Volunteering for Samaritan’s Purse: Georgia clean-up wrap-up…

My volunteer crew finished up their last day of work volunteering for Samaritan’s Purse here in Augusta today.  This deployment was full of all sorts of new roles and experiences for my tribe since the kids had had birthdays since we were in Oklahoma last June – as a minor, you are restricted in what you can do based on your age.

DSCN2924_018Now that Beth has graduated to the ‘adult’ volunteers since her 18th birthday, this time around she could run the chainsaws…
DSCN2927_021 Often the cutters leave a reminder of the crew’s efforts; here Vaughn is cutting a cross into a stump.  At one house, the woman was so tickled that she is going to plant flowers on and around the stump and turn it into the focal point of her yard.DSCN2940_033We get to meet so many incredible people when we are volunteering for Samaritan’s Purse – and hope that our efforts to help them in a stressful time, will give them encouragement, and to let them know that God sees their needs, and can use even strangers to meet them.
DSCN2946_039 I love that my kiddos will pitch in and help where help is needed (or so I’m told)   …for the record, Jacob offers to help with dishes at home too  😉DSCN2949_042

Maybe that’s why he’s such a hit with the little old ladies  😉  So many people are surprised that ‘kids’ would be willing to, especially WANT to, come out and do physical labor and help these people clean up their yards (surprised!  isn’t that sad???).  Earlier this week, the crew that the kids were part of finished cleaning up the yard of a spry 80-something year old lady.  The cleanup crew went up on her porch to present her with the Bible that they had all signed, and to pray with her.  Afterwards, she remarked at how ‘good looking’ the kids were, then she walked over to Jacob, got right in his face, pointed her finger at him and said, “You’re the cutest thing I’ve ever seen!  Just a doll!  If I were a few years younger…” and let her voice trail off as she shook her head and walked away.serious.DSC_0627_300He’s still trying to live that one down on the job site.  😉

Vaughn was on the saws quite a bit this week.
He’s been sleeping really well at night! LOL!DSCN2960_048 Apparently this is OSHA approved as long as your harness is tethered to the skid steer???DSCN2966_054 It got the job done anyway…   :)DSCN2971_059These guys have been on the job for just over 2 weeks now.  They get up at 6am and head out the door by 6:45, and don’t show back up at home until at least 9pm.
On Friday, one of the homeowners insisted on ordering pizzas for lunch for the cleanup crew.  Having their bellies full, my tribe was ready for naps.
This was how Thomas spent his 15th birthday (well, just between jobs after lunch) – catching some Zs on a pizza box… :)
DSCN2994_080I can’t believe my littlest babe, at just 5#8oz (I loved that – we picked up cute preemie clothes on the way home the day after he was born. LOL!) – is ALREADY 15!!!! DSC_0640_013I love the impact that volunteering has on my bigs…they have gained a new sense of awareness of, and compassion for, the people around them.
Today, Bethy stepped out of her comfort zone and did the presentation of the volunteer-signed Bible to the homeowner.  Then she led the group in prayer.
DSCN3008_011There were over 550 properties cleaned up while volunteering for Samaritan’s Purse on this deployment, and there was such a great group here in Augusta!
We made lots of new friends and many fond memories, and hopefully were a blessing to those we came in contact with.DSCN3001_004-with the bosses on the last morning…   :)
We’re always sad when our time on a site is up, but we’ll be pulling out of Georgia on Sunday, and heading up to North Carolina to invade more ice storm cleanup efforts there.
The staff there has been warned we are coming…   😉

Lilla Rose

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