Friday and Saturday I had to get up by 5 AM in order to get ready, ice up some coolers, then be at the meeting spot before we drove to the Wrens roofing projects. The homes are about 45 minutes from where I live. Wrens is one of those small middle GA towns that's been hit by tornado/spring storms and needing a little help.
We'd completed one roof job in 2 1/2 days in early May, and had two homeowners needing help from us. They have jobs which provide income for the family with children. There's not a dad around. They have no insurance and no means to get a roof. That's where we come in.
Did I mention that our early June weather has been 100 or right at it the last two days? It's a startling jump into the summer. Much more like late July or early August weather than we should have this early.
Imagine asking people to volunteer to roof for 2, maybe 3 days. Then imagine finding out it will be 100 degrees.
I wake up early on this Sunday morning, tired and sore, but mostly thankful. You see, I don't have to make the drive and I don't need to be up on a roof again today! I can lie in bed thinking about what we have accomplished, and sing praise to God for the opportunities we have in life and the people that step up to change the world.
We had an incredible team of people:
- male and female
- children, teen, & adult
- the retirees showed up in force Friday
- Saturday we had a number of teens and young adults
- skills ranged from highly skilled to novice
- EVERYONE showed tremendous heart and determination
We'd allowed for 3 days to complete the job as you never know how a team will gel, what the weather will be, or if you'll hit any snags. We did lose a couple of hours Friday with a delivery mix up, and of course the heat was intense. But I saw miracle after miracle as the 2 teams worked together, tackled tough projects, and took care of each other.
One house had paper thin water damaged plywood for the roof decking. As we tore off shingles Friday it was like peeling off paper. The shingles and plywood would often pull up all together. There were a number of places we almost stepped through the roof with the shingles on. With them off we were stepping right on through, almost landing on the sheetrock ceiling below.
The homeowner, Joanne, was very thankful for what we were doing for her and her 3 children. Her mom, who owns the house and has lived there since 1968, is now elderly and has lots of physical problems requiring full time care. So, Joanne had quite her job to care for her mother, and they live together.
As Joanne was expressing her thanks to me on Friday for what the team was doing I asked if she'd allow me to videotape her and share it with the congregation. That helps a group to know what has been accomplished, who we have helped, and helps us to help others. She hesitated just a little, though she agreed, and we set Saturday afternoon as our time.
Friday we peeled off ALL her roof decking, re-set it & papered it in preparation for shingles on Saturday. Wrens UMC was providing lunch for us & the team left the site to spend 30 minutes in the AC and enjoy some food. While they were gone I stayed behind and kept on eye on the equipment. Joanne came outside to do the videotape while it was quite. She had her daughter Angelica with her. I asked my question, "What does this mean to you?" She expressed her thanks, but then pulled a fast one on me. Joanne said she wanted to give us something. Angelica stepped up and presented a plaque thanking the team and the church for our dedication and hard work!
That was a first for me. Not only had she snookered me & it was caught on video, but she gave us a plaque. Almost always we get a verbal thanks. Occasionally someone will do a fish fry for us. While we don't look for anything in particular it's always a huge "pick me up" when you know you are appreciated. You should have seen those men when they returned from lunch and saw the thank you for the job not yet complete.
Today I am thankful for all the ways God's grace overflows in my life. I'm thankful that no matter how much we give, we can never outgive the love of Christ which overflows in our lives. I'm thankful for hot days when the Spirit gives us strength and humor and encouragement for the job at hand. And on this day I'm most thankful for Sabbath rest which feeds the body and soul!