Monday, November 12, 2007

Veteran's Day Work Weekend

Reported by Rita B, a LEEP member:

Dana, the two friends she enrolled - Laura and Sandy, and I were in New Orleans to work. We all grew from our experience and the people we met. When I first saw the building, I was shocked. I thought about the daunting task before us. Then we dug in together, sharing words, tools, and energy. Being there also made me realize that we are all part of the Field Operations. Without each and everyone of us working on the building, it will take longer for programs to have a home. Without walls, there will be no place for the Tree of Growth. We all have had wonderful ideas and created plans to implement them once the building is ready, but creating the space for the programs is a leap created for LEEP.

This past week amazing actions have brought in funds. In the next week, let's see just how much money we can bring in to RAISE THE ROOF!!!

Saturday Dana, Sandy, Laura and I were so grateful to talk to Shawn at Lowes because Lowes is contributing enough acrylic plexiglass for 400 windows. The materials, including the plexiglass and putty, had to be ordered and will be available next weekend and Lowes is DONATING it ALL. With over $5,000 worth of materials coming next weekend, one giant hurdle toward weather-proofing will be closer to completion. The next step is the cutting and installation of the sheets in the 400 panes.

Sunday morning we shared worship at Original Morning Star. My experience of Tyrone at the first weekend was that of a quiet, gentle man. Sunday morning Tyrone was a dynamic, energetic, filled-with-the-spirit presence. He asked me to come forward and gave me a basket. He told his congregation about LEEP and what we were doing there and asked them to come forward in generosity. AND THEY DID. The members of Original Morning Star contributed $645.86 in a matter of a couple of minutes. It was so powerful. They were so willing to give their funds. And, we got lots of hugs after the service. Oh, and Tyrone is a fast learner. He listened to lessons and stories (the good kind) that Dar told and he adapted them and added them to his Sunday message. Dar may have an unexpected new line of work assisting pastors with sermons. We may not know the impact we have, but I experienced Dar's words having an impact through Tyrone on the entire congregation and who knows who they will touch. LEEP is out there in the universe!

Volunteers from the Emergency Center were there Sunday with us. The architect was there measuring and getting the information she needs to create the plans for the city. We were a pretty dirty bunch at the end of the day, and we had created piles of conduit and wiring that will go to scrap/recycle for additional funds. Tyrone had come after church and was tearing conduit out, too. Dar was there attacking the conduits and then took time to get a refreshing beverage for the group. If you ever need conduit or wire pulled, Dana, Laura, Sandy, and I are the gals to call for sure! All-in-all, it was a very productive weekend.

We drove around the neighborhood before we went to the mission. There was still devastation but there was also renewal. The sight that impressed me the most was two boys about 10 years old playing basketball outside on a small 6' patch of concrete surrounded by weeds. I could see them at the Village enjoying a full basketball court with real hoops. I could see them as magical children bringing back special moments of childhood. Can you see it too? Imagine what the Village will mean to them.


Anonymous said...

Reading this post gave me such a visual of what Rita experienced.
I am so far away from New Orleans right now, yet, I am there.
LEEP member and proud to BE!

Elisiagirl said...

Wow Rita, you guys did do some work and streeetch this week! It is so good to read your description. I can't wait to be there soon. I am far away in local but there in heart with you.

Thanks for Your post!
LEEP member