Archive for July 2014

New Life Week 2

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   The second wave of New Life students left this morning. They did some of the hardest work of the summer. It wasn't particularly difficult, it was just insanely hot, and the projects were incredibly dirty. There was a lot of demolition this week, and some we hadn't even planned on.
    As things seem to go, the church building and house have layers of issues. When one thing is uncovered, several others come to the surface. Thus, one of the projects we thought was complete last week, ended up being part of a project this week.
    We really thought at this point all our projects would be done, but that is not the case. There is still a lot more to do, and the reality is setting in, that it all won't happen this summer (and that's OK). Our goal was to have a place that looks nice, that was safe, and that could be used as a tool to reach the community. Those things are almost completely achieved. While we may not have a completely working a/c, new sanctuary lights, or a new front door, we have torn down (and will continue to tear down) an unsafe ceiling, had an electrician bring a bunch of things up to code, gotten rid of tons of mold and mildew issues (and prevented them from coming back), and made much more practical space to hold events, work out of, and host people.
     Here are the before and after pictures of this week.

The Last Classroom Before 

This needs another before... because last week's after connects with this week's before
This room used to be the nursery. It is really small, and we weren't sure how to use this space. We have a whole lot of storage space, so we really weren't sure what this room would be. Now we know...
The during and after pictures

We opted to take the wood paneling off, like we did in the other room

 Oh look! They put wood paneling over a window, so this room actually has two windows not one. In a basement where light is extra important, we were excited (and perplexed) to find this. 

The burnt out light bulbs in the drywall we were not so excited to find. (We also found bricks in the drop ceiling, and in the plaster ceiling. We are so lucky no one got hurt).

 This is what we discovered about our "finished room". It was originally part of our unfinished room. We opted to take out the dry wall, and turn it into one large room. That way the room has more flexibility. We can use it as cafe overflow. We can use it for large classes. We can also get a temporary partition and split it into 2 classes (which makes more sense than drywall)


The current end product of those rooms. The ceiling needs to come down (it's sagging, and only a matter of time until it falls, and the electrician needs to do some serious rewiring in here) and the walls had to be patched, so they still need to be painted. Even with all of that, it still looks so much better! We're hoping that our group this week can finish this room up! 

The cafe ceilings before. Part had a drop ceiling over plaster, and the plaster had already begun to fall down in the back. The safe option was that it all needed to come down. A very messy project.

The cafe ceilings now. The electrician was able to move our light switches to a spot that makes more sense, and install light boxes for 3 ceiling fans and some fluorescent lights. We need to put up some mold resistant drywall, and then the ceilings will be done. In the mean time, we have this industrial look. 

Our new light switches up to fire code. He also installed them so we can run the fans without the lights, which will help if the basement gets wet this winter/spring. 

During demolition

The students also worked on our office room at the house (as well as some other small projects)
The Before of the office room
 during painting 


    This was a great week! I was so excited to meet these students, and about what God is doing in their lives. The other night, as they were over at the house for showers, the kids would just stop and carry on conversations with us. We talked about all sorts of topics, and it was great to see their minds working as they continue to work out their faith. We're continuing to work out our faith too, and we are grateful we got to share a part of this journey with these new friends. 

New Life Week 1

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    A few weeks ago, I got a call from City Connexx about taking a last minute group who were no longer able to go to their original site. We didn't want them to miss out on their mission trip, so we of course said yes! This meant no break from one group to the next, and it's been pretty crazy, but we are so grateful that we got to know these new friends. We are so grateful for all the work they did for us. This truly has been a great week! Next week we get the second group from the same church in Iowa, and we are excited to get to know these people even more.
    As promised, here are some pictures from the week, and some before and afters of what they accomplished.

These are the before pictures of the creepiest nursery ever (we aren't using this as a nursery anymore, and things were extremely outdated)

The after pictures of the former nursery. No more creepy baby feet!
We put in new floors. All that's left to put in are the baseboards!
The before of the current parents room (picking up where the last group left off)
After of the new parents' room

This room is now super soothing, and it has a window and speaker to the sanctuary, perfect for parents taking their fussy babies out of service while still being a part. We are trying to emphasize family worship, and this will be a great tool for that. 

Before pictures of our largest sunday school room (the most obnoxious room of them all, quite possibly... it was very dated)

During and after pictures of our biggest project this week by far

We went through all the books, and got rid of things that were ruined or text books that were extremely outdated. We added some to the garage sale pile. I'm sure it won't take long to reorganize and fill this room up again (hopefully without overcrowding it the way it was before). We have some things that need to be organized and go back in this room as well. 

Our garage sale pile is growing tremendously

And the absolutely coolest find of the week, while looking for insurance info. to take care of our broken window, I discovered this
This is an original photo of the church and congregation from 1939. It's so cool to see where the addition was added in the 80's, and to see the old car in the background. The neighborhood has changed a lot since this picture. We'll frame it and put it somewhere in the church (along with all the other cool gems we've found). There's something exciting about our building having a history, and being reborn into something new. Everyday feels a bit like a treasure hunt as we uncover layers and layers of dust and dirt, to transform this building into something to serve the community. It truly is a concrete example of redemption and restoration. 

Easter Fiesta


     Our largest group of teens for the summer just drove off into the sunset (not literally as it was only 9am). They were a collection of different teens from different churches in the Cumberland Presbyterian church (don't know what a Cumberland Presbyterian is, google it... I didn't either until 7 days ago).
    They accomplished so much, had many dance parties, played a whole lot of kemps and mafia, ate some great food, and got to experience a lot of new things. It was truly an amazing week.
    As promised I have a whole bunch of before and after pictures for you on some of the projects they did. I truly am overwhelemed by how amazing everything is looking. After a rough week having a window break, getting some bad news about the a/c, and all the other things that are costly, we truly see God's provision through His people. These projects absolutely could not have been without such amazing and generous people. I can only imagine how this building can now be used as a tool to reach the community in amazing ways.
    Without further ado, here are some pictures.

The computer lab room before (I don't have pictures of what it's looked like for the past few weeks, but we collected all the computers that needed to go to recycling in here... the room was FULL of old computers, printers, etc.) The CPC crew took all of them to recycling for us. It was a huge task

 The new "Oasis" I'll take a better picture with some lights on later. This room will soon be a parent/infant room. For parents to take their infants to if they are fussy. It will be painted soon, but it's made so much progress!!

 The before pictures of my office. Completely unworkable because of all the stuff. Very crowded... and well, you see the paint job.

After pictures of the office

It's hard to tell it's the same room! Now I just need an over sized chair and an area rug (and some non hideous  art)

 These are the before pictures of the hallway, the duneland teens did some work here too (they painted the gray parts on the walls) the CPC kids came in and redid the white, and cleaned everything up

 After of the stairway
We just need a chair rail and to put maybe 1 (instead of 3) bulletin boards

 The boys' bathroom before (The guys said when you paint a men's bathroom blue, it looks like it was painted for a child, so we went a very different direction)

 Afters of the men's restroom

We think this will look great with some cool art with lots of hunter green since the colors go well together, and maybe some other manly type accents. The guys really liked the change. 

 The cafe before. The room really needed help. They also discovered mold under the sound buffers, so everything had to be bleached. We ate outside for 2 days, which was perfect. The weather was beautiful and we are grateful we could complete this. (The church also is easier to breathe in with all that mold gone, they wore masks and gloves, for those concerned, we were trying to be very careful)

 The Cafe after

 The room looks bigger and lighter now, and it got an extreme deep clean which is awesome as well. We also learned that we can feed 70 people down there with a little room to spare.

The women's restroom before. This was maybe the ugliest paint job of the whole church, some girls really took ownership, chose a new paint color and mirror, and it's vastly improved

women's restroom after

Once we get some appropriate art (not too much), it will look even better! The girls did such an amazing job

 Downstairs storage before. We have a ton of things for vbs, block parties, etc. but while being in labeled bins, a lot needed to be thrown out or put in the garage sale pile. A team took everything out and reorganized it.

 Downstairs storage after. It's hard to tell from the pictures alone, but this is significantly nicer, and easier to walk in and out of, plus the whole thing was vacuumed for the first time in at least a year

 The right of the stage storage before. There were tables of toys that needed to be put into bins for the garage sale. It's hard to tell in this pic. but there was dust on a lot of things, and the carpet was horrible

 Storage after (the bins in the front are all for the garage sale)

The before of the upstairs closet
The After (this is where our Easter fiesta stuff was discovered)

This doesn't even cover all the things they did. Another group completely cleaned our basement, washed the outside of our house, started scrapping paint off our porch, unclogged the grossest drain (that the plumber said was impossible to unclog due to a broken pipe... but they did it somehow), and cleaned up tons of yard waste. I don't have pictures of everything, because I was so busy working and just loving getting to know these teens and leaders. I'm so grateful for all their hard work.
Their last night here, we threw them an Easter fiesta (they found a box labeled easter fiesta with tons of decor, so we busted it out... no an easter fiesta is not a nazarene thing, but it is an awesome and hilarious thing). I felt like the Easter fiesta was a fitting end to the week. The resurrection is active here in Hammond, resurrection is happening, and it is worth celebrating. So to celebrate all the hard work of these awesome people, here are some more pics. that I managed to snap this week. Enjoy!