Most of the towns we visit have been decimated by natural disasters, so it’s difficult to imagine what they were like pre-disaster. Twisted and stripped trees and beat up vehicles are a common sight on our annual tornado relief trips. This year there are no twisted trees–only dried mud-covered streets dividing abandoned home after abandoned home. The now condemned South side of Hamburg, where Betty Travis called home for 30 years, has been left a ghost town. The city now owns the land, and there is talk of making the sight a community lake–something beautiful made with the same substance (water) that wrecked the town earlier this spring. The South side will no longer be the quiet neighborhood Betty fell in love with all those years ago, but there is hope of beauty once more.
A little further North on Jefferson St, there are already signs of life. There are loving servants wearing hands on their chests, scripture on their backs, and Jesus in their hearts, who are creating another sanctuary for Betty–her childhood home. Unlike the home she lived in on the South side, this home is salvageable, and the volunteers are honoring the promise made to her earlier this summer when we first met her.
We are honored to bring a little life back to a town and a family that has been through an incredibly challenging year.
We always have a few volunteers come in the day after thanksgiving and work the weekend before the larger group of volunteers show up for work Monday. This year we have around a dozen who were willing to forgo Black Friday shopping and leftover turkey and stuffing. Their sacrifice is real, but don’t feel too bad for them. They’re about to have a nice big meal in Shenandoah, and possibly some dessert to follow.
In one short week, dozens of volunteers will flock to Hamburg Iowa to serve as the hands and feet of Christ. A small crew has been working the last couple of days to strip the remaining lathe and plaster walls and flooring. As we prepare the job site, we also want to prepare the volunteers to make the trip. Here is some vital information you’ll need to know.
The jobsite address is 1207 Jefferson St, Hamburg Iowa. GPS seems to work well in the area so everyone should be in good shape to find it. We will arrive on the site at about 7:30am Monday morning. For those wanting to come Sunday night, feel free to join us at our volunteer housing in Shenandoah.
The lodging is at 200 Church St, Shenandoah Iowa. The building is directly behind the Methodist Church, so look for an old multistory school building behind the church and that’ll be us!
Feel free to bring air mattresses, but they aren’t absolutely necessary, as the building is equipped with bunk beds and mattresses (no promises on comfort level). There should be plenty of room and beds, as well as a couple showers for nightly cleaning.
Meals, as always, will be provided (breakfast lunch and dinner). Parking is somewhat limited on this years sight, so please be respectful of traffic and other peoples property boundaries. Please DO NOT park in other people’s yards. We want to spread Jesus, not ruts in neighbors yards.
This years project will likely wrap up faster than years past, so come early and come often. If you’re planning on coming at the end of the second week, you may be too late. I want to be clear, however, this doesn’t mean we don’t need a lot of help early. We will. But the more people we have come help, the sooner the volunteers and family we are serving can be home to enjoy the holidays.
See you next week!
This week is a big week for ONE FAMILY ONE PURPOSE! We want to remind you of all that’s happening, and it all starts tonight.
The Roseville Soup supper is taking place at 6pm this evening. There will be food an entertainment for the kids, so make sure to stop by and show your appreciation to our brothers and sisters of the Roseville Christian Church for putting this on once again this year. All proceeds from the free will offering will go to our upcoming disaster relief remodeling project in Hamburg, Iowa.
This Saturday is our 9th annual OFOP auction at the Annex in LaHarpe. We’ll be serving pulled pork and chili soup, which has generously been donated from Witches Rib Barbecue! Come between 11-12:30 for food and a sneak peak at all the great auction items. The auction will then begin at 1pm. It’s a great place to pick up some Christmas gifts, so come ready to put your hand in the air!
Hope to see you all twice this week!