Just arrived with two of the newest SmartBenches for the Sheds of Hope build starting Monday, 9/11. We set up the work site today, and then the pre-cut for the Dallas Sheds of Hope build got under way.

What a week it has been! Last Sunday, Pastor Mark Davis made an announcement for the upcoming Sheds of Hope build for the Houston area. The deacons have set a goal of building 12 sheds starting 9/11 and ending 9/16. They wanted to reach out to other churches in the area so that they could be involved as well. PCPC put a sign-up link on their web site, and we had to close the sign-up form on Friday, 9/8. In just six days, we had 66 volunteers representing 13 different churches and groups. What an outpouring of mercy and love!

We are thankful to have the use of a great worksite for the build – Davis Hawn Lumber Company in Dallas. The pre-cut today went well, and things are looking great for our first volunteers to arrive at 9 am on Monday, 9/11. We are going to operate two shifts: 9 to noon. There will be a lunch break for those staying all day. The afternoon shift will be from 1 to 4pm.

Take a look at this short video as we finished cutting the end rafters for the twelve sheds. We need four rafters for every shed.


Mission to North America (MNA) is bringing shower trailers and bunk houses into the Houston area. They are coming from Mississippi, Texas, and from our warehouse in Rome, Georgia. Rick Lenz and I will be bringing the shower trailer in the photo from North Texas Presbytery to Grace Presbyterian Church in The Woodlands. Rick Lenz is our Disaster Response Specialist, South Central Region. He has been very busy getting the names of families impacted by the flood and has been polling churches all across the Southeast. Tomorrow, he will be leading our information and strategy meeting at Christ the King Presbyterian Church in Houston.

I just loaded up a box of sheets and pillows into the truck to take with us. Dawn, who brought the box from Christ Presbyterian Church in Flower Mound, told me about a young lady 18 years of age living in the Dallas area who has not heard from her family to know whether or not they are ok. It lets you see the pain and struggle that countless people are dealing with in the aftermath of Harvey, and the pain and struggle we will be entering into as we begin working in the devastated communities in and around Houston.

Hurricane Harvey came with a vengeance and did not want to leave. Now a very long recovery begins for Houston and many other communities in South Texas. MNA Disaster Response is already in the process of moving bunkhouses, shower trailers and equipment to Grace Presbyterian Church in The Woodlands area.
Sheds of Hope will begin building shed kits on September 11, and it has been amazing to see God bring together the resources and location for a large-scale build in Dallas. Thanks to a generous business owner, we will have the space we need to allow many volunteers to be working at the same time.
You can be involved in building sheds, and you can even bring a group from your church and get trained on the Smartbench. The Dallas build, September 11-16, is being sponsored by Park Cities Presbyterian Church. For information and to sign up, click here.
Prayer requests:
  • For wisdom for those planning the overall response strategy.
  • For volunteers and donors to get involved.
  • For safety and protection for staff and volunteers in the recovery efforts.

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.


The first Sheds of Hope Bench has been cut out on a CNC router. It was great to take all the pieces from 8 sheets of plywood and put them together to form the first Sheds of Hope Bench cut on a CNC router. Some fifty-seven parts went into making the workbench. The templates for the wall studs will allow all the studs to be cut in three passes – eighteen studs at a time, with no measuring or marking.

Now that this prototype has been built, I am making a few minor tweaks to the CAD drawing and hope to start production on four more benches in the next few weeks. This bench is going to Georgia next week for its trial run to build the first Shed-in-a-Truck, made with 4-ft-wide panels. The bench can also be used to make the Standard Shed (8-ft-wide panels).


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.

The record for the fastest set-up of a Shed of Hope is now 1 hour and 24 minutes, beating the record by just 4 minutes. The Tyler college students beat the record during their second shed-build of the day. Take a look https://www.facebook.com/RufTyler/videos/976469615809153/

Shed in a Truck, coming this fall! Want to know more? Give me a call!

We had a great build today in Rowlett. Matt, Jake, Mike, and Tess did a fantastic job setting up this shed on the day before Easter, to bless families who suffered tragedy on the day after Christmas. In one of the photos, you can see 5 of the 15 Sheds of Hope that have been built so far.



Pictured are volunteers from Park Cities Presbyterian Church celebrating the completion of their first Shed of Hope. Well, for one of the girls, it was her second. More volunteers from Park Cities will be setting up a shed on Saturday, March 26, and pre-building sheds at the Tornado Response Base. We are planning to build six more sheds over the next few weeks. If you can help, please give me a call. We will be pre-building and setting up sheds on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Don’t miss this opportunity to bring Sheds of Hope to our neighbors in Rowlett and Garland. Join with Bethel Church, as they are planning to build on April 2nd.