Saturday, August 31, 2013

Beach Sessions | Lauren

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Once again I give you my gorgeous sister, Lauren…

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Long Island, Sandy Relief | Part Two

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Read part one here.

Monday morning we had orientation and then we were sent to our first work site. We were told we would be cutting down a tree, with no idea how long it would take. We arrived at the home of Mr.Nebil, ready for our first day of work. There were three large piles of debris that we cleared first, then the men began cutting branches from the tree that we were to drag to a dumpster provided for us. It turned out the tree had several vines all over it which made it hard to cut down and drag the branches away because many of them were caught up in the vines. We were not able to finish taking down the tree that day and the dumpster appeared to already be getting full so we decided to leave and come back to hopefully finish the next day. We were able to finish and ended up coming a third day also to put in a floor for Mr.Nebil’s shed.

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We were able to take half the day off on Wednesday to do some sightseeing. It worked best for us because of the size of our group to go on a ferry tour to see some of the main sights of New York City. We saw the Empire State building, Freedom Tower, the beautiful Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg bridges, and of course the Statue of Liberty :). One of my favorite parts was driving through New York City. We found out that Times Square wasn’t too far out of our way so we decided to drive through it. I probably don’t have to tell you it was very crowded. Some people were dressed up in costumes such as Mickey Mouse, Elmo, and the Statue of Liberty.

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Thursday was the first day our entire group from our association worked together. Previously we had divided up into 3 groups and went to different sites. We had to combine on Thursday because of the limited number of projects so we went to the home a lady and her four children. Her backyard was overgrown with grass and bushes and large limbs lay in the overgrowth. Several girls and I  played with the children most of the day because there were so many people working in the backyard. We played frisbee, baseball, and jump rope. There were three girls between the ages of about 8 and 5 and a precious 10-month-old boy named Sir Reverend.

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On our last day on Long Island we helped a sweet widow who needed her garage door and exterior door replaced. While the men worked on the doors, the girls and I pulled weeds out of her flower beds and cleaned her rusty tools. Her husband died a little over a year ago and his tools were in the garage. When the hurricane came, their garage was flooded and his tools were left to rust. Because of their sentimental value we tried to sand the rust off the tools and lubricate them for this precious lady named Lorraine. She was very thankful for what we had done and also served us lunch.

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It was a blessing to be able to serve the people of Long Island. God worked in many ways :). It’s definitely something I would love doing again!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Long Island, Sandy Relief | Part One

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Around 3:15 AM and we are out the door. Off we go, headed to the vans that would take us to the Big Apple. By about 4:00 AM the vans were packed with tools, luggage, and some tired, but excited people. After about 18 hours of travel we finally reached the state of New York. Whoever said that New York City never sleeps knew what they were talking about; we were driving through around midnight, stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. After driving through the New York City area for about two hours we finally made it to the church on Long Island where we would be spending the next several days.

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I was like a kid in a candy store when we reached New York City. I long to travel the world and I’m very thankful I had the opportunity to travel to New York. It was hard for me to take pictures that night because there were a lot of bumps in the road. Most turned out very blurry and weren’t worth much. I would love to go back one day with my good camera (all pictures were taken with iPod) to take some better pictures but I decided not to bring it on the trip because I was afraid it would be too much to keep up with it while we were working.

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It had been a long trip…even seeing New York City for the first time wasn’t keeping these two awake!

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We stayed at a church on Long Island, where we were to work all week on various sites across the island. The church graciously opened their doors to the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief several months ago. Bathroom units, bunk units, and RVs were provided by different organizations, including the SBDR. Different teams come each month from all over the country. Our team of 36 (from our church association) was the largest to come as one team. About 160 people were to be there that week, which was the largest ever to stay at the church at one time. A team traveled from Kentucky with the purpose to serve our meals and do other tasks as needed during the week. There were two air conditioned bunk trailers where the women stayed during the week. The men were provided with bunk beds in the church’s gym. There were a few people who had been there for several months and were overseeing the teams coming in. One of them was Mrs.Greta, a very sweet lady who was a blessing to us during the week. She and her husband have been there for the past 2 or 3 months. Please pray for her and the others working there and also the other teams that will be coming during the next months.  

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Part 2 coming soon!