Saturday, March 17, 2007

Mission Team 2 for Medical Teams International

Our team of 9 arrived in Pascagoula, MS full of anticipation, looking forward to figuring out our tasks for the week. Pictured below are: back row - Jake, Pastor Bill, Paul, Mike, Bunny, Don. Front Row - Tim, Dick and Doug.
The first project that we looked at upon arrival in Pascagoula was this home, pictured below. It was scary inside. There was black mold all over the walls, and debris and silt everywhere. Three of our guys decided to take it on. They also enlisted the help of a local friend, David. Our Team 1 from the week before worked on his house. The whole crew worked very hard for two and a half days cleaning the house out to its framing.

Sam (below) decided to ride out Katrina, just as he had done his whole life. “I didn’t even think about it. It’s what I've always done. I’ve never ran from a hurricane.” He was sitting in a chair in his kitchen, while his daughter sat on the counter next to him. The water rose to about 5 feet in his house, then quickly receded to a foot. The National Guard rescued him and his family later in the day.

Sam said, he “just didn’t know what to do” in reference to his home. He couldn’t live in it, and really was unsure how to proceed. He eventually got into a FEMA trailer which is in his front yard, where he has lived for the last year.

Medical Teams International (formerly Northwest Medical Teams) is restoring Sam’s home. Our team installed doors, door casings, base and door trim, and electrical outlets and switches. We also finished the painting job done the week before by BSLC’s first team.

I had the honor and priviledge to serve alongside my Dad on this trip (pictured above).

Bunny (top middle above) sustained us with her amazing cooking all week. I think we would all agree that she was the most valuable member of our team! Paul (below) did alright as well!

Rose and William (above and below) have been living with their son, his wife and two kids (both under 5) in a three bedroom home since the hurricane. Needless to say the couple are ready to have a place to call home again (and that is quiet).

By the end of the week, we had worked in 8 homes. We installed/painted base trim and doors and finished electrical (outlets, fixtures and switches) in two homes. We deconstructed one home. Another was insulated to prepare it for sheetrock. The other four were "odd jobs" assignments: hanging a door or two, installing shelves, painting a wall, etc.

My friend Don, on the plane leaving Gulfport, resting. Needless to say we were all exhausted.