takes place.  We were on the job site at about 10 am.  Shawn, Doug, Matt, Josh, and Aaron were on the roof most of the day while Tony, Jeff, and myself were on the ground installing windows, facia board etc.  We were working with Jim, Bob, and Ed from northern Indiana.  IT WAS COLD ON MONDAY NIGHT trying to sleep. Someone turned the thermostat to air conditioning and we froze.  But, everything is great. The SP staff is great.

TCF in Tuscaloosa Round 2 Feb 6th: Welcome


The TCF team arrived in Tuscaloosa safely. The flights were non eventful and a good time was had by all!! After getting our rental boats, Surburban and Toyota Van, we went up to Center Point, Alabama to look at some of the damaged caused by the latest tornados a couple of weeks ago. The damage was localized and severe in some places.

We checked in at the First Baptist Church of Tuscaloosa at around 4:30 PM. Darn it, we were not the first group here as a group of 10 from Ohio beat us here. Needless to say, the quarters, although a huge blessing, are not quite as spacious as the October trip :).

We went out to eat at Dreamland which serves primarily chicken, ribs, and pork. The gents were all impressed with the food and it passed the Shawn test for taste. The banana pudding with 'nilla wafers was great.

We are looking forward to seeing what HE has in store for us tomorrow!

Until tomorrow night, we bid you farewell!