Thursday, August 25, 2011

Our week in Joplin MO

You probably noticed I have not been on here much this summer.  All summer, the girls and I have been home for a week, then gone for a week.

Last week was our last "gone for a week" week.  At least for awhile.

We spent part of our summer in Texas, then on to Flaming Spirit Christian Camp, then Mission Lake Christian Camp, then Girl Scout Twilight Camp, then VBS followed by a family reunion.  Then, last week we were in Joplin MO for 6 1/2 days.

After church, I headed up a group of homeschoolers to go to Joplin MO to work with IDES to assist with the tornado damage from the May tornado that removed between 30% and 40% of the structures in Joplin, including a huge hospital.  My church was good enough to let me use the church van to take the bulk of the group in, and then we met another family in Harrisonville and headed on down to Joplin.  IDES has their base camp set up at the West Side Christian Church in Joplin.  We slept in the church, and IDES has built portable shower houses, a laundry room, and tool sheds in the church yard.  In addition, they also have set up a lumber yard and 2 semi trailers full of supplies and tools.

Removing wood and rocks from a yard that a tornado family was moving to.

Spreading gravel at the IDES headquarters

Our group showing off some tools that were donated.  I think by the weeks end we used them all.

The shed we built.  IDES builds sheds for tornado families to put their belongings in if they are in a situation where they had to downsize or still have their land but no home yet to store their belongings.

Each week, a different team takes turns coming in and helping out, often taking up where the last group left off.  During our week, we did landscaping, cleared and burned brush, dug up a unwanted zillion yucca plants (which the kids gave me a hard time about as I drug a bunch of the better looking ones home to replant), removed a fence that was to be relocated later, removed bricks and mortar off of a house wall so that siding could be put on, helped with some roofing and siding chores, picked up glass, rocks and nails from a yard, primed the trim of a house, moved gravel by hand (2 huge piles of it), and in 12 hours time cleared a huge parking lot of the debris left from a concrete block church maintenance building.  We also removed some flower beds and enlarged the floor of an old shed site, and erected a new larger shed at the site.

Still many homes like this one standing--The kids called this photo "cook out?"

This is a pile of debris that we moved by hand.  We tried to get a bobcat, but due to all the glass and nails it had to be one on solid tires or tracks--and none were to be found in Joplin.  Under the brush is concrete blocks.

Our group.  We had 4 adults and 9 teen home schoolers.  Rick, the director was impressed by the amount of work these kids did each day.  He would make a comment to the effect that if we got done to point A or B, we could call it a day, but each day they kids were determined to get the entire project done.

The work was not easy--all pretty much hard labor and in high temperatures.  One day we had a heat index of 113 degrees, but we kept drinking water and kept on working. 

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