More Vegas

So, I mentioned that I hadn't previously been involved in US activities directly related to the homeless and underprivileged.

I loved serving in the feeding programs. While I was with the team, we served at 2. The Las Vegas Mission, and at a church called the Las Vegas Dream Center. Here's what I loved. I loved that it was comfortable. People enjoying a meal and people enjoying serving a meal. It is much like a meal I would commonly experience in connection with my friends. I loved that people were thankful. No sense of entitlement. No aggressive defense against some kind of perceived indignance on our parts. I loved that I was doing something that mattered and it wasn't hard. I loved that I was doing something small as part of something big. Both of these programs include a way up and off the streets to those who want it. This pic is of Kirk and me getting a lesson in oatmeal service.
I was also involved in Habitat for Humanity with Kirk and Debra. Wow was that awesome. No bells and whistles. No fireworks in the sky. Just good hard work along side good hard-working people. Kirk and Debra had already had a very long week of serving day in and day out, and sleeping on a hard floor with inferior sleeping mats to comfort them. But they continued with GREAT excitement for the task. The other workers with Habitat for Humanity were inspiring. The lead worker is from the Midwest, and assigned to Vegas for this project (7 homes in a redeveloping neighborhood). But there were these other guys who came from all over to just work on these houses. They have done it for years with H4H and go all over. They weren't construction workers, but have learned the trade in their retirement and are the go-to-guys on the job site. They were always encouraging and helpful. Then there were the home owners. They put in 300 hours before they receive their home. One home owner, already in her home, came back to help as a volunteer. Her kids are being mentored in the H4H program that helps them get apprenticeships and educational help. Martha, who we worked along side each day was just exuberant about her new home. She worked without complaint and encouraged all the rest. She has also benefited from the Dream Center (church I mentioned earlier). She volunteers there and in exchange is given access to some of the household items she needs through the Dream Center's community giving program. She is debt free, employed, a committed mom, and a growing believer.
Here are some pics.
This is Debra working on the roof. Did I mention she was deathly afraid of heights, faced her fear, and worked nearly a full day on the roof?

This is Kirk. He loved the roof. For more reasons than I should mention. But Kirk organized this trip and his excitement for serving carried the rest of us along in many ways. Kirk Rocks!!!

Here I am on the roof. I have no desire to avoid roofs. I do have the desire to avoid manual labor in 115 degree heat. Even so, the day's work went quickly. It was fun and rewarding. Take note of my shoe...

In 115 degrees, balck tar paper retains all that heat and may conduct even more. My shoe was a victim of the tar paper as the sole of my shoe slowly melted off... Little by little, less and less of the sole hung on. By the end of the day, it was more work to keep the sole on my shoe than it was to nail the paper to the roof. I should have climbed down and duct taped the sole back on, but I was afraid that the cool temperature of the ground would have kept me from climbing back up.

Daddy got a new pair of shoes!!!

Here are some pics of the fun we had after a full day's work. We only had late night for fun, since we worked days at H4H and evening in one of the shelters.

This is Debra on Fremont street. On the strip or here in Old Vegas, Debra kept mentioning how much she had missed on her previous trips to Vegas (before becoming a devoted follower of Christ) because she had imbibed a bit too much alcohol, or because she never left the gaming tables except to go upstairs to sleep. It was fun to see her nearly child-like exuberance.

This is a shot I took on Fremont Street. I just like it!


Agvar August 11, 2008 at 9:00 AM  

That shoe sole thing is funny. It was pretty unbelievably hot there. That happened to me in Okinawa too. I was walking in my boots and I thought I stepped in a hole, and it was really that my whole boot heel fell off! Cool HOTEL sign picture by the way.

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