Sunday, June 22, 2008

Thursday Update

Today was a day that much progress was seen. The floor was completed on one half of the building and the other half had the old flooring removed and the foundation sill jacked up and replaced as needed. The floor is ready for some new joists and sub floor tomorrow. Our goal is to replace the damaged weight bearing interior wall as well tomorrow. Ambitious yes, but a reachable goal for the team.

Another crew headed to the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans to install kitchen cabinets. The trek included a ferry ride across the Mississippi. We were able to install the complete kitchen getting Miss Iama closer to having her home reach completion!

Tomorrow is our final day of work already. The week has flown by. Lunch tomorrow is going to be a special treat. We are going to be treated to some real southern fare for lunch. We can’t wait for the spread.

The people we have been working for have been wonderful. They have a genuine appreciation for the work we have been doing. Miss Iama’s reaction to her new kitchen was priceless, and worth every minute of the ride down and back. She was excited that part of the body of Christ traveled all the way down from Michigan to help restore the area she called home. She truly believes that we are “Angels of Mercy”

We plan to wrap up the work week tomorrow and pack up tomorrow night. Our goal is to grab a little sleep and be on the road about 3:30-4 and head north. We hear that there is snow forecast back home, so we will try to bring back a little southern warmth with us.

Please pray that we finish the work week safely and that we have safe travels on our trek back home. Thank you for all your support, encouragement and prayers as we work as the hands and feet of Christ.

The NO Team

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wednesday Update

Due to a technical glitch, Tuesday and Wednesday posts were posted at the same time. Be sure to read both!

Greetings from the Crescent City! Today was another hot one, but what else is new. We made significant progress on our project today. More sub-floor was put down and new sill plate was also installed. More joists were repaired and the foundation was continued to be leveled and reinforced. Progress has been slower than we hoped, but we are still making headway. The people that we are doing the repairs for are very happy and grateful for the work that we are doing. It is nice to know that our work is both needed and appreciated.

Tomorrow we hope to split into a couple of groups. One will continue to make repairs on the floor and foundation, while another will head to another job site where we will be installing kitchen cabinets. It will be different being on a job that will be so close to completion.

Things are going well. Please continue to pray for safety on the work site. We have endured the heat without incident and have survived the work with just a few scrapes and scratches.

Signing off,

The NO Team

Tuesday Update

Due to a technical glitch, Tuesday and Wednesday posts were posted at the same time. Be sure to read both!

Today we had more progress on our project. We continued to level the floor, install new floor joists replacing those that were rotten, install sub-floor, and replaced rotten studs.

The weather was warm but not as warm as yesterday. We are dealing with the heat well making sure we remain hydrated.

We are still having fun. We are enjoying our lodging, the house meets our needs quite well. The food is wonderful as always. Mary does such a wonderful job feeding us.

Til next time,

The NO team.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Monday Update

We have two words to describe the weather today HA AGHT . We got a taste of the hot and humid weather. Temps hovered around 90, and of course it was humid. The group got a little bit of a later start as potential job sites were discussed and looked at.

The project we started working on promises to be a fairly demanding project. Part of the floor was removed and new support beams began to be installed. We hope to get the floor leveled and the rotten floor joists replaced. We also hope to repair sections of the walls that are rotten as well. Hopefully we can make some progress this week.

It still is amazing the amount of work that needs to be done. The more we see the more we realize how much devastation there was. It is estimated that only 20% of the residents have returned to the Lower 9th Ward. We learned today that before Katrina home ownership in the Lower 9th Ward was the highest in the State of Louisiana helping dispel the perception that the area was poverty stricken.

We are continuing to have fun and eating well.

Til Next Time

The NO Team.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sunday Update

We woke up this morning to a torrential thunderstorm. It came down in buckets. It made the trek to church a little interesting. We worshipped this morning at the Original Morningstar Gospel Baptist Church located just outside the French Quarter. It was a full gospel experience. Most of us got a cardio workout during the service. It was a different worship experience than we are used to.

After church we walked around the French Quarter and got a little of the famous flavor. We had lunch at Cafe` Masperos a popular restaurant in the French Quarter. After lunch we headed west of town in search of some of the famous Antebellum Plantation Homes. While we did not get to go inside we still were able to get a sense of their beauty.

The trek today allowed us to get an idea of what has been done since our last visit, and sadly what still needs to be done. Katrina is still visible everywhere. While much has been done, there is still so much to do.

Today was a relaxing and restful day, helping us recover from the long trip and prepare for the week of work ahead of us.

Until next time the NO team is signing off.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

We Made It!

After a long drive down, we have arrived in New Orleans, safe and sound. We are staying in a home that is being refurbished and has plenty of bunk beds and great air conditioning! We are heading to sleep very soon to rest up after the drive so this is a short post. We will post again soon with more information. Our internet access is somewhat limited, but we will make an effort to post as often as possible. Please feel free to leave comments for us as some of you have already done. Note, you do not need to create an account to post comments, you can post anonymously or just with your name. More to come later!

Friday, June 13, 2008

On the Road

June 15 Bulletin Announcement:
"Our work project team left on Friday for New Orleans , where they will be working on reconstruction efforts in the lower 9 th ward. Members of the team are: Pete Retsema, Mary Heuker, Sam Streelman, Steve Vos, Dan Bosscher, Jason VanderLaan, Bethany VanderLaan, Kelsey Mouw, Becca Reed , Jordan Tuuk, Julie Helder and Brad Helder. Please pray for the team throughout this week. They will return home on Saturday night."

Look for updates to come here once the team arrives in New Orleans.