The most engaging life I've ever had

exciting, fun, a little intimidating, definitely worth it.



Something funny happened at the post office the other day. I went to pick up a certified letter and it said I AM RECALLED TO CHAUTAUQUA!!! YAY! So I get to start flying next week sometime maybe. I have to fly four legs with a check airman to make sure I remember everything (I'm going to have to do some review) and then I go back out on the line as the most junior pilot in the whole system. (i.e. I get to do everything that nobody else wants to) But it will be great because I'll be flying again. I think my first order of business will be to go visit Boston to make sure everybody is still getting along out there. Then it's on to blow all my money on a ski trip in Colorado :)


After far to long

Here is my tale about Eight Days of Hope VI. (They help with flood and disaster recovery- check the link to find out more.) I found out about it when I was attending church in Cambridge and a group from there went down to Mississippi with EDOH. I thought it was a great group when I heard about them, and then it worked out that I got a job with a super flexible boss who could let me have a week off for this most recent trip. I drove out to visit Stacey and Joel, went to Sharon RPC for the first time on Sunday, and finished my journey to Cedar Rapids after lunch.

I arrived at New Covenant Bible Church (the main HQ for our operation) at about 3 o'clock and I was following the signs to check in when I heard a big "NO WAY!" and Topper came running over to greet me. It was a great start to a super week. I got checked in, found a place to sleep, had dinner, and started meeting people. It was really cool because Topper was the only person I knew when I first arrived, but I had a couple dozen more friends when I left.

Accommodations were provided by various churches in the area, and food was all supplied by a Southern Baptist Church Disaster Recovery Team and sponsored by churches across America. The SBC had a few semis to bring a giant mobile kitchen and they made some pretty great food.

On Monday morning, after breakfast, announcements, and a short devotional, I went out to find my first job. All of the available projects were posted on sheets of drywall with a project manager sheet and a team sign-up sheet. I was looking for something I knew I could do well and work under somebody else, just to get a feel for things, but most of the projects already had full teams. Then a couple guys found out that I had a little construction experience and started pressuring me to lead a job. I caved to the peer pressure and picked an easyish job. It worked out and I soon had a crew enroute to Palo to put a new subfloor in a house that had water fill its finished basement and climb the better part of the first floor walls. That project took all day, but we got it done and were able to head back to HQ satisfied with a good day's work.

After a night of sleeping in a big room crammed full of snoring fellows (one of whom kindly loaned me an air mattress) I picked up a new project in downtown Cedar Rapids. We went down after breakfast and it was there that the full impact of the flood really hit me. Nearly all of the houses were empty and a lot had not been touched in four months. A resident gave me a look at one of the houses and the chaos that the water had produced was truly breathtaking. We pulled all of the plumbing and electrical out of a house and left it ready to get a new set by lunchtime. After lunch I went back to Palo and started a project that was way over my head and took the next three days to complete. Fortunately I got a couple of really good carpenters on my team and they did some amazing work.

I spent most of the week framing walls, installing subfloor, doors, and drywall, and trying to give the people around me a hope of soon returning to their homes, and an even greater hope of ensuring a future incorruptible home. I saw many homes get rebuilt, I saw many lives transformed, and I saw many people cry as they spoke of smiling for the first time in months.
It was probably one the the most Amazing things I will ever experience here on Earth, and I'm already looking forward to being part of their next trip to Texas in the spring!

I could go on to write a few more pages, but I don't suppose you would have to to read it, and I am currently shorting myself on sleep, so if you want to hear more, definitely ask me about it. I'll tell you about my postal experience tomorrow.