Mission # 13 September 2014
After successful fundraising and months of preparation by Watermark Mission co-leaders,
Gary and Rosey Asher, the Watermark Mission team rolled into Longmont, Colorado, from Friday
through Sunday (Sept 5-7). Team members traveled from Wisconsin, Minnesota, and South Dakota,
with 24 total volunteers on this mission trip. Our service focus was in the Longmont/Boulder/Lyons
communities, to rebuild homes damaged by flash flooding that occurred
September 11th through the 13th, 2013.
We were thankful for everyone's safe journey to Colorado. We found the mountains to be truly
majestic and the disaster recovery community welcoming. During our Saturday and Sunday
excursions, we could see the beauty of the area and the aftermath of flooding on this scenic
mountain foothills area.
Our team stayed at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church parsonage in Longmont, with mattresses
wall to wall in the living room, all three bedrooms, and basement rooms being utilized. It was
great to have our entire team at one location, and we appreciate having two bathrooms,
plus the convenience of a washer and dryer on site. Additionally,
the local YMCA allowed us to use their showers at the end of each workday.
Bethlehem Lutheran allowed us full use of their church kitchen. Mary T. our lead cook, provided
delicious and sustaining breakfast and evening meals. We think that Mary should make us a
recipe book of the tasty, tried, and true recipes she treated us to throughout the busy week.
Mary's kitchen helpers changed each day, with Darlene A., Jean K., Irma L., Myra C., and Deb W.
all enjoying time in the kitchen with Mary
In preparation for our work week, on Sunday evening, the team gathered at the Oskar Blues
restaurant, in Lyons, with Brea Hapkins, RMS-ECLA Disaster Recovery Volunteer Coordinator,
to learn about the scope of work we were about to begin.
Each day, morning prayer was led by Gary Asher. We asked God to help us be his hands and feet on
this earth as we worked to rebuild the homes and heal the hearts of those we were to meet.
Summary of our week's projects:
-- Assisted a young family with reclamation of their yard, painted pylons, plus final touches
on the bridge that connected them to the rest of the world.
- - Helped in adding a story above ground floor (basement now in flood plain), by installing a load
bearing beam for second story weight. Removed steps and walls. Installed new steps,
walls, floor joists, soffits, stairways and siding.
-- Reinsulate, sheet rock and stucco work for a foster care family.
-- Helped a lady with compromised lungs, remove fine concrete dust
from her home. This project led by the "Queen of Clean" alias Gloria.
-- Replaced front porch support posts
-- Leveled and removed rock from landscaping dirt piles in yard. A skid loader
did come to our rescue.
-- Part of the team spent four days working in the "thunder dome", building custom railing,
sheetrocking, mudding, taping, installing wainscoting, and framing.
-- Kitchen/living room laminate flooring installation.
-- Built frame for Habitat for Humanity sign, forms for concrete foundation, and cut and bent rebar.
-- Pre-framed a new house and installed sill plates on foundation
-- Removed damaged electrical wiring and replaced insulation.
-- Installed porcelan tile to bathroom shower wall and floor.
-- Reconstructed basements steps, installed sheetrock, and mud and tape stairway.
-- A team of six worked 3 days to tape, mud, and prep the entire basement for texturing.
Textured the walls and ceilings and primed all for painting by the next group.
-- Ripped boards to make trim for windows and trimmed out some large
-- Heating, ventilating, and AC work and duct cleaning was completed.
Also framing and soffit construction was done.
Our report would not be complete without mentioning the time we enjoyed together
after a days work and delicious evening meal. We visited, laughed, joked, played
card games, and of course the "tall tales".
As we made our way home, we remember the families in Colorado we got to briefly know,
and already begin thinking and talking about our next opportunity to share our
time and talents.
We want to thank Bethlehem Lutheran Church for the fine accommodations and hospitality,
and the YMCA for use of their showers. Thanks also to Brea, Lisa, and Jenn for their kindness and
professionalism in coordinating our lodging and work projects.
Special thanks to Phyllis O. for her daily journaling to make this mission trip recap possible.
Thanks be to God.
MISSION TRIP #14 APRIL 2015
Mission accomplished - memories made - relationships built and renewed
The group began arriving at the first United Methodist Church in Berthoud, CO on
Saturday afternoon, April 11th. We were greeted by church lady, Hawley, who showed us to
the rooms on the third floor, which we were to call home for the next week. A special greeting
came from some of the congregation, as they treated us to an evening meal in the church dining area.
On Sunday, after Mass, and a "Pancake Breakfast Feast", at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church
in Loveland, some of the group traveled with Larry Glover, United Methdist Church On Relief (UMCOR)
project manager, to check out 3 of the 4 projects we would begin working on right away Monday morning.
By Sunday evening, we 21 volunteers,(Myra, Kelly, Joe, Gary L, Dick, Jean, Irma, Tom, Barb, Lisa,
Jim, Ron, Marilyn, Danny, Deb, Greg, George, Gloria, Kristen, Rosey, and me, Gary A), had our beds in place and departed for our orietation meal at Johnson's Corner Plaza. Larry Glover, along with his wife, and Deb Campbell, UMCOR Volunteer Coordinator, joined us and discussed the flood disaster, its scope,
their responsibilities, accomplishments, and challenges in their efforts in this huge recovery project.
We also learned about the survivors, and their stories, we were going to serve.
The first day brought us new experiences - working on trailer houses and two "up in the mountains"
residences and inn combinations. By weeks end, we had helped at 13 homes, making possible, and improving living conditions within. God did spread his blessings, through the coming together of survivors and volunteers, sharing and caring for each other and by the work of our hands, His
hands now on earth.
An extra challenge came about by Saturday, as 6 volunteers came down with a 'strange
and nasty bug' and myself, the beginnings of a miserable case of shingles.
We thank God for this blessing filled oppotunity and look forward to mission trip #15