April 16, 2008
Orientation Morning 3
March 17, 2008
Following orientation, the teams spilled out into the parking lot. The leaders stayed behind to gather assignments, directions, and specifics. They learned about the home sites and the home owners.
As the teams outside gathered near their vehicles, we talked with the other groups around us, and learned a little about them. When we finally did hear our assignment, there needed to be some commitments made. Our team statistics were 4 men and 10 women, 2 of whom could be considered youth. Our construction skills were assessed to be on the low side, except for a few more experienced members. Based on that, we wondered and speculated aloud what sort of an assignment we would end up with.
We got a roof.
There’s an interesting picture out there on the GITC website that shows exactly what happens when a leader shouts; “Hands up! Who’s willing to go on a roof?" There were a couple of us standing around with our hands planted firmly on our hips. We became the “ground crew." That was alright with me.
The neighborhood we worked in appeared deceptively recovered. From the outside, everything looked fine. Most of the homes were brick, the lawns were nicely kept, and many had new roofs. But, when you really looked again, you noticed the FEMA trailers in the driveways all up and down the streets. You noticed that some of the homes were still empty. The neighborhood seemed eerily quiet, and deserted except for occasional mockingbird calls or squirrel chatter.
The quietness rolled away in the late afternoons as children returned to their homes from school and residents returned from their jobs. This was a huge change from neighborhood I worked in last October. At that home site there was no afternoon, early evening buzz. There were no birds or squirrels, just quiet emptiness occasionally interrupted by a hammer knock or saw whine.
It’s hard to describe the feelings that ran through me as I realized that this was a real neighborhood. Yes, from the outside everything looked good, but on the inside many homes were not repaired yet. Yes, the neighborhood, the homes, and the hearts in this neighborhood still needed work, but people are living and working and surviving here. I felt a little less desolation in my own heart, and a little more inspiring encouragement in my soul.
Posted by jaselin at April 16, 2008 06:53 AM