We are a ministry of the United Methodist Church

Weekly Team Report - Texas Disaster Rebuilding Nov. 2


It is hard to believe that November has arrived.  After church last Sunday, we went to a park in downtown Corpus Christi where the homeless congregate to get a meal.  Odem First UMC brings books for the homeless to read and also some health and hygiene items.  Since the food was late, the people came over to get books.  We were impressed how many had a hunger for reading, how many books they took, and they talked about mysteries they enjoy reading.  The church also had children’s books.  It broke our hearts when a little girl about 4 year’s old, asked if we had any princess books.  Unfortunately, we didn’t.  Each week different churches/organizations bring food, clothing, books, and hygiene items.  Many return books and take out more.  It was an uplifting experience.  We had a pot luck dinner Sunday evening to welcome Mary and Randy.  Wednesday night we participated in Trunk or Treat.  We didn’t have time (or desire) to clean out the tools from our vehicles, so we brought chairs and set up between some of the cars and passed out candy.  It was a really fun time for all.  Thursday we went out to dinner at the local barbecue restaurant.  

We have had a busy week and made a lot of progress, so we are hoping to finish the house next week.  Sara has done a lot of caulking in the master bedroom and bathroom, as well as in the other bathroom and around doorways that have been trimmed, and windows and sills too.  The master bedroom is done except for the door, which we hope will arrive tomorrow, and a piece of baseboard.  Bedroom 2 and its closet are coming along.  Sara, Mary, Kitty, and Carolyn all worked on preparing the walls and ceiling so that Randy could spray the texture on Wednesday.  Before he sprayed, we had to cover the windows.  Thursday, Mary and Kitty painted the bedroom and closet.  Randy put the second coat of paint on the window sills, and with Mary’s help, attached the window sills in that bedroom.  That dynamic duo also installed a ceiling fan.  John and Jerry have started laying the floor in that bedroom.   They have finished the hall floor.  Jerry and John also worked putting up trim in the doorways, as well as putting in some baseboard.

In the third bedroom (Emma’s mom’s room) everyone has had a hand at working.  We have repaired walls, trimmed the window with dry wall and mudded and taped it.  There was a repair that required a small piece of dry wall to be taken out and 2x4 reinforcement put in behind it, and then tape and mud to fix it.  Many nails and toggles needed to be taken out of the wall as well.  A patch that had been taped by another person earlier in the repair effort didn’t look right and that was taken out and retaped and mudded.  Quarter round was taken off the wall.  Luckily, the baseboards are in good shape and only the quarter round will have to be put back down next week.  There was one small piece missing which we will need to replace.  The guys installed a small part of this room’s floor.  

Monday the dining room walls had their final sanding so that we could put the texture on them.  Carolyn showed Randy how to work the texturizing funnel/sprayer.  It took us a while to get the dining room and kitchen closed/taped off from the rest of the house so that the texture didn’t get into other rooms and on the kitchen cabinets.  Randy, Gene, and Carolyn did that.  Gene helped Randy with the texturing of the kitchen.  Tuesday Gene and Carolyn painted the dining room and kitchen.  Gene and Randy installed the last kitchen cabinet Wednesday afternoon.  Randy, Gene, and Carolyn put in the remaining shelves in the cabinets and also wiped them out. Gene has also been doing some electrical work off and on during the week.  

We finally got to the living room floor Thursday.  Most of the living room has the new flooring.  It is a vinyl that works a lot like laminate wood floor.  This is more difficult to work with and has been challenging.  Kitty helped Gene and Carolyn this afternoon.  Diane, Emma’s sister, helped us, too.  

Wednesday afternoon, Kitty, Mary, and Carolyn went over to Mrs. Moreno’s house to paint the ceiling in one room and also to put the blades in two ceiling fans.  Mrs. Moreno had to quit her job due to health reasons.   She thought she had pneumonia, but found out she had cancer instead.  She has had a short round of chemo and hopes that her check-up in December is a good one.  Mrs. Moreno has up to 30 relatives staying with her in a three bedroom house that has stretched to a 5 bedroom house by making the porch into two bedrooms.  She is caring for cats and a dog, most which were abandoned by neighbors after the storm.  Mrs. Moreno has a big heart, to say the least.  

Before we leave for the day, we all pitch in and sweep and clean up the house at Emma’s so that they can return to an evening of normalcy.  The dust that we create gives us plenty to sweep up.  Luckily, Emma has a Rainbow sweeper that will clear the dust out of the air.  It gets pretty thick sometimes.  

Although all of you cannot be with us as we work on the project, we ask for your prayers, especially for the health of Mrs. Moreno and for Emma’s family.  They all have health issues.  Emma went to the emergency room on Wednesday and was feeling better, but very tired, on Thursday. Working disaster rebuilds has given us an appreciation of both the health and life style that we are blessed to be able to enjoy. 

Gene & Carolyn Freeman

Check out some pics from this week: