Weekly Report for Far Rockaway

Report for week ending 03-29-13 – Far Rockaway, NY


“Don’t build your house on a sandy land, Don’t build it too near the shore.”

The words I sang as a little girl come back to me as I stand on the damaged boardwalk and observe where our clients live and how the water and sand destroyed their homes during Hurricane Sandy. The reality is that these people have no place else they can call home. Far Rockaway is an area with many low-income families. We are privileged to be a part of the ministry of MDS – bringing people back home.

A Groffdale group of young men, from PA, arrived around 8:00 am Tuesday. We packed lunches and went off to work. New cooks, Norm and Ollie, served a delicious supper of chicken, potato wedges, corn, Caesar salad, fresh baked brown bread and chocolate/coconut cream pie – delicious! What a great way to start the work week. At orientation each of us had an opportunity to share an MDS story from the past. Don, a crew leader, from Johnstown, PA, introduced himself as being from “the new volunteer state”. That brought some chuckles! Crew leader, Chuck, is back with MDS for the second time. He “enjoys doing MDS, it’s a good medicine for me”.

The next week brought Julie from ON, and Alex, Karl, and Mark from Lancaster county. Day volunteers from PA blew us away as they continued to show up. The long day and long drive to Far Rockaway in congested traffic didn’t stop them. The fulfillment of knowing that someone will be coming back home makes it worthwhile and is reward enough.


The Projects:

Glory Light Daycare – the work is done and they are up and running.

First Baptist Church – Boarded the bathrooms. The drywall and mudding is complete. They plan to have their first service Good Friday evening.

Ms. Pat’s house – Painted and caulked the trim. Ms. Pat came to visit the volunteers several times and shared her story with them.  She has moved back home.

Ms. Sylvia’s – Chuck and Jonathon took off siding, replaced the drywall with plywood and re-sided the house. They came back saying “we ate all day”. The clients showed their appreciation by treating the guys with pizza and donuts.

Mr. Rudolph’s house – Eric worked on drywall refinishing. Julie and Liz painted. Don installed the base cabinets for the heaters.

Mr. Fred’s house – Don finished the cabinets and base trim. The job is done.

Ms. Eulissa’s house – Just started hanging drywall. The cabinets are ordered. Her pastor from Brooklyn Tabernacle came by to see how the house was coming along.

Ms. Joan’s house – Insulated and boarded the top four feet of the walls in the house. Waiting for some mold remediation. Installed closets and widened the hallway to make room for a fridge.

Ms. Esmine’s house – Came in to sign her job card. She left on a missions trip to Rome the day before Hurricane Sandy hit. Her home had five feet of water in it. When her son picked her up at the airport 10 days later she questioned why he wouldn’t take her directly home!

Mr. Moishe’s house – We are nearly finished installing flooring in the basement.

First Church of God (adjacent house) – Only Chuck could have demolishedd the chimney from the inside out and lived to talk about it! It was a huge feat!! Julie was there making sure his feet were on stable supports. More day volunteers came from PA and helped with more demo of the fireplace which was 42’ high.

MDS Camp site – More setup activities included building one more boardwalk to the laundry, anchoring two more trailers, and building garbage storage. The cooks continued to bake cookies, buns and make more delicious meals.

“Well the storms may come and go, but the peace of God you will know.”

The last two lines of the song promise that God’s presence will be with us no matter what happens.

Sandra (for Harold, Don, Chuck, Ollie and Norm)