April 29, 2023
Paradise, CA – April 23-29, 2023
A lively young group of gals from Calgary, Alberta, including, Liesel Retzlaff, Delaney Janzen, Charlene Lauzier and Aspen Redecopp, filled our week with energy and laughter. In addition, Sarah & Paul Szatmary from Port Deposit, MD, who normally serve on RV projects, as well as, Arlene Bontrager from Saint Ignatius, MT completed our group of weekly volunteers. With the addition of our long-term volunteers, Clara Coblentz, head cook from Saint Ignatius, MT; Jonas Schmidt, crew leader from Germany and Don & Rachel Horst, project director and office manager from Newton, KS, our total number of volunteers this week came to eleven.
The Certificate of Occupancy was acquired for Robert Ream; final inspection called for at Randy Loomis, as well as many punch list items at Kellogg and Reyes completed. On Friday the entire team, including our cooks, went to Sterling City to split wood and hang a steel door on the little church our electrician, Billy Hambleton, is getting ready for the small congregation he pastors.
A visit from Michele WhiteEagle, Joan and John Turner from Upland, CA, and having Bruce Yerman, Director of Operations for Campfire Collaborative, join us for our Wednesday evening meal, added meaning to our week. Eating ice cream bars with Robert Reams in celebration of his Certificate of Occupancy and learning about the wood ministry Billy’s congregation has in Sterling City definitely were highlights this week. We took in some local culture by attending the “unique” Donkey Derby and Golden Nugget Parade. The sunscreen did its job, but we were ready to be out of the sun after those two events.
Plans for the upcoming week include getting Randy Loomis’ Certificate of Occupancy, working on Reyes punch list and preparing for the dedication of our last three homes.
Paradise is bursting with a full gamut of vibrant colors, from yellow and orange California poppies to pink and white dogwood trees in bloom. All this beauty helps us experience the wonder of God. Tears of joy flowed freely too, as we left Robert Reams’ house, knowing that he and his pets are now safely and happily in their new home.
Rachel Horst on behalf of the Paradise team.