Thursday, January 05, 2006

Peaks and Valleys

I have been on a number of mission trips and work projects, and thought I had fully experienced the wonderful ways in which the Lord and the Holy Spirit work. Not so! The Biloxi roofing blitz revealed a whole new level! First a super support infrastructure had formed just in time to support the host of over 200 servants from East Tennessee and Hamilton Ontario. The infrastructure included all the tools, materials, eating and sleeping arrangements needed for the week. Second, most of the homes where service was needed and welcomed had been identified and work crews were assigned.

As we were starting to put down the singles on our first home, a roofing professional appeared and asked what we were doing and if we were professionals. He said he had been in the area putting on roofs, but most of his fellow workers had taken off for the Christmas and New Year break. He wasn’t sure what, but something had led him to our home and gave him the desire to help. He showed us how to organize a roofing team and helped us get the process started. An hour later, another professional roofer appeared. This one was puzzled by some of the work he saw on our roof. He explained that the valley he could see had been started incorrectly. He asked if he could help. After being sure he understood this was all voluntary in the service of the Lord, he said he still wanted to help. He went up to the roof and started a discussion with our first “professional” roofer. They agreed the first valley was done incorrectly and agreed on a way to fix it. They and our team jointly continued to work on our first house. It had 6 valleys that needed to be done. By the end of day, three of our work team had been trained in doing valleys. At the end of day the second professional roofer asked for a ride to where he was staying in Gulfport. While taking him home, he explained he and a partner had roofing and fix up crews working in the area. He was from Texas, and had done fix up work after storms for most of his life. He also explained he likes to visit the Casinos, and had spent last night there, losing over $500. He thanked us for letting him have a chance to practice his profession until his associates returned from the break. Without the help of these two professionals, the roofing of our first house would not have been of as high quality as it turned out. Both professionals said it was an extremely good job. By the way, this was Cassie Massie’s home. An earlier group from Tennessee had demucked her home and formed a special relationship with her. It was important to all that job we did be exceptional. With the Lord providing us the two professional roofers we were able to leave her an exceptional roof. I also believe the two roofers also became closer to the Lord as a result of working with Crew 5.

Cassie Massie’s home also had a laundry room separate from the main house. It had been lifted off its foundation on one side by the roots of a fallen tree. The Lord had arranged for two members of crew 5 to have the interest and talent to fix this. Using car jacks, saws, and expert construction advice, they were able to right the laundry room and set it back on its foundation. When Cassie saw what had been accomplished, she cried with Joy.

As we started our second house, the first professional roofer came by to see how we were doing. Later he, brought by two of his workers to see how we were doing the valleys. What the second professional taught the day before, was better than the way the first roofer did valleys. At another team home near our second house, they had a valley and asked our crew to teach them how to do valleys. Thus, as a result of teaching of the second professional roofer, there will now be many roofs in Biloxi that will have the best roof valleys possible.

There were many other ways the Lord was involved to the blitz make both the home reconstructions a success and the spiritual growth all involved growth to new levels.

I truly thank the Lord to have an opportunity to be involved.

Dave Nippert – Crew 5 Leader


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