October 22, 2022
McAllen, TX – Oct. 16-22, 2022
The leadership team of six welcomed four weekly volunteers, all from the state of Virginia although not all from the same location in the state, for the first week of Fall 2022 work at the McAllen project. Once again, we are partnered with UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief). However, since their funding for work in the Rio Grande Valley has been largely spent, MDS approved providing more monies than would be usual for four final houses to be built at this site.
Because we were such a small group, we limited ourselves to one job. It involved literally working from the ground up, setting concrete block piers upon which the structure sits, assembling and placing joists, cutting and building trusses, laying the subfloor, constructing headers and corners, assembling walls and putting them into place, and then adding the sheathing to the stud walls by Friday. We were thrilled to have accomplished all of that in five days!
A real highlight for the volunteers was Thursday noon lunch, prepared and served by the homeowner and her family. By all reports, the food was delicious!
Our UMCOR liaison Roland shared with us that the homeowner dared not allow herself to believe that a house would actually be built, and in fact, it wasn’t until materials were unloaded on her lot Saturday afternoon prior to our week of service that she allowed herself to begin to feel hopeful. This is a story we hear all too often, this tragic loss of hope and trust because of the ways past disappointments and mistreatment have fostered hopelessness.
Two of the four weekly volunteers are staying for a second week, when they will be joined by an additional eight individuals. Work will begin on a second house, the first house will get a roof, and progress should be made toward a third signed job card.
Tim, Sue, Henry, Roger, Ric, Joy, Lance, Larry, Phil and Ellie are grateful for good food, rest, laughter, sunshine and rain, warm and cool days on the jobsite, and above all, for the rich blessings of God’s love and care for us and for those for whom we build shelter.