The First Week of New Year

From January 1 thru 7, thirty able workers from three states accomplished the following, which inspired this song to be sung to the tune of the 12 days of Christmas. Sorry, but for some reason I couldn’t get this tune out of my head while thinking about this blog.

On the first week of New Year some great folks gave to Houston:

100 sheets of Sheetrock
30 able workers
20 sheets of plywood
1 refit kitchen
1 reno’d bathroom
1 pre-owned car
1 Shed-all-painted
8 buckets of mud
7 happy families
6 teens a-helping
5 Sheds of Hope
4 front doors
3 cans of paint
2 leaders leading
And 1,000 donated work hours!

(Speed-talking announcement)
Cities represented were: Naperville, Birmingham, Atlanta, and Augusta. No animals were hurt or endangered, except for a few cockroaches.

At the Drop of a Hat

2017 has seen the beginning of something new with Sheds of Hope. Churches in Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas have built 51 sheds so far this year. Pictured above are numbers 50 and 51, which were built this week at our Disaster Response Warehouse in Dallas, Texas. I love the fact that it is located just a block from Love Field, because when volunteers come and give their time to build sheds, they are truly showing LOVE to disaster response victims.

Our goal in phase 1 is to provide Sheds Kits for families in the Harvey-hit area until we have met the immediate need. In phase 2, our goal is to have 50 Shed Kits built and stored at the Dallas DRWarehouse ready for rapid deployment when the next disaster strikes. This is the same goal we have for our DRWarehouse in Rome, Georgia. This way, we will be ready to cover the Southeast and Central regions of the US quickly, meeting the needs of families, at the drop of a hat!

Contact me if you or your church would like to help provide Sheds of Hope for future disasters. I would be happy to set up a training event or come speak to your missions committee about how they can be ready to bring hope to disaster areas in the future. Whether you are in a small town or a large city, you can help with Sheds of Hope!

Who Doesn’t Need More Space?

The Davis Hawn lumberyard has been covered with Sheds of Hope. Until now. The space has been cleared out, and the sheds have filled the back of a truck. They are now in Houston at our staging area, waiting for teams to set them up. Now we have the room to build more Sheds of Hope in the coming weeks in Dallas. As sheds are deployed to families, our staging area will have the space for us to send more Sheds of Hope.

The first of these Sheds of Hope will be set-up this weekend by an advance team from Park Cities Presbyterian Church called EXTEND. Their purpose is to be trained in order to lead other teams over the next few months. EXTEND teams will be traveling down to Houston on a regular basis to set up sheds and do other work as needed.

As families in south Texas clear out their damaged homes, Sheds of Hope will provide a safe place to store things that survived Hurricane Harvey. Once rebuilding is completed, and life returns to some kind of normalcy, the families, will clear out the sheds, returning things to their place in the home. The shed still remains, donated to the family, and will give them the space they need to store their lawnmowers and bicycles. After all, who doesn’t need more space?

Working Together for the Long Haul

Disasters have one major thing in common. It takes longer to recover from them than many people realize. It’s definitely “the Long Haul.” It can seem overwhelming, but when caring people come together to help, the burden gets lighter. What a joy it is to see many churches coming together to help in the aftermath of the recent devastating storms.

Park Cities Presbyterian Church is one of the many churches across the country that have taken steps in the last few weeks to come alongside MNA Disaster Response. Their vision is to provide resources not just for the short term, but for six, twelve, eighteen months from now so that their people can still be helping with the recovery. Rebuilding lives is a long process, but help is already in full swing.

Today, September 23, two Sheds of Hope are being set up in Houston. They were pre-built by Bethel Church in Dallas many months ago in preparation for such an event. Thirteen more Sheds of Hope will be following them in a few days. These were built by members from 13 different churches and about 80 volunteers last week. How exciting it is that plans are in the works to pre-build 60 sheds before the end of the year!

As the work progresses, more people are eager to be involved. In mid-October, I will be at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in San Antonio as they host volunteers from a group of churches in that area that are coming together with the goal of pre-building six Sheds of Hope. I look forward to being with them to train them and work alongside them. The following weekend I plan to be in Anna at Grace and Peace Mission doing a pre-build there as well. It is great to see the vision of Sheds of Hope becoming a reality, training and mobilizing people and churches to have a powerful impact as we work and serve together to show the love of Christ after a disaster.

A Baker’s Dozen for Houston

A tremendous group of volunteers came together this past week in Dallas at Davis Hawn Lumber Company to build Sheds of Hope for Houston. Our goal was 12 sheds, but “the people had a mind to work” (Neh 4:6), and by 3:00 Saturday afternoon, our 13th shed was finished and added to the stack of shed kits ready to be delivered to Houston. Eighty volunteers from thirteen different churches gave of their time this week. Some could only work for one three-hour shift, and some came almost every day. Many thanks to Davis Hawn and Park Cities Presbyterian Church for their partnership with MNA Disaster Response and providing everything we needed.

After the shed kits are delivered to Houston, they will be set up by volunteers who have been able to travel to Houston to help in the recovery from Hurricane Harvey. We have a disaster response team on the ground there, and the work will be long. We are lining up other shed builds, so that people in other cities can also help, even if they can’t travel to Houston. Stay tuned for more updates.