February 11, 2023
Paradise, CA – Feb. 5-11, 2023
Dave and Patti Hughes continued this week as Project Director and Office Manager; Leon Martin was Construction Supervisor and his wife, Marlene was Cook. Additional cooks arriving from Pennsylvania were Ivan and Anna Mary Martin. Crew leaders Harlan Newswanger and Keith Sensenig, both from Ohio, rounded out our leadership team. One volunteer couple from British Columbia, six men from Iowa, and one man from Ohio were the weekly volunteers.
Work continued at the home of Gloria and Jeremiah Reyes on Merrill Road. The back porch posts were added, and cement poured for the front porch. Later in the week the insulation was put under the floor and front porch posts also installed. Cement board siding commenced and by the end of the week it was nearly completed, including trim. The homeowners stopped by one day and they are delighted with the progress.
At the Robert Ream house on Bille Road the drywall finishing was completed, and painting began. The volunteers worked steadily and completed the painting and started putting down laminate flooring. We will continue with the flooring next week.
We returned to the home of Randy Loomis on Tahoe Court to begin hanging drywall on ceilings. After the wall insulation is completed by a contractor and passes inspection we will proceed with drywall on the walls.
At the Bill Kellogg property on Scottwood, contractors poured the slab foundation this week. A team of volunteers picked up the exterior wall which had been pre-fabricated in a warehouse and delivered them to the site. We are excited to be able to begin framing his house next week.
We had dinner guests on Wednesday evening. We met Gail and Mike McCann at church on Sunday and discovered that they live in a neighborhood where MDS had just completed a house. They described some of the hardships they and other fire victims have endured these past four years. For instance, after medical facilities burned everyone had to travel outside the area to obtain medical care. The property owners are held responsible for keeping their lots mowed, though many are living in distant places. Mike has been maintaining not only their property, but the lots of family and neighbors. MDS has learned how restrictive and demanding the building codes are in Paradise and Mike described the heavy load of paperwork and stress that he has dealt with. They did lose all their possessions in the fire. His boat was a puddle of aluminum, and though her special family china pieces did not melt, other glassware was melted onto them, ruining those heirlooms. As she sifted through the ashes, she found that a gold ring had evaporated, leaving the diamond behind and she thought of 1 Peter 1:7: “…the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried by fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”
Gail added that she remembered how Job, though he lost his livelihood, his possessions, and his children worshipped God. What incredible faith!