“I Thought I Was Just Designing a Shed, but the Vision Kept Growing!”
I have been pastoring in the Presbyterian Church in America since 1989. Missions has always been close to my heart, and it has been my joy to lead numerous mission trips overseas and in the USA. Over the last year, I have been working with Disaster Response, primarily in Oklahoma.
Drawing upon my training and experience in carpentry, I designed a new shed that could be built remotely, so that more people could be involved in ministering to families after disasters. This design allows churches to pre-build 8 x 8 sheds, giving their people an opportunity to “mourn with those who mourn.” Prebuilt sheds are then flat-packed and transported to the disaster area where teams can set them up, providing much-needed storage for those who are gathering up the bits of pieces of their lives and memories. What a joy it has been to see that this shed plan is now being widely used in disaster response areas!
Since designing the shed, I have worked with teams in Texas, Oklahoma, and Mississippi to pre-build, transport and set-up sheds.
Just a few days ago, I got back from Oklahoma, where over 400 young people and adult leaders came from all over Texas to help build sheds. I worked with one group in the warehouse where some of these volunteers pre-built fronts, backs and sides to be assembled. I also went out and helped set-up 2 sheds.
One of the families that received a shed had just moved into a new home built by Habitat for Humanity. Before the tornado hit, they had been planning to have an old, dead tree removed from their back yard. Ironically, the only thing left standing after the tornado was that tree!
Now it stands proudly in their yard reminding them of God’s protection in the midst of the storm. The children were at school when the storm hit, and took shelter with their classmates as the storm brought death and destruction all around them.
The team in this photo came in from Saint Louis to work for Friday and Saturday. Their first pre-built shed was set-up in 1 hour and 45 minutes. Great teamwork! The homeowner and her son and daughter are to the left, in front of the tree.
With every trip I have made to work with Disaster Relief, my love for this work continues to grow. Sheds of Hope is growing by leaps and bounds, and there is much to be done to enhance the effectiveness of this rapid-response ministry.
Update to this Post as of February 11, 2015
MNA has called me to work with Sheds of Hope. All three parts of the call have been approved 1. My internal call to work in this ministry 2. MNA’s call to work along side them in this ministry and 3. My Presbytery has now approved MNA’s call, and my acceptance of the call has been recorded, as well. Praise God! As of February 7th, all three of these have been confirmed and approved. I am now able to move forward as full time MNA Disaster Response Specialist, Sheds of Hope.
• For safe travel on the road this month
• For new contacts with churches and individuals during the trip and training events
• For safety, good weather, and good participation during the training events
• For good health
• For additional prayer and financial support
Online Giving Link:
For those who are able to give financial support, you can access my online account through the MNA website.
Gifts toward my support can be received into a designated MNA account. If you have pledged to my support in the past, you may start giving now.
• Here is the link to my online donation account through the MNA website:
• Online Giving Link
If your church has a missions committee, I would love to get in touch with them, as I still need additional monthly support and one time gifts. Just let me know who to call!