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Kevin Deal is a singer-songwriter from Texas. When he was a kid, the family moved around a lot, but settled in for several years north of Dallas.  He started listening to country music when it was “workin’ man’s” music.  He listened to the great Texas troubadours who shaped the sound of many other musicians.  The influence of Steve Earle can be heard in much of Deal’s music.  That’s a good model to follow.

After high school he started working on a masonry crew and played music on the side. When he got married and started a family, he put away the music for a while and started his own contracting company. Sometime in the 1990’s he met the legendary Lloyd Maines, who lured Deal into a recording studio.  He recently saw the music wasn’t paying the bills, so went back to full-time masonry work.

In 2015, he compiled and released the album “Nothing Left to Prove” with the song “Whom Then Shall I Fear Lord?”  It is an up-tempo arrangement in the best of the string band tradition. It sounds nothing like the Chris Tomlin song of a similar name.


Little David was a boy who slept out on the land

He refused the weapons that they offered him

He knelt down and gathered five smooth stones

When he stood before the giant, he did not stand alone.


Whom then shall I fear Lord, whom then shall I fear?

You have conquered death, Lord, and everything that’s here.

And, whom then shall I fear Lord, whom then shall I fear?

As we near the end of the Port Isabel MDS project in Cameron County, we are absolutely surprised at the progress achieved on the two new houses.  We had no physical threats like David faced, but certainly felt we were facing some strong challenges.  There are still several items on a punch list, and even a couple of major items that have not been delivered.  However, the houses look like homes that can be ready for dedication on Wednesday of next week.

The weekly volunteers on the project this past week were from Missouri.  Their original number of 15 dwindled down to 8 young men.  Which was fine.  Gideon was able to do what God had planned with a smaller force, so we had a wonderful biblical model.  To make it more challenging, several of the men were concrete workers instead of trim carpenters.  There were two in the group with sufficient electrical experience that, with our crew leaders, the installation and testing of lights, receptacles and switches was completed.

A small group of MDSer’s are going to be here to handle the punch lists on the houses after Easter, hold dedications and load out the MDS tools, kitchen equipment, furniture and appliances to head back to the MDS warehouse in Columbus, MS.  Their lists might be short, but having that backup plan certainly reduced the pressure on the crews and leaders the past three weeks.

It is rare that our final week on a project is also Holy Week ending on Good Friday, but that is the case this year.  Our volunteers from Missouri were keen to be home for Good Friday, and the needed work was completed, so they took off on Thursday morning.  Our March Long-Term volunteers are ending their four weeks also and heading for home Saturday.  In our time of reflection, the most repeated topic was being amazed with where we are with the new houses, despite delays and challenges.  They can all head home, reflecting on how God used their efforts and amplified the effects on the progress of the houses.

The final verse of Kevin Deal’s song is about this week about 2000 years ago.


Through streets of Jerusalem, his back bowed and beat

Then a Roman drives spikes through his hands and feet

He rose again upon the third day

He made promises to those who walked in His way.


Whom then shall I fear Lord, whom then shall I fear?

You have conquered death, Lord, and everything that’s here.

So, whom then shall I fear Lord, whom then shall I fear?

Ending our time at the Port Isabel MDS project in Cameron County, Texas

Jim, Ruthi, Pauline, Jack, Inko, Andrew, Jason, Laura and Carl

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