So today I worked with a "regular team" meaning the volunteers were half men and half women, one of whom is an professional rehabber experienced in setting up and executing similar work sites. It was a "day job" meaning three small projects to help someone stay in their home rather than building or fixing a broken home. So here is the challenge: the men had worked together before, had great skills and experience specific to the projects and the yard was tiny before it was filled with table saw, saw horses, jack hammers, stacked siding, bags of concrete, a wheelbarrow and the concrete mixer. It was such a tight fit that it was not practical to get all three projects going at one time and it made perfect sense for the experienced team to jump right in replacing the railings on the porch with a camaraderie that was fun to watch.
Other than working around the edges keeping the work sight picked up and trimming some bushes and eventually moving the broken concrete away to set-up for a walk-way repair, we were not such great help. And as the day wore on and the shade was reduced and the temperature climbed steadily, the women were not feeling like they were being much help. The crew chief was most comforting, but one just can't put 8 people in a space that is tight for four. Today is the only day I could fit Habitat into my week and I'm feeling less frustrated about that.
But, challenges and all, today was a blessing. I love being around folks (of ALL ages -- we were 16 to maybe 70 today) who have a genuine heart for helping and are willing teachers. Although I had not worked with these folks before, we had common friends and everyone was so welcoming and friendly even with high heat and the usual unplanned fixes that needed to be addressed. Even the older neighbor next door would wander over to kibitz. Habitat workers are good for neighborhoods too. The staff member who coordinated the site was most knowledgeable and gracious and his great son came to help too.
So, I may be creaky tomorrow, but it will be a happy creaky! Both because I enjoyed today and because tomorrow I will be in air-conditioning.
Thank you Almighty God, for the heart, health and opportunity to be Your hands and feet today. Bless the home owner as she enjoys a safer and more attractive environment. Bless the folks who came to work and the neighbors who saw us praying as we started our day. Thank you, Lord, for a truly great day. AMEN