Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Hi-Ho, It's off to work we go!

Ah, what a morning. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and everyone awoke to the smell of fresh apple fritters. Well, that would have been true, if we weren't waking up at 6:00 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Instead, it was a dim morning where in place of big smiles and "Howdy dos!" we communicated with various grunting sounds. This morning, we took our de-roofing to the next level, focusing on pulling nails and fixing some sections of the roof, while a handful of people finished taking off the tiling. We also sent any misfits (which would be all of us, but two at a time) down to move tiles from next to the house to behind the house. I mean, it's not like we could have just been throwing tiles into the back yard this whole time. That would be a little TOO efficient. Along with music, courtesy of DJ Gingah Snapz and DJ Hard-Boiled-Megs, we were accompanied by the soothing sound of crying baby. We tried putting a paper bag over Ashley's head, but to no avail.
Ebeneezer Baptist was kind enough to bring us roofing shovels, which combined with the rolling magnet, helped us get around a third of the nails pulled. Unfortunately, one third of three thousand still leaves us with two thousand nails (guesstamation based on square footage and nail proximity).

The work has resembled the legend of Sisyphus pushing the boulder up the hill, only for it to roll back down and leave him with more work to do. You pull a layer of shingles, and there are two more underneath, with a plethora of nails accompanying them. Hopefully, with the help of some extra time put in, we will be finished by the end of the week. Prayers appreciated!

Meanwhile, at Mr. Price's house, the few workers set more foundation posts and began attaching joists.  We should be able to begin decking tomorrow!

When we finally got back to home base, we were greeted by hearty table of cold-cut fixin's. The aroma of bacon, roast beef, and ham took our nasal cavities captive. With bellies full and good spirits revived, we prepared for the gaggle of children that were about to enter our realm. We attempted to play knockout, which was a bit like being a zookeeper when the penguins get loose. After that adventure, we tackled the exciting world of cuts and scrapes. To our better judgement, we decided to pass on using ketchup.

Teaching the girls about cooking went a bit differently than it did with the guys. If the guys were a blind lamprey, that would make the girls a well choreographed school of fish. They didn't quite get Nathan's jokes, which left him questioning his future as a stand-up comedian. They seemed to enjoy the lesson however, and produced some delicious Crunchy Peters.

The boys spent the afternoon learning about bike maintenance and repairs.  This was an area where they had a little more skill, as compared to cooking yesterday, but Jay, Mike, and Ron still had to work hard to captivate the short attention span of the energetic boys, about like herding cats.  They fixed up 2 bikes by filling tires with air, fixing breaks and gears, and oiling chains.

Thanks to the wonderful ice cream fairy, the team enjoyed delicious Sonic shakes, blasts, sundaes, splits, limeades, and slushies.  It was a perfect way to end another hot, humid Mississippi work day!

When the team returned to First Presbyterian Church, tragedy struck. Our beloved superstar Nathan G. was defeated in a heartbreaking, nail biter, game 3 of HORSE. It came down to the last letter, and Ginger CRUSHED Nathan with her signature shot, the Udder Destroyer (cow pun intended). Will Nathan come back to tie the series? Will he ever make his behind the backboard shot? Will Ginger's momentum be too much to overcome? Game 4 can viewed on a facetime near you (per request, pray per view) tomorrow evening.

Rainbow after the evening t-storm
As the day wistfully winds down, we reflect on everything we've learned today. Tarps previously used to carry shingles and nails don't make a great rain fly. Overly energetic, aggressive boys and silent, unassertive girls don't make a great game of knockout. And most of all, God is always calling the shots from the throne.

Please be praying for the children we are working with, that the love of God will shine through us, and that we will be a light to them!  Please also be praying for Miss Carrie, as we had some rain this evening that leaked into her house through the tarps.  Finally, as always, we appreciate prayers for the health and safety of each of the team members as we serve down here in Hattiesburg!

(How's the search going for General Quackington?  As a hint, he loved getting to help with the life-skills class today!)


Anonymous said...

Prayers from NY, for blessings on your hands (and shovels/magnets) and your time with the gaggle! The writing styles are out-of-this-world, and your collective work ethic and creativity, too--keep it up, and thanks for representing us.

Anonymous said...

Blessed Bovine! Come on Nathan! Our ox is in the ditch. Cream her. Put her out to pasture. Guys honor and all that. I herd Ginger is going to milch (KJV) it for all it's worth. We'll be ruminating on this for a year if you lose.