After I had the joy of training a group from Lake Oconee Presbyterian Church, the newly trained team began building two sheds for Albany, Georgia which had just suffered severe storm damage. This Community Spotlight Radio Interview with the leader of the Lake Oconee team, Dick Forrester, was recorded the week after the shed-build.
Blue skies and a beautiful day greeted Rowlett residents who came out of their homes on December 26 this year. Quite a change from last year, when they came out to a scene of destruction on all sides after a F4 tornado ripped through their community. This tornado damaged 6,000 homes and injured 23 people in Rowlett, one fatally.
After the tornado, the long process of cleanup began. The storm debris removed was enough to fill 3 football fields to a height of 30 feet. This is the height of the commemorative sculpture that will grace a reflection area in Schrade Bluebonnet Park in Rowlett. A model of the sculpture was unveiled at the Tornado Anniversary Remembrance this past Monday. It depicts a phoenix rising from a tornado, and materials will incorporate parts of the Rowlett water tower that was damaged beyond repair during the tornado.
What follows an F4 tornado? Opportunities! Open doors! Rowlett, Texas was devastated by an F4 tornado on Boxing Day (December 26th), and an immediate curfew was put in place to protect against looting. But Sheds of Hope was springing into action. Ready for deployment, two sheds were already being readied for transport. Back in September, Bethel Church of Dallas had built two sheds and stored them in anticipation of the next disaster. Little did they know that a lady who had grown up in their church would be a tornado victim in December. Because of their preparations, as soon as the Rowlett curfew was lifted, Bethel was able to set up a shed on her property so that she could store her salvaged belongings. As of today, Sheds of Hope has identified nine families in the disaster area that are connected to PCA churches. We have set up three sheds on site. Park Cities Presbyterian Church of Dallas has set up one of the sheds that was pre-built by John Browne and Rick Lenz; Bethel Church set up the other pre-built shed and has two more in the pipeline. Christ Community Church of Frisco pre-built two sheds last weekend and will set them up soon. Volunteers are coming out to help with pre-building and set up. Why not get involved? You can pray, you can build, you can give. Whatever God puts on your heart, we can use! Please pray that as Sheds of Hope start rising in Rowlett, we will be able to talk to other families in the devastated area and be able to give them hope, and maybe a shed.
Seventeen sheds have been built in Van, TX, and one in Dallas, TX. A shout-out to Bethel Church – Dallas, and to Christ Community – Frisco who now holds the record for setting up a prebuilt shed in 1 hour and 28 minutes. Also, to Park Cities – Dallas, Grace Covenant – Dallas, GA, Redeemer Church – Waco, and to Brian Sterenberg from Denton Presbyterian who help build the one in Dallas. The final shed was finished in Van on September 23rd.
A Second Career Volunteer, Craig Gibson from Kingsport, TN, joined me on site in September. During the two weeks Craig spent in Van with me, we helped set up two pre-built sheds and built two sheds from scratch. We cut and built these sheds on the newly designed Sheds of Hope Workbench .
My support was at 31% at the end of March, 50% at the end of June, and is now 59% at the end of September. Thanks to all who are helping me minister to families and churches through Sheds of Hope.
Pray that I will be able to schedule more Sheds of Hope training workshops around the country.
Pray for South Carolina as they work through the recovery efforts after all of the flooding. Also for Corsicana and other areas of Texas after flash floods.
Pray that my support would be at 75% by the end of December.
It’s exciting to see what a few sheds can mean to a community. As sheds have gone up in a low-income part of Van, it has encouraged the people to work together to improve their own homes. Paint is going on new siding, and there’s even talk of getting together for a cook out “like we used to do.” There is even talk that a playground may be given to the neighborhood as a result of a damaged school having to relocate. How about you? Why not get involved with Sheds of Hope – you can pray, build, give, and encourage others. All it takes is a little time and a lot of love.