NJ trip is Successful Despite the Weather!

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The recent trip to New Jersey is complete! Despite the long trip and short timespan, the 12 of us were able to accomplish some great things. We did demo work on a couple floors, leveled some flooring, installed a shower pan, framed a cathedral ceiling, installed lots of sheetrock and electrical circuits, and I can’t remember what else.

We formed some new friendships and found out exactly how long you can last in a Honda Fit. We saw snow on the beach and walked on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. We burned about a thousand gallons of gas in the truck, and about 5 in the Prius.

It was truly a great trip and we are working to set up a Fall trip to go somewhere, although we are not sure if it makes sense to do that quick of a trip to NJ again. It will depend on schedule, holidays, vacation, etc. In the meantime, we are investigating whether we can do some day trips to help in Adairsville, GA, after the recent tornadoes.

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Give a Family a Home for Christmas!

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WOW! I just spoke with our contact in Mississippi and I am excited about the opportunity we have! I will tell you more about it in a sec….

For those wondering, “What happened to DiRT?”, I must share that God has been doing some amazing things in my professional life and I have been spread thin for the past few months. The September trip had to be put-off because of low turn-out, but we are poised for an awesome trip in November! Now on to the task before us…

Rick (from MS) shared with me that we may be able to help complete as may as 4-5 projects that will allow people to have their home back for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays! Can you imagine a better gift? (well, other than Jesus, perhaps?) I cannot wait to get back down there, and based on the people that have told me, “I’ll go in November,” we could have better than 15-20 people on this trip.

Invite a friend; take a spouse; bring a neighbor, a co-worker, ANYONE….and let’s help change someone’s life for the better!

AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH! I can’t imagine how awesome this trip could be….and I thought the July trip was spectacular….I can’t wait…I have to go take my medication….JOIN US….and see how you can bless others with your time and talent (or lack thereof — we DO offer training).

Upcoming Trip: November 10-13 (travel early or late on Wednesday and come back Saturday OR SUNDAY).
More info, email: todd@dirtministry.com

Take care, Todd

A Couple’s Trip – What a great idea!

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What a great week! No offense to anyone that has been on a DiRT Trip, but I think I enjoyed this trip as much as any I have been on. This trip included several couples from Liberty Baptist in Chelsea, AL, and it added a whole new dimension to our time together.

As I sat and watched husband and wife teams working together on new projects, learning new skills, building each other up, and just relaxing in the evenings, I was amazed at what a different and encouraging experience it was. There was laughter from dawn ’til dusk, and it helped everyone forget the fact that it was 104 degrees with 130% humidity.

The challenge of having a 25 person team was quickly overcome as people stepped up to lead and were willing to do anything that was asked of them. Everyone came with a servant’s heart and as a result, God was able to use the team to accomplish more than I imagined possible, and we were an encouragement to everyone we came into contact with.

In the end, we helped frame and roof a house, we braced two houses, we painted a fourth house and installed cabinets, along with installing some moulding. We also found out that there are still about 600 open cases in the Hancock County area alone. This means there is still plenty to be done to help get people back in their homes.

I want to offer a special thank you to everyone at Liberty that was involved with coordinating the trip, to Angela and Pandi for keeping us fed…WELL, I might add, to David for his help in coordinating work, and to everyone else for making themselves available. And thanks to Erin for showing us that women CAN be just as effective as men (or more effective, eh?). I guess I should add that Misty will take care of anyone that gets out of line….

My hopes are that we will have more trips like this in the future, and again, thanks to the Liberty gang for making this trip fun, effective, and encouraging.

And for those of you that have been on a DiRT trip, it was nice to actually rinse the soap off this morning!

A Challenging Day…

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Today was a very challenging day. After an early start on a roofing job, and with a second crew going to town painting a house, things were rolling along fairly smoothly…until the clouds started rolling in. Once the rain started around lunchtime, the roofing job was put on hold. Since the painting crew was done, we ended up with 20+ people needing something to do.

It took about an hour to figure out how we could distribute people, but we were able to successfully distribute folks to 3 job sites. As usual, God took care of things, but it is always challenging when you have a group of very capable people standing around waiting for things to happen. I was blessed by the fact that everyone took it in stride and recognized that it is part of the program. Things change, rain happens, material deliveries get delayed, and you never know what to expect. By the end of the day, much was accomplished and we had a great dinner, as usual.

This trip has been really exciting! To have a mixed group of couples and individuals, and to see how everyone interacts, helps out, and supports one another encourages me as we continue to grow the ministry. It has been a great example of the fact that men, women and children are able to be used effectively in the disaster rebuild process. Having two dedicated cooks has blessed me, not only in having great meals, but in not having to deal with the day to day requirements of food planning. Splitting the team up at different worksites has been a breeze with the help of our “catering” team.

I am in need of sleep, as usual, so I will head off to bed. Please pray for the continued safety of the team and for traveling mercies tomorrow as we go back to our respective home towns. Also, please be in prayer for many people involved with local disaster relief ministries, as they are challenged with funding issues and people’s jobs are at stake. Pray that God will use us in a mighty way as we complete this trip and look towards planning the upcoming September and November trips.

Continuing His work,
Todd….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

What an Awesome Start!

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We have completed the first of the three days and what an awesome start it was! Expecting to have our team mostly on one site, we were almost immediately split into three teams on three sites. Although logistics were a bit of a challenge, everyone was in great spirits and we sent one team to frame a roof, a second to brace a flooring system in a house, and a third to do sheetrock and painting work.

By afternoon, our awesome hostesses/meal planners/gophers/caterers/painters/all-around take care of the detail”ers” had everyone fed and were on to help at the painting house. The Backyard Bible Team joined them and got the interior of the house painted while the other two teams finished their tasks.

By the end of the day, everyone was tired, but hanging in there, and about 60% of the roof decking was complete. In about 5 1/2 hours we will go at it again, in hopes of finishing all the sheathing and roof decking in the morning. The painting crew will get another coat on the Long Beach house, in order that we can install the kitchen cabinets in the afternoon.

The BBQ was very tasty tonight, everyone is still in the game, and it is awesome to see how everyone is willing to chip in, help and encourage one another.

I can’t wait to see how much we get accomplished today!

March Trip to MS Paves the Path for a Successful Year!

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Having returned from another successful trip to Mississippi, I am excited about what God has in store for DiRT this year.  There were five of us on this trip and we were able to help a family (Greg, Stacey and kids) with several items that needed to be done on their home.

As you can imagine, back in the 2005-2007 timeframe, when there was still a flurry of volunteer activity in the Bay St. Louis and Waveland area, many home went up quickly and some things got done right…….and some things…..well……..let’s just say they “kinda’ got done.”  As a result, we find that on some trips, we are asked to go back and help straighten out some issues to help “make things right.”

On this trip, we got to insulate the underside of the house (never done during initial construction), and begin putting the vinyl soffit under the house to protect the insulation.  You can imagine how cold or hot your house would get if it wasn’t insulated — definitely a blessing for them.  Also, some of the electrical connections we not done properly which could actually have been a fire hazard in this situation (SCARY!)  And on top of that, one of the electrical issues caused the plug to go out that powers the refrigerator.  Had we not been there, at the right place, and the right time, they would have probably lost a lot of money in food.  Again, God’s timing – not mine.  He seems to have a good handle on things, eh?

With two first-timers on the trip and a couple of veterans, we were able to bless this family, get to know each other, and show them the love of Christ over the short period of time we had to impact their lives.  I am excited about the opportunity that still remains in the Gulf Coast area and I can’t wait for the upcoming trips we have scheduled!

Continuing His work,

Todd