The Adventure Begins
Thank you for your blessings as we departed Raleigh for Hazard on Sunday. We had an uneventful ride through the Piedmont and into the mountains as we settled into a familiar comfort with one another. We were welcomed to Hazard by Janie and Emma, who work for the Housing Development Alliance. After a brief orientation, we were introduced to another group who had been here for a couple of days and welcomed us in with leftovers from their fabulous dinner. In conversation, we found out one of their group leaders was a former Pullenite! Don’t worry, he only left because of his job. Weary, road heavy heads were not enough to bring an early bedtime as the excitement bubbled. We finally settled into our air mattresses, cots, and various other sleeping arrangements later than some of us would have chosen but at least we slept well.
Monday began much too early, given the previous sentence, but the day quickly brightened as caffeine and sugar kicked in for us all. After meeting our pro’s, myself (Bryan), Hannah, Joy, Jaden, and Skylar all took off to work on framing the house of a young family of 8. When we arrived, the foundation was set in place and we have been given the task to frame the house, beginning with the floor and headed upward. The first day is always difficult as people get comfortable with one another and with a set of tools and a whole new language but the team worked really well together, even in the heat, humidity, and occasional shower. Hannah used tools for the first time in her life, Joy and Skylar found their niche with an impact wrench, and Jaden seemed eager to try anything we would let him do. I just tried not scare anyone away from the job-site. We have the rare privilege, when framing a home, to have the father be one of our carpenters and five of the six children all came out and helped with the “house raising”. It was truly a joy to see and I think our teenagers will gain much from the week.
Bob, Elena, Caleigh, Branson, Tyler, and Choo all went to finish up some work done at two other sites where remodeling was taking place. They were able to do some roof work, replace some decking, and do some painting; all in one day! They had the chance to meet, talk, and share some good stories with one family, with grandma even bringing out her quilt, that she quilted, to show everyone. It was gorgeous and so was grandma. Tyler and Branson got to enjoy some time playing with goats and the various other animals throughout the day added some much needed respite from the heat. Elena and Choo researched how to hammer a nail and have now deemed themselves professionals while Caleigh seems to easily adjust to various tasks and do them well. Bob remains a solid leader and source of knowledge. Tomorrow, they will embark on a new journey, at a new home, to love and serve Perry County.
Things to keep in mind as we continue our week:
-It’s hot and that takes it’s toll on people not accustomed to working outside.
-They are calling for rain everyday. We can work around some showers but if storms pass through, we will have to shut down work for the day.
-As we grow more tired, we will be less willing to interact with new people and work as hard as we have.
-Emotionally, there is much to be processed here this week.
-We do miss our families