Every year for the past decade the saints at the First U.P. Church of Crafton Heights have sent a team of adults to Texas as a part of our attempt to better relate to the national and global church, to build community in our own body, and to offer some assistance to those who have been struck by disaster. This week I will attempt to tell some part of our story as we seek to make our world smaller and our lives bigger through service and learning.
Today was a great day to be on site as we continued our trip in the Rio Grande Valley. The sun made an amazing appearance, and we had a lot of pink shoulders and faces around the discussion table this evening. The team that worked up on the roof (which, frankly, was most of our number) made some fantastic progress on the roof. Meanwhile, a few of us remained inside – which felt increasingly like a cave as the sun shone more brightly. We were able to finish piecing in the drywall that we’d cut out due to flood damage and most of it has a second coat of mud on it already.
Following our work day, we were able to spend some time with Daniel Behrens, a Deacon in service to the Anglican Church through a mission called Trinity On The Border. It was Daniel who gave us the idea to pack the hygiene kits for the Respite Center. Daniel was eager to see some fellow Yinzers (he grew up in the South Hills) and to share his perspective on the nature and needs of the communities here. We had a great discussion on the value and purpose of short-term trips like this (I might have said something like, “Seriously! Why should we spend all this money bringing us down here when we could send the money to someone local, who could hire roofers who probably need the work, and who would do it better than we would… because, frankly, we’re not very good roofers?”). It was a rich time of conversation about the fact that the little house on Rhode Island Drive is not the only that’s getting worked on this week… We are all being shaped.
It’s late – so here are a few photos that will give you a glimpse of our day…