For Jesus’ Sake

59603AE6-EBC5-4C36-AB33-951CDADE564D37EA60DF-2ACC-4C30-AE55-8A3902124349BF82F2CF-7C1E-4857-B0D5-5F77472D598A6ED647EE-A25E-4FD3-B322-7E37FF11224AE046E3EE-F301-47E7-B02B-97F753E659260F142BE8-BEE3-4257-8CE6-6B9814B8D35A721D9249-9EAE-491B-9CFD-8FBAFB3A9FCFD97F49A6-8438-4ED3-8C86-A5DEE4BD4A4073129C54-27A3-4096-A2F7-0636BC617AB8Today our team woke up around 7:00 again to nothing short of a wonderful breakfast prepared by Eileen. We had a breakfast casserole that had egg, ham, tater tots and cheese all together. It was wonderful! We also had toast, fruit and doughnuts. We headed back out to yesterday’s worksite around 8:45 and began working around 9:30. Kirk and Barry resumed work on the electrical wiring while Rick and Dan began work on the roof of the wrap around deck as well as finishing up some odds and ends of deck work left from the previous group. Amy, Marcia, Tina, Barb and Christina worked on interior walls in one of the bedrooms.

After a long and very diligent day of work we were able to complete some odds and ends of the deck, make good headway on the roof and electrical wiring, and the girls were able to complete the interior walls in one of the bedrooms. Prior to leaving Dave’s house, we walked down a little stretch of road on the property to visit a baptismal site that Dave had told us he made. It was very nice and he said he has used it quite a few times.

We left Dave’s house around 5:00 and headed back to Richwood. Rick and Tina stopped at a house here in Richwood that we worked at last September to adhere a couple boards to her house real quick while the rest of us stopped back at another house we had previously worked on. The house that the rest of the group stopped at belongs to a man named John whom we really enjoy visiting. If you go back through our group’s blog posts from our last two trips here, you can read all about John and his projects he has going on. He remembered who we were and showed us around his house! He told us he gets up early every day to work on the house.

After our visit with John, we came back to the church to meet Buck (our contact person here). We discussed with Buck what all we had accomplished and gave him a donation towards his group. After some fellowship with Buck some of our group went to a house nearby in Richwood to finish up some trim that needed to be done. The lady that lives in this house is a lady that our group did some cleaning for last time we were here. It was nice to visit her again and catch up on how she has been since we last saw her.

After the crew got back from completing the trim on her house, we all had supper together which was spaghetti and salad, made by Eileen. It was excellent! After supper we all had some fellowship together, devotion time and then went to bed around 10:30-11:00.

Today was a very productive day, thanks be to God!

….and it was good

Our mission team woke up this morning around 7:00 to a wonderful breakfast made by Barry and Eileen Baer! We had pancakes, sausage and fruit, all of which was delicious! After breakfast we packed lunches and headed out to our worksite for the day. We left the church where we are staying and headed to a near by (45 minutes away) town called Nettie where we began our first project of the trip. We met another group at this worksite that was from all over Pennsylvania. There were about 15 people in this group and they came here all together but they individually were from different parts of PA and were from seven different churches all together.

Our project for today was helping construct a new log house. This was a very different project for our team because we are usually working on repairing houses or structures that have been damaged. We have rarely ever worked on new construction before as a team. The projects that need to be completed at this house are finishing the wrap around deck, roofing on the entire house and deck, run electrical wire, finish interior ceilings, walls, and then ultimately installing kitchen cabinets, bathroom finishes, etc. The only things that have been completed thus far are most of the decking, exterior walls, and framing on the inside.

Dave is the homeowner of this new log house and he is very interesting to listen to. He is a retired minister for a full gospel church here in a nearby town. His wife died of cancer 9 years ago and the house that he was living in at the time was a trailer. The trailer was located where the new house is currently situated. His old house, which is on the same piece of property he lived at for the majority of his life, had been flooded five times since 1993 due to excessive beaver dams in the creek that runs through the property. He has tried to keep up with removing the beaver dams but it has grown to be a more involved processes than he can handle.

Dave had received some money from FEMA when his house was flooded in prior years and he kept that money saved away so he could build his dream log house one day. He told our team that he had made the plans for this house back in 1994 but when his wife got ill, he put it on the back burner to take care of her. The house is about 800 square feet and is a two bedroom, one bathroom house that has a kitchen, dining room, living room combo area.

Our team worked on installing the board and baton ceiling in the two bedrooms and running electrical wire. We were able to complete the ceiling in the two bedrooms and complete most of the electrical wiring on the inside. Our plan is to head back tomorrow and hopefully complete some of the remaining projects.

When we got back to the church, Eileen had appetizers waiting for our group to eat. We had bread with spinach artichoke dip, crackers with cheese and meat, and a veggie tray. For dinner we had baked chicken, corn, green beans, baked potatoes, applesauce, and creamed lettuce. Shortly after dinner some of us went on a walk to the local park to listen to entertainment that was going on for a local festival. Others stayed back and talked with one another. When everyone came back from the festival Eileen had apple dumplings for everyone which were excellent to say the least!

During lunch Dave told our two groups some different stories about things he has experienced and he also brought out his guitar and played a couple of songs for us. It was a very nice time to share some fellowship and songs together. We had a very good day today and we look forward to serving this community more the next couple of days.0E269BA7-8B4C-43F7-8C7E-774A2D895E192F34FE72-529F-4580-B23F-B1F3F96BF0030EFBACFE-BEF9-4736-80C0-351EFCEF0A7EAD214C0B-F257-4C8B-A8B9-ED7D544789C882550480-04BB-4F35-B852-4BC394624F8F653750BD-7C0D-4A4D-A334-A1C9AA28D02075F1BE63-67B0-44B9-9A3D-1A6A48B117253879E5E5-A806-4BE2-9640-15E09874AC95E7D69D3A-7F2A-42A0-A90C-ABA5D0FD76EA9BF1D36B-6F8D-4D95-879E-3DD1A8289DD041C09F14-85CB-4A12-BC59-5F349E4A785A

Third Time is a Charm

 

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Hello, and welcome to our blog for our mission trip to Richwood, WV. For those of you that are new here, this is our third time in a year coming to Richwood. We came in July and September of 2017 and are back for our third round! Eleven of us are here this time and we are ready to work! Those attending this trip are Marcia Maust, Amy Will, Christina Will, Mike Bittner, Dan and Barb Halverson, Rick and Tina Barron, Eileen and Barry Baer and Kirk Moore. We left Friedens at 6:00pm and after stopping once one the way here for dinner, we arrived at the Catholic Church housing us this weekend at 10:30pm. We unpacked our belongings and promptly went to bed to rest up for our workday ahead. Please keep our team in your prayers this weekend as we provide God’s work through our hands. 

Reaching Outward, Building Upward

This morning our team woke up around 7:30am again to some leftovers from dinner last night for breakfast as well as fruit, doughnuts and toast again. We all split up into the same two groups as yesterday and headed out to our same job sites as yesterday.

The painting crew finished up the three sides of the house that they were to finish. There is a lot more painting to be done on the lady’s house but that is going to be completed by another team coming down some other time in the near future. We found out that the lady’s name is Sally and she is going to be turning 80 in December. She was visiting her daughter in Virginia this weekend and is to be returning home Monday sometime.

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The other crew finished installing siding on the addition as well as the interior framing that they were working on. They also installed approximately 95% of the metal roofing on the addition of the house. They were able to meet one of the children that were going to be living in this new addition and he was very appreciative and thankful for what we had accomplished for his family in the two days that we were there. We were the third team to have worked on their house and there are more coming after us to help finish everything.

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Buck, our leader, took Nancy and Barb out for a drive so they could see some parts of the towns near by. They went to a state park, saw some projects that other teams had worked on and were currently working on as well as showing them where our two teams were working. They had a wonderful time!

The painting crew wrapped up their job at approximately 1:00pm and headed back to the parsonage to clean up and eat some wonderful vegetable soup that Nancy and Barb had prepared. Once they were cleaned up and fed, they took food pantry donations over to the Catholic Church where we had stayed at last time in Richwood. Father Dang was very happy to see us and he was very grateful for any donations that we had. He also had the CVS items that Bill and Randy took down organized and sitting out for people to take and use. He mentioned a few times how thankful he was for our church giving those CVS items and that he would like to come to Somerset next time we have some so he can meet and personally thank us and especially Pastor Ed.

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After taking the donations to Father Dang, the painting crew headed out to the worksite of the crew building the addition to see what they had accomplished. We all spent some time there talking to the owners and some of us held the week old puppies that their dog had just given birth to. There were eight dogs at the neighbor’s house that had forced their way in to the mother dog’s pen a few months back so now the homeowner has 8 new baby puppies to care for as well.

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After visiting there for a little, we all headed back to the parsonage to clean up and pack up to head home. We left Richwood at approximately 4:30pm. We stopped at Texas Roadhouse in Clarksburg for dinner per Matt’s request and also filled up the gas tanks. Everything was excellent! We arrived back at the church at 10:30pm. All glory to God for another successful and rewarding mission trip.

We’re baaaaackk….

Our team woke up around 7:30am this morning to a wonderful sausage and egg casserole made by Barb Berkley and Nancy Shaffer along with oatmeal, fruit, doughnuts and toast. Once our stomachs were filled we split up into two groups for the day. Rick Barron, Dan Halverson, Matt Sipe, Mike Bittner and Amy Will headed out to an area in Craigsville to do some construction on a 16’ x 24’ addition that is going to house three teenage children along with their father. The father and mother were divorced and the children were living with the mother until she died from cancer in May of 2017. The mother was a Methodist minister at several churches in southern West Virginia and the father is a machinist here in Richwood. Our team is installing siding, framing out interior bedrooms and installing a metal roof all on the addition.

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The other group comprised of Beth Schrock, Barb Halverson, Tina Barron and Christina Will began to clean the parsonage where we are staying before heading out to their paint job. Nancy and Barb finished the cleaning throughout the rest of the day. They scrubbed the floors on their hands and knees, cleaned the kitchen cabinets, and prepared dinner for our team.

Beth, Barb, Tina and Christina headed out to a job close to the parsonage to paint the outside of a house for an elderly lady. They scraped the flaking paint off of three sides of the house, came back for sandwiches for lunch and then went and painted two of the three sides.

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At approximately 6:30pm everyone came back to the parsonage to some hot and ready meatloaf, Aunt Vi’s potatoes, mixed vegetables, applesauce and cake. Everything was absolutely excellent! We enjoyed some fellowship with each other and our leader Buck Edwards from the Methodist organization in charge of these projects. After devotions and showers we all headed to bed thankful for a beautiful day in Richwood.

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Richwood Round 2: Day 1

IMG_0008Hello and welcome to our blog! Our second journey down to Richwood, WV started Thursday night at about 5:45pm when nine of us from the church loaded up and headed south. Matt Sipe has graciously volunteered to drive our 15 passenger van while Dan and Barb Halverson drove the truck and pull behind box trailer with our luggage, coolers of food and tools loaded. We stopped in Fairmont, WV for dinner where we split up between McDonald’s, Subway and KFC. After stopping for gas once on the way down we finally arrived at the church where we are staying at approximately 10:30pm. We promptly unloaded the vehicles and settled in for the night, eager to see what Richwood and God have planned for us tomorrow.

On the road again…

Day #4

This morning we packed up and we're headed back to Friedens, PA. As soon as we woke up, we packed up our personal bags. In the morning we ate breakfast together, cleaned the vans, cleaned the tools and equipment, packed up the vans, and cleaned the building we were staying in. We had the opportunity to attend Mass at Holy Family Roman Catholic Church. Following mass we met Fr. Dang and talked to two men attending the service. The two men told many stories and provided interesting history about Richwood, WV. The one gentleman said he once worked in the clothespin factory located in Richwood. The men said their goodbyes and then we were on our way home.

About halfway through the trip home we stopped at Arby's and had lunch. We refueled our vans and truck as well. We arrived back in Friedens at about 3:45. It was sad saying goodbye to the members of the Mission Team. The most valuable thing on this trip was getting to know new people and creating relationships while helping God's people. We headed to our homes knowing we worked hard and spread God's love.

And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:16

Angels sent from God

Day #3

Today we served, laughed, and spread God's love. We met God's lovely people by starting and completing projects. Our working hands did God's work. Today a man from Richwood, West Virginia said we are "Angels sent from God!" Our work was very appreciated.

We started out the day with breakfast at 8 a.m. again. Thanks to our cooks, we had full stomachs to work. We completed multiple tasks: decking, paneling, dry walling, mudding, cleaning, flooring, trimming, and painting.
Thanks to our leader Buck Edwards from West Virginia Methodist Conference for organizing and providing guidance on these tasks. And thanks to Rick, Dan, Doug, and Dave for leading each project and keeping the Mission Team on task.

The painting crew headed to a local sports complex to help with refinishing a concession stand. They dry walled and painted two stories. The community of Richwood really appreciated a nice place to gather and bring back normalcy. Our work at the sports complex created something for the community to be proud of.

Another crew headed to a local's house to do paneling, flooring, and trim work. The guy's name was John. They were helping make his 20 x 8 tiny house more livable. He was thrilled at the meal we provided him with. John was devastated from the flood. He shared many stories and loved to talk. He was very thankful and said our Mission Team was a blessing.

The decking crew completed their project from yesterday. No lightning strikes today!!
After that they moved on to help complete other projects.

A few women from the Mission Team went to a woman's house to help her clean. The lady's name was Susan. She is diabetic and has cancer. She was effected by the flood and has trouble getting around to fix up her home. So the ladies stepped in to sweep, mop, dust, and do dishes. Susan loved to talk. Most importantly, the women were there to listen to her stories. Susan was very grateful and loved the company.

Another group stopped at a home in Richwood. The task was to do flooring and trim work. The house was cluttered and dirty. Along with flooring and trimming they stepped into to organize, clean, and watch a baby and toddler. The home owner recently lost her husband, was depressed, and was
effected by the flood. All of the family moved into one house. The house was run down and over populated. When the crew arrived they were greeted by a great grandma who was watching an 8 month old and 2 year old. Her hands were full, so we cleaned her house and watched her great grandchildren. In her home we also floored and trimmed a room, creating more space for the family. She was very grateful for our time and kept apologizing for the mess.

We were blessed to be able to donate $1,000 to Holy Family Catholic Church to use for the church and food pantry. Along with $5,000 to the West Virginia Methodist Conference so that they can continue to help flood victims.

To finish out the night the Mission Team returned for dinner and devotions. Dinner was delicious and refreshing. During devotions we discussed memories made and how grateful we are for what we have. The smiles and giggles were lovely. We ended the evening with a stop at the local Dairy Queen. We went to bed knowing God's people were served and that we made a difference. God is great!

God’s Recovery Team

Day #2

The Mission Team gathered in the kitchen for breakfast in the morning and left to serve. We were split into 3 groups: 7 painting, 5 decking, and 6 insulating. Our two cooks were baking and cooking all day, as well. As we began our work we pursued our quest for God sightings.

The painters sanded the ceiling of a church basement. After the sanding and mudding was completed they painted the walls and ceiling. It's amazing what a layer of paint can do!

The decking crew put spindles on a railing. They were attempting to finish a ramp for a homeowner and almost got struck by lightning. As the crew took shelter from the rain, they were welcomed by a neighbor. The kind man offered them pizza and shelter from the rain. The decking job was eventually rained out but lots was completed!

The insulating crew headed off to a local resident's place. The man they worked for was living in a camper during the flood. The original camper was overtaken by mold and mildew. Recently a new 20 x 8 square foot building was built for the man. The crew put insulation inside the new building and put in a ceiling. He was very thankful!

The Mission Team arrived back for dinner and showers. Everyone was very appreciative of the wonderful meal the cooks prepared us. The cooks made plenty of food for us, so we gave extra plates to people in the neighborhood. We finished off our evening with devotions, laughs and a stroll through Richwood.

In the evening we took time to reflect on our service to God's people. We shared many God sightings. A God sighting we saw was providing food for a young woman who lives in her van in the church parking lot. Throughout the day, God's people were served and love was spread. The Mission Team is ready to tackle Day #3!

Off we go…

God has not moved out of Richwood, West Virginia! 21 volunteers packed up into two vans and headed south to West Virginia. Last summer on June 23, ten inches of rain fell in less than 12 hours. The small town was left with destruction, death, and heartache. The county declared a state of emergency. The high school and middle school were condemned along with many homes destroyed. At one point, Richwood was thriving in the coal and lumber business. Now… 29% of the population lives below the poverty line and many struggle with unemployment. So Frieden's Luther Church 2017 Mission Team stepped in.

We left Friedens at 6:00 p.m. and arrived in Richwood, West Virginia at 11:00 p.m.
Half way through the trip we stopped at a local Wendy's for a quick snack and a bathroom break. Then we stopped to refuel. While getting gas, the debt card failed to work. Fortunately, we got the card to work again and were able to continue on our journey. We were very thankful for that God sighting.

When we arrived in Richwood, we quickly unpacked. We were very grateful for our drivers: Doug, Dave, and Dan. The building that we are staying in was once an old Catholic School. The building has three stories and 38 steps from the bathroom to our beds. Once we got settled in, we had devotions and met our leader Buck Edwards. He introduced himself and told us our jobs for tomorrow. We were prepared to work at 9 a.m. the next day and give our time and energy to God's people!