UM Volunteers in Mission: 2012

Front row: Eldon Baldwin, Zilpah Pinkney, Rosalind Pinkney, Gwen DeVille, Joe Lewis, Tyrone McKelvy
Back row: Oliver Myers, Jaques Banks , Wanda Wade, Bo Wachter


Home repairs in the Fayette County, West Virginia for elderly, handicapped, and low-income persons.

Day 1 – September 23, 2012

Greetings from Oak Hill, WV! We arrived safely at about 6:15 p.m., after a beautiful drive through the mountains on a perfect day. We are staying at Oak Hill UMC. Jerry and Joyce arrived Friday, scoped out the work and had dinner ready for us.

We will all be working on the same job all week. A local lumber company has visited the home, analyzed the work needed, and ordered all of the materials. We will drive to the job site tomorrow after breakfast, ready to get to work as soon as the materials are delivered.

Day 2 – September 24, 2012

Greetings from Oak Hill, WV. This was our first work day. We are doing home repairs for Cara and Petey Thomas. Cara was at work today, so we have not yet met her. The attached pictures include Petey, his son and his grandson.

Our host church is Oak Hill UMC. Their home repair mission project inspected the home and ordered the materials. We met the delivery truck at the home and commenced work before lunch time. Today we removed old kitchen cabinets, began installing new cabinets, and installed 2 windows. In a bedroom we installed sheetrock and a door.

We returned from a great first day of work to a home cooked meal prepared by Joyce (pork, cabbage and yams.) Tonight, I called the church project team and suggested some additional work that we would like to do for the homeowners this week. Tomorrow we will go to the lumber yard to price the additional materials.

Day 3 – September 25, 2012

Why we do it? This letter from the homeowner says it all!

I would just like to say “thank you” so very much for all of the AMAZING work you have done. You are truly a blessing to me and my family. I am so grateful for everything that words cannot express. I pray the Lord blesses all of you and your families. You have truly made a difference in our lives.

May God Bless & Much Love

Day 4 – September 26, 2012
Our hosts at Oak Hill UMC are making us feel right at home. Different people stop by each morning and evening, both church staff and parishioners, to welcome us and make sure that all of our needs are being met. We are staying in the church’s Youth Center, which is next door to the church. Some of our facilities are pictured in the attachments.

We enjoyed another productive day of work at the Thomas home. We met Cara for the first time today when she arrived home from work before we quit for the day. Cara and Petey Jr. have two sons (Petey III and Lee) and a daughter (Brooke) plus one grandson (Hayden). Petey III, Hayden’s father was at electrician’s school when we took the attached family picture.

We started removing siding from one end of the house today and plan to replace that section tomorrow. The three suspended ceilings are complete, and we will wire the ceiling lights in the morning. Spackling and sanding of Lee’s and Brooke’s bedrooms continue in preparation for painting on Friday. We plan to finish the kitchen tomorrow.

Betty stopped by to say hello and told us a bit about Minden, the former coal town in which the Thomas house is located. Pastor Charles told us that we may only be working for one family this week, but that the entire community is talking about the project. After dinner, Jaques led us in a very moving devotional in which he likened our work in Minden to feeding God’s sheep.

Day 5 – September 27, 2012

We had a very productive day today, and yet are all aware that tomorrow is our last work day. We are planning an early start, weather permitting, so that we can complete as much as possible before saying goodbye to the Thomas family.

1. The ceilings are finished and the lights installed.
2. The kitchen cabinets are in place. Two remaining base cabinets need to be attached
to the wall and the dishwasher needs to be connected.
3. Window and door trim needs to be painted and installed.
4. Brooke’s room needs another coat of paint – Lee plans to paint his own room.
5. Remaining siding needs to be installed.
6. Entrance way repairs need to be completed.
7. Trash needs to be collected at the bottom of the hill where Bill and Marvin (Oak Hill staff) can pick it up.
8. Tool trailer needs to be packed for the trip back home on Saturday.

To celebrate the end of a very successful trip, our team will travel to nearby Tamarack tomorrow evening for dinner, browsing and shopping. Even our cooks will get a night off!

Tamarack is the nation’s first statewide collection of hand-made crafts, arts and cuisine. Visitors will discover 59,000 square feet of juried crafts, working art studios for resident artisans, a 178-seat theater, fine art gallery and A Taste of West Virginia food court all under one roof, with an additional 22,500 square feet of meeting or special occasion space in the Tamarack Conference Center. The Tamarack Foundation furthers the accomplishments of Tamarack by preserving and sharing West Virginia’s cultural traditions, training and educating artisans, and building an economic base for the future.

We look forward to returning home on Saturday after breakfast, packing and cleaning up our living space!

Day 6 – September 29, 2012
It’s now the end of a very long day. We started early and worked late in order to finish our work despite it being a rainy day. The paint was barely dry on the doors before Brooke and Lee asked the team to sign each of their doors in preparation for our departure.

Due to our late finish, we had to scratch plans to visit Tamarack this year, but we hope to make that visit during a future trip to this area. We instead celebrated the conclusion of our work week with a team dinner at a great local South American restaurant.

So it’s late to bed and early to rise, as we pack, clean, and begin our drive home tomorrow morning.