The past few days I have been working with some friends from work as we help with a St. Bernard Project to rebuild a home in the San Marcos area. The home was destroyed by one of the floods we experienced in the central Texas area during the last year. The St. Bernard Project is a non-profit organization established in March 2006 to rebuild homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina within the St. Bernard Parish located in Southeast Louisiana. The organization has rebuilt over 800 homes nationwide, including 600 in New Orleans since it was founded by Liz McCartney and Zack Rosenburg. If you would like to learn more about their work or make a donation to their organization, check them out online or on their Facebook page.
This week I have been working on taping and floating drywall. Or at least I have been working at it. It is not as easy as our site leader Aaron makes it look, but thankfully, he is a patient man. We started our first day by sanding down and smoothing out some previous attempts at taping and floating by the prior group of volunteers on the scene. Our task was to smooth out the rough edges and any deep grooves or other blemishes and imperfections that had been left. Once the sanding and smoothing was done, it was our turn to apply some mud. After a few hours I felt like I had the technique down pretty well. I was finally getting more on the walls than on my shoes. The next day when I was back at the home, our assignment for the morning was to sand down the areas we did the day before and smooth them out and then apply another layer of mud. I took my sanding block and headed to the laundry room where I had been working the previous afternoon. No need for anybody else to pull a muscle by having to sand too hard I thought or get a crick in their neck by shaking their head when they saw the results of my “taping and floating” from the day before. But when I walked into the room, I was pleasantly surprised. The wall looked pretty good. I hardly saw any grooves or blemishes….until I opened the blinds on the window to let in more light. Oh my! Maybe I should have opened the blinds yesterday when I was applying the mud! This was going to take quite a bit of sanding.
As I was working on sanding the laundry room, one of the SBP team members came in and started helping me. She didn’t looked shocked at what she saw on that wall, she didn’t shake her head as she looked at all that needed to be fixed and she didn’t mutter any obscenities under her breath. She just started helping. That was probably the thing I have liked most about this project, the people with SBP and the folks that I work with. Everyone just wants to help. It is good to know that there are still so many around today who want to do just that. Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 4:9 “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion.”
Yes, the people involved with the St. Bernard Project really want to work together to lift others up; they really want to help. They want to help families get back into their homes. They want to help communities. And they want to help others by extending the opportunity to join in and lend a hand. It’s been a good week. I look forward to volunteering again real soon. Until next time, stay strong in the faith.