Last month I had the opportunity to drive down to Lumberton, North Carolina, a small town that was heavily impacted by the flooding last fall. I met up with Pastor Zach Dease and other members from Macedonia Moravian Church to work on a home in partnership with the United Methodist Disaster Response and Recovery unit.
We spent the early part of the morning getting to know the other people we would be working with– a family from Greensboro, and our foreman—Jeff, an experienced and spirted carpenter. When we arrived, the building was simply a foundation and three exterior frames. By the end of the day all of the interior and exterior walls were framed, and the house was beginning to take shape.
I learned from Jeff that the house that previously occupied this space was completely displaced from the flood. The organization he works for stepped in to assist the homeowner and build a house with an 8-foot foundation that would withstand future natural disasters.
Even in 95-degree heat, our team was able to find joy throughout the day. Using a nail gun for the first time, searching for a lost tool only to find it in your back pocket, picking the next song to play— little joys to distract from the heat. When it was time to leave, we said our goodbyes, took a look at what we had accomplished, and thought about the man who is one day closer to returning home.