January 20 to February 14, 2014 NOMADS Project, Mercedes, MS

February 15 (Approximately) to June - Gate Guarding, TX or LA.

June, 2014 - Up to Alaska!

September - NOMADS Annual Meeting, Branson, MO

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The need is endless

Mercedes,  TX

We've complete our first week of work here in Mercedes where, indeed, the need is endless.   We realize we can only do so much as many of the homes are in such bad repair that they deserve to be hauled off and replaced.

Last week one team of 3 men worked at this location.

The mother and five children live in this trailer.   They all slept in one bed by the front door because neither door locked from the inside and she was afraid.   We've replaced the door handles, painted the glass so no one can look inside and added a lock.   We've also fixed the back door.   For safety we installed a smoke detector and fire extinguisher.

The toilet had no seat and was leaking causing rotting of the floor.   A new seat and seals were installed.

We've repaired the wall around the back end so the air conditioner could be installed.

The house is heavily infested with cockroaches.   Both the inside and outside were sprayed.    The church is working to find the family a better trailer.

On Friday we visited another site.   In this one lives a mother and 5 children.   The mother is legal as are the children but the father is not and has been incarcerated.   The mother speaks little English but the children were all born here so of course are bi-lingual. The mother works two part time jobs and is doing her best.  Unlike the house above, this very small trailer is clean and orderly.  The children were well groomed with clean clothes and really quite adorable.

The trailer looks to be no longer than 12 to 15 feet.  There are two windows with no glass.   We will be fixing that situation.

There is one mattress on the floor and a pull out bed.   The bathroom door is hanging by one broken hinge.  The children are ages 7 to 14.  The two oldest are boys and we are wondering if they sleep in the car.

The house has no electric.  They have a heavy duty extension cord running from a neighboring house.  They have a washer outside for the laundry.  There are no trees or other shade on the property and no air conditioning in the house.  

They do have cold water and sewer.  However, the sewer hose is broken.  The wash water lies dormant in pools next to the trailer, causing a breeding ground for mosquitoes.  The roof needs taring as there is some leaking.

Our hope is to build a small shelter where they can place a picnic table for meals and to get out of the house during rain and heat.  After seeing this "home" and meeting the residents I could not sleep last night thinking of ways we can help and realizing how blessed we are to live as we do.

Prayers are needed for the people of this community.


MargieAnne said...

Thank you Phyllis for describing the plight of these poor people. We all know poverty exists but it's shocking when we come face to face with it.

Would donations to the church be in order and how can one arrange this?

I often think we are so busy looking to Africa or S. America or other exotic places we neglect our own back yard.

Stories like this remind me how fortunate we are in NZ. There is poverty but the scale is so very different and we do have a financial safety net in welfare which means most people can manage without extra help. Of course there are still some sad stories but I often wonder what NZers would make of this kind of poverty.

Every little bit you do helps but it's the morale booster that is quite possibly the most important. Letting people know they are not forgotten or invisible ..... so valuable.

You and Len are one precious couple.


Kenny And Angela's Adventure said...

Wow what a good blog as you know I work for a large 2000 members UM Church and I agree with MargieAnne on her comment

" I often think we are so busy looking to Africa or S. America or other exotic places we neglect our own back yard."

Paul and Marsha Weaver OCT. 17, 2009 said...

Yes, we are so much blessed than we know. It seems like a used trailer would cost less than spending all the money to fix either one of those two.
I will say, there is no excuse in living filthy. Those children deserve better than that.

JO said...

It shouldn't be this way in this country. Yes we spend way to much taking care of out of countries we let our own suffer.
That's why we collect things all year round to help our community. It breaks my heart to see little kids going to school in ill fitting and dirty close. Like Weaver said there is no excuse for living filthy, but some do not even have water.
Keep up the good work.

Laurie and George said...

I can't even imagine how to live that way. Makes you grateful for even the smallest of things. You guys are doing great work.