Friday, June 27, 2008

Before and After Photos

The Team

Just kidding!  We took these pictures at the same time, just for fun.

Upstairs Bedroom
Having no place to put his clothes, the resident in the front bed, threw everything on the floor.  All he had were piles of clothes, a broken bed, and two bookshelves full of books.  He is an American history buff, he had some really great books.  We brought a sturdy bookshelf up from the dining room for him.

New dresser, bed, bedding, and armoire.  

The other resident in this room walled himself off a space with several wall cabinets stacked on top of each other and a shower curtain.  This blocked off the light and air from the side window.  Back in the corner were two bookshelves that were in such bad shape, we could not get them down the stairs in one piece.  He was hanging his clothes on a large metal four armed rack like you see in a department store.  It took up a lot of space in the room.

No kidding, this is the same room.  Shower curtain, stacks of cabinets, metal department store fixture for clothes removed.  The room is opened up.  Two armoires and two dressers put in.

Upstairs Bathroom
Cabinet that nobody used.

Permanent ironing board and towel rack with fresh towels.


Shower curtain, re-caulked shower.


This is the upstairs bathroom.  It is a large bathroom with windows, we loved it.  It got a new toilet seat, tp holder, some moulding that was missing, some small wall art, new paint and shelves to the left of the sink.  Bible on the toilet.  Why not?

Dining Room


The bookshelves were not being used.  The books in them were left from previous residents.  I hope your computer monitor does these walls justice.  They were primary yellow.

One of the bookshelves is now upstairs in a bedroom.  Both desks were moved together. We added lamps and a canvas.  The canvas is a reflection of the book we read about Ann Judson before the trip.   This is a well lit, clean surface for paying bills, doing puzzles,  or bible study.

Living Room


Not bad, but not comfortable.  The cushions were very thin and you could feel springs through them.  The carpet was ripped with holes and the thickness of felt.  It could not be cleaned anymore.

New paint, furniture, silk tree, lamps, ottoman with storage, curtains, and new carpeting in the living room.  We got a generous discount on the sofa and chair from Value City and the carpet and installation was free.

Old entertainment center that was huge and very heavy.  We gave it to Rescued Treasures and it was sold in two days.  Another way to help GCH.

New entertainment center, cleaner looking wall with art.

Downstairs Bedroom
This is the additional project that we did, one that we had not planned in advance.  Two men sleep here.  All of the furniture they had was broken or non functional.  One was using a dining room buffet as a dresser.  He was also sleeping with his bed on plastic milk crates because his bed frame had only three legs.

The team did this room in one day.  It was a real team effort to do the shopping the night before and assemble the furniture (what you can't see are two large armoires on the wall behind you), clean out all the old and install all the new.  A patriotic theme was requested.

We cannot thank you enough if you supported us financially or prayerfully.  You were as important a part of this mission trip as we were.  The men of the Birdhouse thank you too.  We know they will keep everything in good shape.  We did their kitchen last year and they worked hard to keep it looking good after we left.

God bless you!

Last Day

It got quite warm today.  We would have been in trouble without our encouragement team keeping us in ice and cold water.  It was really good that we had the upstairs of the house finished so we did not have to spend a lot of time up there in the heat.

We found some giant canvases in the basement.  The art team went to work.  One artist painted the background, another printed some scripture.  Hung on the wall, they made a great addition to the room.
This is the extra room we took on today.  Two men live in this room.

Explaining the art of organization to Wes.  Wes lives in the downstairs room with Dan at the BirdHouse.  They have a very small room and when we were finally allowed inside, it was like a cave.  We gave them storage, cleaned up, opened the windows, and tried to teach them how much better if makes you feel to have a tidy refuge from the world.  

Building two more armoires.  These armoires turned out to be the perfect storage system for the men....a place to hang clothes, a couple drawers, and some shelves.  Best of all, the doors close and everything inside is hidden.

We left the BirdHouse and came back to church, where some great people had dinner ready for us.  All team family members were invited.  We sat in the air conditioning, visited, looked at some pictures from the week and ate a great dinner we did not have to make.

This week, we not only accomplished what we had planned, but much more.  It is awesome how God pulled together 14 women from four churches to work as a well oiled machine.  While the work was building and decorating, the real work God sent us to do was encouragement.  We all left feeling the blessings and encouragement came back to us twofold.

Prayer Needs:
  • Praise God that our trip was more than successful and that we had many meaningful conversations with the men of the birdhouse.
  • Please pray that our work continues in the sharing of the story of our mission trip.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Day 3

Our carpet was stored two houses away in a shed.  Our carpet installer was coming first thing this morning, so we carried it over.

We carry the furniture, the delivery guy carries two pillows???

Relocating some very tall lilies.

Tracey, a great guy who installed our carpet for us in the living room and dining room.  All by himself.

Installing an ironing board in a cabinet.

Building the dining room table.

Three busy days, one more to go.

Prayer needs:
  • Please pray for additional money and time to start and complete an additional room tomorrow
  • that they men in the house will be encouraged by the activities of the week

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Day 2

The early risers met at 7 to load the truck.  We had two beds and two armoires in it.  It was packed.  We are just packing it full each day and taking as much as we can.  It is so nice that they gave us a little man power to help carry things.  

Lunch today was made and served by the staff of the Food Network.  No, it was really our encouragement team, but they made everything not only tasted great, but look beautiful.

Furniture building started today.  We had two large armoires to be built.  The first one took almost 2 1/2 hours.  The second one only an hour and a half.  Too bad we didn't have more, they could get their building time down to minutes.    

At the end of the day, we have the living and dining rooms painted.  They look great, pics tomorrow.  Also the downstairs bathroom is painted as well as the stairway and bedroom.  Still working on the upstairs bathroom as we have been using it for storage.
Tomorrow, more furniture building, carpeting the downstairs, and big furniture delivery.
Prayer needs:
  • Praise God the weather has been great.
  • Please pray for the timing of the carpet and furniture deliveries to work out.
  • For the men living in the house to hang in there two more days.
  • For Rich and Jim, two men who helped us carry furniture upstairs.  They are new to the program and learning much about God and His will for their lives.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Day 1

We started early with prayer and breakfast at church, all fresh faced and full of energy.  Here we are looking good on our van ride to GCH.  We spent an hour hauling furniture out of the house.  That was especially tricky for the upstairs team who had to negotiate a tiny enclosed stairway that makes a 180 degree turn.  But, the weather is beautiful and cool, and the house residents are excited.  We had guys hanging around all day.....waiting.....

The carpet got torn out downstairs.  The team ripped that out like they do it every day.  They were amazing.  We get the new carpet installed on Wednesday morning.  So, we can paint with abandon in there!

The biggest challenge for the upstairs team was this bedroom.  Two men share it.  One man had himself walled off inside the room in a small room he created out of cabinets and shower curtains.  One thing we consistently find at GCH is that people who have lived on the street hoard everything they can when they get a home.  That room was packed to the ceiling.  It took hours to empty it out.  

Time for lunch.  Our four member encouragement team went all out for lunch.  It is so fabulous to walk into a room and have drinks and lunch ready.  All we had to do was sit down and eat.  

The downstairs team painting in the dining room.  Go back and look at the before pics.  This room was all sunshine yellow, including those incredible mouldings.  Even with just one coat of paint, it is looking alot different in there.

It takes us an hour and a half to get home in the 5 o'clock traffic.  Time to debrief, make plans for the next day and crash.
We start again at 7am tomorrow.

Praise God:
  • the weather was in the 70s
  • the carpet came up easily and the padding is good underneath
  • nobody needed so much as an aspirin all day
  • safe travels in the traffic back and forth
Please pray for:
  • the men in the house, having their space invaded....we have torn apart nearly every room.  Two of them are sleeping on mattresses on the floor tonight and their clothes are on the front porch.
  • everything continues to go smoothly
  • one resident Wes, who now want us to do his room even though he did not want us in there before.  We would like to be able to do something for him if budget and time permit
Thanks for your prayers!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Final Preparation and Gathering

T minus 4 days and counting.  The garage is filling up with furniture and housewares.  We still have a little shopping to do, but the lists are made and tasks assigned, and the excitement mounting.

Prayer requests:
  • health and safety for all team members
  • that all the pieces of the puzzle come smoothly together
  • that we are listening to God and doing His will, and putting our own on hold
  • that we are an encouragement to the men who live in the Birdhouse
  • dry and cool weather
Many thanks to all of you!