Monday, January 28, 2013

Welcome to New Jersey


As Dorothy would have said “We’re not in Momeyer (or Hawaii) any more”.  On Monday we arrived on the site in Allenwood, NJ at Grace Tabernacle Bible Church.  After we got the camper set up we got our first snow.  The NCBM set this site up November 4, 2012 and have completed 350 jobs.  We have agreed to stay here for at least six months with the NCBM helping with the recovery operation and then doing rebuild work.  Although it is a lot like what we have done for the past few years, being up north is different, so we ask for your prayers and help. 


We came into a operation that was already operating but with changes in staff had become very disorganized.  Ann is in charge of the DROC (office) and with the help of some recovery ladies it is now organized and ready for both operations.  Thanks to Connie, Elizabeth and Donna.  Carey Grey came up on Monday also to be the Recovery Blue Hat so Billy could concentrate more on the rebuild effort. Billy did get out to some of the damaged areas on Tuesday and Thursday but most of his time has been in the DROC also.  Al & Tony have been doing our assessment work and they compare notes each morning and night. 


We had some good volunteers this week past week who were all here to help others in GOD’s name.  Billy says that he has worked the laundry in some hot and cold conditions but never when you had to wear a toboggan and drain the system each night to keep it from freezing. Pictures show only a few of the teams here last week.


Recovery Work: Yes that is sand that got washed into the crawl spaces of homes so we are helping remove it.  Lots of sheetrock, flooring and insulation still needs to be removed from homes.  We have a lot of fogging (mold treatment) jobs left to do but they can’t be done in below freezing conditions.


Rebuild Work: With the cold temperatures some of the fogging  jobs had to be put on hold. So we put some of the guys to work on rebuild jobs.  They hung insulation and sheetrock.


Each night when we finish supper we have a debrief & devotion time.  Lots of heart wrenching stories are shared.  Billy can’t talk without moving his hands.  Drew came all the way to Allenwood for his birthday and not only got a cake but received the present of being able to lead a man to God.  Drew is only 23 but already a dedicated servant.  A man we can relate to.  We have also spent our last several birthdays away serving GOD.  As we see it “what better place to be.”

I know many of you have already been to NJ or NY to serve but the need here is still great.  Also the opportunities GOD has laid out for his believers to go and share his love and word are plentiful.  Please pray for us and listen for that small voice that tells you “ It is time to step up and go serve “.   We hope and pray each of you will come serve with us this year.  Don’t forget to bring a friend and tell others about the need for volunteers in NJ and all the world.

PS.  We have been pleasantly surprised by our welcome here in NJ.  Maybe it’s not a foreign country after all.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Home (for a few days)


We knew this time would come all to soon.  On Sunday, our last full day in Hawaii we went to the resort area of Ko Olina again for Ann to snorkel.  She was able to see a few fish.  On Monday we got up early to pack and went to the beach at Pokai Bay for one last ride on the stand up paddleboard.  It was windy and a bit harder to control.  When we got back to camp Andy & Ramona gave us our certificates and Pua Kahea t-shirts and thanked us for the 9 weeks of service at the camp.  They took us out for lunch and then on to the airport.  We had a long but good flight back to the mainland and were both able to get some sleep.

We really enjoyed our time here.  We did a lot of work but it was not too hard and we had plenty of free time to enjoy the island life. 


Even though it was sad to leave paradise and our new friends it was really good to get home to see family and friends.  Aunt Jo was nice enough to keep her Christmas decorations up until we got back and on Wednesday some of the family gathered at Jo’s house for lunch and to open presents.  Kim & Brandon arrived from Ohio just before lunch and then spent the next two days with us.  We enjoyed meals with them, Matt and Tanya and some of Brandon’s family.  Ann decided the ladies should make t-shirt scarves. 

On Saturday Ann went to her quilt guild and had lunch with friends.  Billy helped Ike work on his shop.  As the day started to end we got a call and a dear couple stopped by to visit,  J E & Betsy Skinner.  We talked about our time in Hawaii and the work we had done.  JE & Betsy went in February 2011 and stayed in the same room as we did.  Then we talked about our next adventure. 

On Monday 1/21/13 we will leave Momeyer and travel to Allenwood, N.J.   NC Baptist Men have been working there since right after Hurricane Sandy just as be were getting ready to leave for Hawaii.  Our hearts went with them at that time and now we are ready to join them.  We will be there possibly for six months serving GOD as needed.  We have our concerns about just what will take place and how we will serve GOD but HE has laid peace on my heart the past two days with assurance that He is already there getting things in order so we can enjoy serving HIM again this year.  Back in September Ann posted that she was feeling a nudge to step out of her comfort zone and go on a foreign mission trip.  Well, for this southern girl, NJ might just be her foreign country.  Please remember us in your prayers as well as the people we will be serving.

If you or a team would like to follow GOD’s call and come help us rebuild the homes and lives of the people of New Jersey this year please contact either of us or visit the NCBM mission site to sign up.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Happy New Year


For New Years Eve Jeff & Sharon invited us out to eat at Outback.  Afterwards Jeff drove us around so we could watch as locals started shooting fireworks.  We ended up stopping at the Honolulu City Lights.  It seemed sort of strange walking around looking at Christmas lights in shorts and t-shirts.


On New Years day we went to John and Lorrie’s with plans to work on their roof but it rained most all day so Billy adjusted doors for them.  For supper we had steak, potatoes and salad.

Work Around Camp

Wednesday it was back to work painting steps,  cleaning rooms & washing linens.  Chuck decided to do some grounds cleaning so Ann supervised.

Work Around Camp1

Andy purchased a tiller so we started replanting areas with grass.  The ground is so hard and dry here about all you can do is scratch the top, plant seed and water them.   We installed hand towel machines in the Hikina units.  Andy & Billy had the sweet job of cleaning our the septic pump tank and repairing the wiring.


On Friday God was gracious and allowed us time and sunshine so we could go back to John & Lorrie’s to do their roof job.  Their reading room had a glass roof that was cracked and leaked each time it rained which is almost daily on that side of the island.  Ann was a great helper bringing Billy supplies and handing them up as needed. John was a great supervisor.  As Billy finished up the caulking John, Lorrie & Ann cleaned up the mess Billy had made.  Lorrie said it rained hard that night and when John went to clean up the water on Saturday morning he was happy cause there was none.


On Saturday we went to meet Richard & Lucy Morgan.  Lucy is from Nash County and fell in love with Richard when they were on a cruise to Europe as young adults.  Richard is 5th generation of his family on Oahu.  The family owns and operates the Kualoa Ranch.  The home they live in was built by his grandparents and Richard has lived there most of his life.  It was and is a grand old house.  The area where the van is parked is where the drivers would pull the horse drawn carriages under so the guest could get out and then enter the house for parties. In those days it was a six acre site with an unobstructed view of the beach & ocean from Diamond Head to Pearl Harbor.  Richard says he was actually sitting on the roof the morning Pearl harbor was attacked and waved at the pilots as they came in unknowing what was about to happen.  Richard is a true mechanic .  He rebuilt the Model T (hand made what he couldn’t find).  He took the left over parts and built a frame car which he drives around the ranch.  He says he has always enjoyed racing and modifying cars.  Lucy says one of the things she fell in love with was his ability to play the piano.  He played the grand for us and yes he is good.  He took lessons as a boy for 12 years but quit cause lessons were boring.  He now plays by ear.

Afterwards we went to Tree Tops Restaurant for lunch.  On the way back to camp we stopped by the Ko Olina resort to take a walk.  At the end of the resort area we saw a pregnant Hawaiian Monk seal named Pohaku sunning on the beach.  She is hard to see among the rocks but is in the center of the two lower right pictures.

We have enjoyed our time here on Oahu volunteering at Camp Pu’u Kahea and serving GOD who has allowed us lots of time to meet new friends and see this part of his world.  Monday is our last day here.  We ask for your prayers as we travel to Momeyer.  We will celebrate a late Christmas with family and see some friends. On January 21 we will travel to Allenwood, NJ to start serving with the NCBM recovery operation that’s been going on since Hurricane Sandy arrived there.