Tag Archives: mission team

Oklahoma Disaster Relief, Day Three

Today was our final day and we wanted to get as much done as possible. So after breakfast once again at Tiffany’s Restaurant we got to the work site an hour earlier than yesterday. We had already packed up everything at the Noble United Methodist Church with a plan to return and shower and then load up.

It was hot, but fortunately we had a wonderful breeze coming in and good fans. We were back at insulation and sheet rock. My job would be finishing mudding one room and do as much taping and mudding in the small bathroom and the room Rusty, Andrew and Dave were finishing up.

Rusty, Dave and Andrew went immediately to work on the room that had been started yesterday. They had to finish insulating the ceiling and then sheet rock the ceiling and the rest of the walls.


And occasionally they had to use their heads!


Rusty kept plugging away in tight places!


Pat began working cleaning up some of the debris! Vacuuming and sweeping.

And me? Well, I am your “mudder”

Around 10:30 Hal came in and said to me, the heat index will hit 110, we are done at noon. I am getting those kids off the roof and you are done as well. So we worked at finishing what we could. All the sheet rock got in (except for the lower pieces in the small bathroom which was still drying. Here is the final piece going in


I finished the ceiling off the garage, taped some and then mudded in the bathroom, mudded what I could reach where the guys were working. We were finished with what we could do by 11:30. Here is what we finished:

Tired and hot we were toast! We said good bye to Hal, and he invited us back. While there may not be a lot of these projects left, wildfires have hit western Oklahoma and there may be work there. Of course, there may be plenty to do in Eureka as well.

The AmeriCorps workers were there an hour before we were. They have been roofing in Noble for several days and have a lost a day due to rain. Their plan is to finish the roof before they have to leave on July 4. They were good about taking breaks down off the roof and drinking plenty of water. This young man had dumped a load of material that had come down form the roof and took a quick break in the wheel barrel. It was much cooler in the shade!!!


The roof has been covered with FEMA blue tarps for a very long time. Remember that this is work still being done comes from the storms of 2015. Once they are done, another crew in coming in this weekend to finish up what we did not AND to sheet rock inside the house all the ceilings that have been water damaged. I still can not get my mind around being in a home for three years and because of lack of resources, waiting and waiting for help in recovery from devastating storms. One of the many reasons I support United Methodist Committee on Relief is because they remain after others leave. As Hal’s shirt points out:


We obviously are not staying until it is “complete” but what a blessing to be part of the recovery and the movement toward completion. This is my second time working with the UM Disaster Response from Oklahoma. I think EVERY annual conference should come and learn from them. Their web site is filled with projects all the the volunteers and supervisors are caring, helpful and make people like me who are not all THAT handy feel like we have something to offer. Their system works and what a gift it would be to the United Methodist Church everywhere if they could learn from these people. A big shout out and thanks to Hal Wright, I would work with him any day of the week, all week long.

I won’t bore you with pictures from our lunch although I will say Kendall’s was excellent! A short three hour drive back to Wichita and we are now all at home. I can not say enough about Dave Glover’s leadership. He made the trip flow smoothly and he always reminded us “patience and flexibility!!!” I am grateful to have spent time with Rusty and Pat Allensworth. As always, I am in awe of Andrew Stover and not just because I am married to him. I am amazed by his knowledge, his ability to problem solve and work with what is at hand and build and repair and fix and measure and cut and work hand in hand with others.

What a blessing it is to be part of such a great team. Tonight, I am sore, tired and happy. God is at work in the world in marvelous and wonderful ways.



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Final Mission Team Update

This post should have been written two days ago. We drove home Wednesday evening and I was tired. A good tired, bones and body ached, feet ached, but the memory of what we accomplished made the aches a blessing.

Our third project was to assist a group of students from Iowa State. They were part of the SAGC (student association of General Contractors) construction majors who were spending spring break helping others. They were siding this house and our job was to caulk, add fascia, window trim and then paint. We began this third project after lunch on Tuesday and then finished Wednesday. Tuesday had a blustery north wind and we helped with putting up the plastic barrier that the siding would go over.

It was a little scary, you can see that we were holding up the plastic with long sticks to keep it from blowing away. We were all tired but we had to stay up to watch the Shockers win!!

Wednesday morning we were up, had breakfast, devotions and then loaded up for we knew we would head home that evening. At the job site, we got ready to caulk and to paint.


Have caulking guns….ready to rock and roll! In this next picture you can see both the siding and the back of the house ready to side.


We got all the windows and trim and siding caulked, windows trimmed out, the whole house painted once and in places twice before we had to leave.

There was work for all of us!

At one point, we were joined by two Americorp volunteers. This group that had been there for ten weeks and had two more weeks to go. According to Hal, our project manager, there help had been invaluable. Tess and Grace were great fun and fell in love with some baby squirrels that Hal had rescued from an attic that was being re-roofed.


We were able to do all the work we did because of the generosity of donors. The Tool Trailer from the Oklahoma Conference was filled with everything we needed. Donations provided for materials like wood, shingles, nails, paint, caulk, and every possible power tool.

Finally, it was time to clean up and head back to Wichita. I am grateful for all the prayers and support that went with the West Heights team and the donations that made it possible for us to help three families. One last picture, and a big thanks to Dave Glover, who headed up our team, Brian Johnson, Andrew Stover and Rusty and Pat Allensworth! What a blessing they have been to me and to those we served.


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Tuesday, Oklahoma City Mission Trip

I was awake early this morning, ready for the day to begin. Fixing breakfast, the coffee sure tasted good!


This morning we went back to the house that Hal had taken Andrew and I yesterday. It was a mobile home that needed to have its front porch repaired. 20160314_143226

The first thing was to remove this porch. The materials were there waiting and then Hal and Andrew conferred to decide how to best tackle building the front porch.

Then the frame for the porch begins to go up.

The last thing to do before we were done for the day was to put down  the floor board and put in temporary steps.


And with that we were done for the day. This morning all of us headed over to finish the job. First a little conferring and then the work begins.

Once the hand rails were up, the balusters needed to be cut and installed. Pat learned a new skill, how to use an air nailer.

The stairs needed to be built as well. Brian, Rusty, Dave and Andrew worked on that end of the porch.

The final balusters are placed and the old front porch is moved to the back of the house.

And we are done with this project.


We began another project in the afternoon which we will return to tomorrow. I will share pictures from that project tomorrow evening. What a great day this has been.

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No Excuse Spring Break Missions

The church I serve has become more focused on mission recently. Beginning in August, a small group of passionate people began to meet to figure out how to get outside of the walls and make a difference in the world. “To be the hands and feet of Jesus” has become the vision statement for the mission team.

A dream was born last fall to have a “no excuse spring break mission week.” The hope was to have an international trip, a regional trip and then one or two projects to participate in the Wichita area. The international trip had to be postponed but the rest of the week has unfolded in marvelous ways.

Beginning tomorrow, West Heights will be the west Wichita site for children to come and receive sack lunches. This way, even though school is not in session, they will not miss out on a meal. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, our children’s ministry area is hosting  a “spring break camp” with games, crafts, science and stories about God. Included of course, is the lunch provided by the Kansas Food Bank.

The regional mission trip left Wichita late this afternoon and headed to Oklahoma City. Working with the Oklahoma United Methodist Conferences Disaster Recovery team, the group will be helping some homeowners with repairs to their homes. The group is six strong.


They are staying at Grace United Methodist Church, which often hosts mission teams who come to help. They provide mattresses, a refrigerator dedicated for mission teams to us, shower facilities and a large kitchen to cook and prepare meals.

New churches provide challenges. Here is a picture of our “men” folk trying to figure out how to use the “light” keys….



FINALLY, with the lights on, we met to go over our agenda for tomorrow…what time we need to be up, when we will eat breakfast, make our lunches and head out to meet our project manager to prepare for our work.


Please keep us in your prayers as we live out our calling to be the “hands and feet of Jesus.”

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