Tag Archives: Oklahoma City disaster recovery

Oklahoma Disaster Relief, Day Two

Day two began with breakfast at Tiffany’s…..Literally!


The breakfast was fresh and tasty (I had an avocado, bacon and jack cheese omelet). From there we were back to the work site to continue the projects we had started. The AmeriCorps were already on the roof working hard.


We went right to work on the projects we had left unfinished yesterday. Sheet rocking the main room off the garage and began the demolition in the laundry room.


There was also a small bathroom that needed insulation and sheet rock.

Then it was time for lunch! Hal Wright invited us to come to his home and eat lunch outside. It was a lovely break.


BACK TO WORK!!! More sheet rock. Pat and Rusty worked hard and finished sheet rocking the laundry room.

Andrew and Dave began to sheet rock the small bathroom when there was an “oops.” There was a small water leak around the old water heater. Andrew and Dave were carrying sheetrock when Andrew stepping back knocked the pipe loose. And water went every where, including all over him!

Once the water was cleaned up, they finished sheet rocking what they could until the rest of the floor dried up.

I did some work vacuuming up lots of water, helped with some clean up until Hal got me taping and mudding the sheet rock on the ceiling. Pat began taping and mudding the laundry room.

I was pretty well covered in mud. According to Hal it is just “like one of those mud baths!!!” Not sure that is true as I am VERY sore from climbing up and down the ladder and the drywall bench.

We were so grateful to the Oklahoma UMC Volunteer in Mission Disaster Relief for providing us for a shower trailer. The showers were hot and perfect!

So we showered, relaxed, went out to eat and came back to play one game of Farkle. Rusty won!!! While playing our phones notified us of the tornado in Eureka, Kansas. The e-mail has already gone out for those who are ERT trained to be prepared to go help with clean-up. My prayers are being raised for those in the path of all those storms, and for those already deployed to Eureka.

We know from our work here in Oklahoma that there are opportunities to serve and make a difference in the lives of others. It is a privilege and honor and to be here, to work until we are bone tired and to know that God is here in the midst of the recovery.

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Oklahoma Disaster Relief, Day One

It is hard to believe that there is still work to be done following the 2015 storms in Oklahoma. The last time I was here was in March of 2016 and we were working on homes that had been torn apart in May of 2015. The same supervisory crew is still working with volunteers to fix homes that was damaged three years ago.

This is why I LOVE United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). UMCOR stays until the work is done. Other agencies are long gone. The homes I have worked on  are those homes that do not have other means in which to repair the devastating damage done by wind and rain and hail.

While it is true that there have been other hurricanes and floods and wildfires and tornadoes and windstorms since 2015, the decision to continue to work when the focus is elsewhere speaks to a strength of faith and commitment that I deeply respect. I am so glad to be working again with Hal Wright as our project manager. Hal is all the right combination of hard work, humor, and hands on instruction.

We started out early this morning. Three are from West Heights UMC: Dave Glover our team leader, Rusty Allensworth and Pat Allensworth. Andrew Stover and I are from First UMC.

36087343_10156756004689274_7775680179329826816_nWe had planned on unloading at the church once we were in Noble, Oklahoma but a communications miscue meant the church wasn’t open yet. So it was off to an early lunch at Rudy’s BBQ.


Once lunch was done we unloaded at the Noble United Methodist Church

When we got to the home where we would be working, Hal was ready to put us to work. First up was insulation! I had forgotten how gritty, dusty and uncomfortable it can be to work with  particularly on a hot and muggy day.

After beginning to put up the insulation, it didn’t take long for us to think…..MASKS!!!

Once the insulation was up, then came time to begin to put up the sheet rock. Thank God for sheet rock lifts!!!

Works really slick!!! And so much fun cranking it!


To the hard work or screwing in each piece!

We didn’t get the whole ceiling done. Hal called it a day at 4:00 p.m. He said he didn’t want to wear us out, plus the AmeriCorps workers would be there at 7:00 a.m. to begin roofing. So it was back to the Noble UMC for showers and out to dinner. They have a”nifty” shower trailer, I’ll post pictures tomorrow.

We ended the evening with a little competitive game of Five Crowns.


Andrew beat us all badly on the first round. I squeaked by on the second. Now it is off to sleep before we begin again tomorrow. What an honor it is to serve and work alongside these great people!

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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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