2018 Team

2018 Team
2018 Team in the original church built for Suyapa

Monday, March 25, 2013

We Are F-A-M-I-L-Y!

This morning I convinced Lois to let us work as a group. She listened and acquiesced to my wishes. Thus, all missioners climbed aboard and headed to Holly Springs this morning. We had a bit of a late start due to my meeting with Lois and some printing work I had to do, but they really hit the ground running. Within five minutes of parking, everyone was raking, putting leaves onto a tarp and carrying them to dump over the fence, pulling volunteer trees, pick-axing a trench, digging, pulling weeds, cleaning a metal bench, and so much more. Because we worked so well as a team, our water project was totally completed, and the team got to watch the water flowing from the sprinkler system. 

Celebrating a successful water project

Since I had to take Shelby to the airport, I was unable to witness the spraying of the water, but I'm going to test it myself upon our return on Thursday. What these missioners accomplished today was absolutely amazing. Teamwork really pays off!

Digging trenches

Tomorrow we go to Ms. Washington's house. I think you need to know a little background about this lady. She was married years ago and had two daughters with her husband. He deserted his family when the girls were young so Ms. Washington raised them herself. Her ex-husband apparently abused drugs and suffered an overdose, which eventually caused him to have seizures. When he reached the point where they were going to put him into a state facility, she stepped in and took him into her own home. She had to quit her job to take care of him because he needed the saliva suctioned from his mouth every thirty minutes - around the clock. She only sleeps in 30-minutes increments so she can do everything for him. Hospice comes in daily for two hours. During that time she runs any errands that need to be done. Her two grown daughters are not happy with their mother for taking in their father, but they do use her as a babysitter, leaving their four children there almost every day. Since Ms. Washington was taking care of her ex-husband around the clock, there was no one to keep up with any house repairs, nor could she afford to pay to have them done. Some family members actually fell through the rotten floor on more than one occasion. Much of the plumbing is in disrepair, and there were actually open areas in the walls that allowed anything from outside to come inside. Previous groups have installed new subflooring and laminate floor tiles, caulked the outside walls, painted some indoor walls, and put up new siding in the 'holey' spots. Tomorrow we are going to paint the entire exterior of the house, remove, clean, and paint the shutters, replace the back outdoor stairway, install a new vanity, sink and faucets, and lay cement walking block to protect them from the mud when walking from the back door to the front of the house. Our team is going to be busy, but they'll be extremely excited to do this for a woman who really acted as a true christian.

Ryan & Derek B. put pipes together

Wednesday we'll need to finish painting sheds, installing carpet, and weeding at a school. Thursday morning will be for any little details we did not finish, and we'll head for the soup kitchen (Garden Cafe) in the afternoon. As I type this blog, the missioners are in the shed making picnic tables from the wood our mission group purchased today. Once we've finished three picnic tables, we will place them behind the Garden Cafe to be used by any clients of that facility and for the children in the summer feeding program. 

Cutting picnic table  boards

Setting screws for the picnic table tops


We finished our mini water project today. I went with Lois to Home Dep-O  (Depot) and we bought all of the pvc pipe and connecters and sprinkler heads we needed for the raised planters (which we built) that the system is being installed for. It was pretty cold again, but it sounds like Iowa is much colder. Lois said that the last 3 weeks have been in the 60’s and 70’s here.  Hello to my family: Keith, Teri, Michaela, Carlyn, and Jackson. I hope you are all happy and preparing yourselves for Easter! God bless.
            -Derek Bretey

Well its finished, and my hands are purple but we got it done; our water project is done. We got the Garden Café work done and we are there again on Thursday to cook and serve those that show up. Tomorrow we are at Mrs. Washington’s house painting, installing a vanity, installing walking pavers, and building stairs that lead from the back door to do. Then Wednesday we are at the Cornelius household installing carpet and finishing the shed in back.
I also want to say hello to those that are back home in the cold(er) weather, and that I am not really missing any of the white stuff on the ground. Dad, if we are digging a trench for the mound in the back yard don’t forget to get a pick-axe.
Also those in Web design, will someone tell Ashley hey for me, thanks. That is all for now.
-Ryan Bates

Aye yo, Abby here. Today was a great day. I know that because I am super tired. We all worked today at the Garden Café, and we got it finished! I had the honor to swing the pick-axe. It was pretty great. I never thought I’d say this, but thanks Dad and Mom for giving me some knowledge on how to work hard. It’s definitely coming in handy. Katie… I don’t even know what to say. You’re making it hard for me to pick a funny story to tell people about you. There are just way too many now. We’ve been talking about you quite a bit, and I finally beat you in being the “great freking.” You held up your end very well, but my dinosaur beat your ways. (: I am having such an awesome time; it’s been more than I imagined. I love you all much, and I can’t wait to see you this weekend. 

Today was a great day. We got to work as a group finally. I learned how to use a pick ax and how to fill a trench!!!! Don’t get any bright ideas, Mom, because I am booked for the summer ;) I am having so much fun with everyone here, and we are all having a blast. Today we went to the soup kitchen in Holly Springs to finish up our project, and tomorrow we are going to Ms. Washington’s house. Yesterday was a fun but freezing day in Memphis. We got to go shopping on Beale Street. Emily- tell Nathan that I am somehow surviving with the unorganizational skills of everyone else L. I try and clean, but everyone makes fun of me. Mrs. Bickford told me I could help with cleaning before we go home so tell him not to worry because I will leave this place spotless. Also- I forgot to get you something yesterday…JK! Dad and I would never forget about you or Mom. I don’t want to go back home to reality, but I can’t wait to see you and Mom on Friday and go back to work on Saturday. Love you lots

Can you pretty please sign these people up for prom. Their tee-shirt nickname will be in parethensies. If there is no name, then just use their regular name.

Elizabeth (Lizzard) Adult Medium
Ryan (Bates) Adult XL, Ashley Collins Adult Large
Maggie (Mags) Adult Small, Andrew Adult Medium
Derek B Adult Large, Shelby Adult Extra Large
Fabio (Rivera) Adult Medium (Alli is date, have her sign herself up)
Angel (Chagolla) Adult Large (Emily H. is date, have her sign up)
Derek P. He will let you know nickname tomorrow… you know how he is
Jacob (Jabba) Adult Small, Kenzie Shelgren Adult Small
Abby (Abbs) Adult Small, Jordan Langel Adult Medium
Catherine Small Adult (make sure James signs up)
Tell Danielle to sign Joey up too

Thanks so much for doing this. We miss you and hope everyting is going great back at school. Tell everyone hi from all of us and we miss them too.



  1. Hey Jacob~~
    It sounds like you got much achieved today. Sorry the weather has not been cooperative for you. As much as I am ready for spring, the snow we had last night proved to be fun for the kids. The ice that it left on the road in front of the driveway was a good bike sliding area when they pedaled up the neighboirs sidewalk then coming full speed and braking really fast trying to not fall. As Dad and I watched out the window waiting for Chris to wipe out the hardest-- which he did but no serious injuries to report. Madeline and Sarah held hands and slid all over-- Sarah's pants were wet from falling so much. She enjoyed it though. She misses you.

    David here - I miss you, do you still have that skink?

    Madeline here - How is it going? Are you really bringing that skink home?

    Dad here - Hope you are doing well.

  2. Hey Joey, for prom what do you want on the back of your t-shirt. You can pay for us when you get back. By the way, I hate how you are gone. Now we can't discuss Castle together. I guess, I will have to tell you everything that happen when you get back. Hopefully on Saturday when I get off work. Well see you soon. I miss you so much. Love you, Danielle

  3. Hey Mississippi Group - way to go on all your projects. Elizabeth way to go with the circular saw & Abby (I think it was you) good job with the cordless screwdriver. Women with power tools - AWESOME!! You guys are going gang busters on your projects. You are really making a name for yourselves in Mississippi - the kids from Gehlen Catholic will definitely leave their footprints in Mississippi. So proud of all of you. Ryan & Elizabeth - dad & I are really missing you - can't wait to see you on Friday (although dad has to work on Friday night so he will see you on Saturday) Fabio - have a good trip & we will see you when you get back. Ryan I will call Ashley & let her know how you are doing.
    Love Mom

  4. Catherine, Emily signed you up for prom and ordered your shirt. Said James had signed up. You aren't busy all summer so I will get my help. Can't wait to see you on Friday. Sounds like you all had fun working together. You guys should be proud of the work you have done and the lives you have touched.
    Love Mom.

  5. Hello from the Web Design Class!
    Looks like you guys are coming along very well with all of your projects!
    The Garden Cafe sounds very nice...Does it serve worms? WE are eating worms here in class :)
    Spring will be here by the time you get home hopefully! It's suppose to be in the 50's by Thursday and Friday. Pray for warm weather.
    Talk to you all again tomorrow :)

  6. heyo! I gotcha all signed up for prom and stuff although the one person I specifically asked for didn't even tell me what they wanted! *cough* Derek! ya there is nothing happening at school. Tomorrow will be nice though because we have a one hour early out and reconciliation! so 20 minute classes! Hopefully it will be a fast day then. Maggie, Alli's aunt had her baby! his name is Austin hes so cute! Also im getting my hairs cut tomorrow and need your advice so I wish you were here :(

    1. FYI, this is Derek :) Ya, I was trying to think of something clever to put on my t-shirt, but I didn't think of anything so I was just gonna go with Derek. Ya, its boring but oh wells. Thanks for taking care of that stuff! I miss you. Okay, time for mass. Bye bye :)

  7. Andrew:
    Not much happening at our house..it seems a little more exciting at Jacob's!! Krista and Marisa are really missing you and we are all proud of your hard work. Cannot wait to see you on Friday! It sounds like you were going to do some painting today..you have some experience with that. Take Care! Love, Mom, Marisa, Krista, and Dad