June 5, 2014

by Janis Greenbaum

mission trip - group with habitatImagine wearing a haz-mat suit, a respirator and safety goggles in the summer heat… scraping paint off a large 2-story house… ALL DAY!  That was our mission today as we continued our work with Habitat for Humanity in Cedar Rapids. It was horribly uncomfortable… and wonderfully satisfying!

We were assigned to a third house in the Wellington Heights neighborhood with our Habitat leaders today. This house was built in 1915 and owned by a lovely single mom named Ryan. Ryan has three kids, ages 16, 14 and 9. She also runs a daycare out of her home. Ryan is smart, motivated and very grateful to have help from Habitat to renovate her home.

Because the house has remnants of lead paint on it, we were all required to suit-up from head to toe for protection. We scraped the low spots, we scraped the high spots, we began filling in with primer and then cleaned up. It doesn’t sound like a lot of work, but trust me — it was hard work!

At the end of our work day, we presented our $1,500 donation check to our Habitat leaders, Caleb and Bob. They were so grateful for the donation. I’m sure the money will help a lot of people in Cedar Rapids.

mission trip - at christ churchWe spent the evening with the Rev. Martha Rogers and a few members of Christ Episcopal Church, our home-away-from-home for the week. We enjoyed an interactive Holy Eucharist together and then shared a delicious chicken dinner. We presented our $1,500 donation check to Rev. Martha after dinner — she had to hold back her tears of gratitude. She said she will bless the gift at their service this Sunday morning and use it as seed money to for their capital campaign, which kicks-off this week.

Ice cream, fun and games in the basement ended our evening. Tomorrow we head back to the same house we worked today — everyone is looking forward to returning to finish the project!



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