The First 24 hours…

The first 24 hours…

I have been on my heels. Being away last month on active duty with the storms and not getting back till this past Thursday has been a test. I believe we are all fatigued with the hurt, pain, and suffering we have seen from natural disasters and the senseless shooting in Las Vegas. We find ourselves giving more but maybe also disengaging. There is only so much we can take and absorb. I find myself in the same place. Each prayer seems like another request to Jesus for healing and provision on large scales.

Living in a shack in a way helps me live into struggles of others. My home is warm, safe, and dry. If something breaks I have the means to fix it-either because of my own knowledge or having the necessary financial resources. My monthly mortgage is less than the fair market rental values in Auburn/Opelika. My power bills are significantly less than my friends who live in mobile homes designed for inefficiency. My dad taught me about investing just a little when I graduated college. You do not learn how to manage your finances in school…you learn it from family or friends.

These raise hard questions for me. Am I blessed? Am I privileged? Am I smarter? Am I fortunate? If I am these thing does this make my friends who have low incomes cursed? Underprivileged? Less fortunate?

What it means for me is to walk in the shoes of someone else and live into their joys, pains, and life experiences. Living in the shack gives me those moments of intentional discomfort. I must depend on others to help me. And it is ok.

Jesus gave us such simple commands. Nothing simple in the way we live them out. Loving other people the way I want to be loved creates conflict, discomfort, and makes me question the way I live. I see the need for God’s grace in my own life and my daily need.

Shout out to the “D” groups who come out on Wednesday night and the AUMC “D” group that came out at 7:20am this morning to learn about “the shack” and how we extend Christ’s love to families through home repair. Looking forward to young painters coming today and the Bible study groups.

Blessings today and find a way to serve someone and love them the way you want to be loved!

lisa

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Where is the Light? #sweethomes for Alabama

It’s that time and I cannot believe it. I get excited this time of year to see what God is going to do through so many people.

In the middle of my excitement is the heartbreak we all feel. So many unnecessary lives lost in Las Vegas to a senseless shooting. We question, why would anyone want to do that? Do we devalue human lives and our own life that much? What gets us to a place like that? A sickness of the soul is one of the most heartbreaking and destructible forces we face. Pain caused from so many who lost homes, memories, and lives is still fresh from the three powerful storms that hit our US coasts. The list of disasters world- wide and a Syrian crises grows. In the midst of pain and suffering, with lingering questions that can never be answered, we grasp for beams of light and hope.

Hurting people rush to the aid of other hurting people. Acts of violence are countered with acts of love and kindness. We commit to serving and loving our neighbor. Darkness never wins or gets the upper hand when we counter with expressions of love and light.

Living in the shack is the tangible way that I and others try to understand hardships. Hardships when we see the leaks, when we dodge the unsafe places, when the drafts come in and we do our best to stop them and even moments when we do not feel safe. I have names and faces of families who struggle with these conditions, who wonder if they will ever be able to raise the money to afford the repairs. People who wonder if there is another way and if people care.

The answer is yes. Yes, there is another way. Yes, we care. Yes, there is hope. Paul writes, “in Jesus, we have a ‘yes’”. We can co-labor together and repair homes. We can share our stories together. We can build trust, community and together bring about transformation. All of that from living in a shack? I would like to think so.

Come see us at the shack at 131 S. Gay Street. If you are out of town, take some time to watch the story unfold on Facebook and through Twitter. Share this with your kids. Find ways to serve whether with us or another ministry or organization. Together, our lights will outshine the darkness!

To give: www.arm-al.org  or text  334-731-763

Want to set up your own fundraising page?

https://arm-al.networkforgood.com/projects/35791-sweet-homes-for-alabama

Thanks so much!

lisa

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At Your Service: Service Day September 2017

 

Many residents in rural Alabama live in homes in need of repairs. ARM strives to repair homes so that they are warm, safe, and dry.

This weekend, ARM was able to assist and serve two wonderful ladies whose homes needed repairing. Ms. Sanford and Ms. Turk received the help they needed this weekend.

We served in Macon County at the home of Ms. Sanford who was having issues with her roof. It was great working and speaking with Ms. Sanford. She is very appreciative for the ARM@AU volunteers who helped make the repair a success.

Ms. Turk, who had repairs done such as floor repairs, counter-top repairs, and various plumbing repairs was also appreciative of the ARM@AU volunteers for their help in serving Saturday.

It was a great day making sweet homes in Alabama!!!! We look forward to being of service to many more families in the future!!!! For more information on volunteering for ARM’s service days, visit www.arm-al.org or email Joe Davis at joe@arm-al.org.

 

Below Ms. Turk and Joe Davis takes  a photo in front of Ms.Turk’s new repairs.

Jeremiah, the Construction Supervisor, assists with the repair of Ms. Sanford’s home.

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College Students: Applications are available now for Summer 2018 Internships!

How would like to do something meaningful and life-changing that will not only benefit you, but also those around you? If serving others, sharing God’s love, and helping yourself and others grow in their faith is something that you love to do, you are exactly who ARM needs on its team! Currently, ARM is seeking interns for Summer 2018 to serve at our Youth Mission Camp. Why not do something fun, meaningful, and life-changing for the summer? ARM is all about extending the love of Christ, restoring hope, and building dreams as we build a movement to end substandard housing in rural Alabama! If you would like to do something meaningful and life-changing next summer, JOIN OUR TEAM! Applications are available now!

During the 11-week full-time paid internship, you have the option of serving as a Construction Coordinator, Day Camp Counselor, or Site Leader.

Construction Coordinators gain hands-on residential construction experience by serving with families seeking a home that is safe, warm, and dry. You will also learn invaluable project planning and management skills as you coordinate plans, tools, and materials for our mission teams.

 

Day Camp Counselors serve alongside our mission teams to coordinate Bible lessons, recreation, educational enrichment, and more for 25-30 kids ages 5-10. Over 150 hours of classroom exp erience with kids from low-income communities makes this a great position for those interested in elementary education, social work, psychology, or human development and families.

Site leaders manage and direct the summer mission interns and volunteer teams and oversee all operations at each mission site including meals and housing.

We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Contact Joe or Kaylen for more information on our website!

Click here to apply!!!

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Storms, Hurricanes, and Bringing Hope

Normally September is when we are all excited about football, cooler weather. But for thousands of people, it has come at a price. As I write, we face another developing storm system with Maria tracking the same path as Irma. I am overwhelmed and find myself numb because it is so big and the devastation so great.

The first time I stayed in the shack, Tropical Storm Faye came through. Rain pelted my thin roof, wind howled rattling the plastic over my windows, and water began seeping through my floor being absorbed by my mattress. That was 10 years ago. In 2012, it was Hurricane Sandy that was pushing through. ARM works with families who face storms. When we record the family stories we will hear how a tornado, severe thunderstorm, or results of a hurricane created enough damage that repairs were needed. Because the event was so small in volume, they did not qualify for assistance. Time became the enemy and the damage increased.

If we are going to end substandard housing, we need to consider all the ways homes can become damaged and the vulnerability of the families staying in them. Storms, age of the home, deferred maintenance, and even bugs can create and perpetuate conditions making a house substandard. Our elderly and those with major disabilities have severely limited resources making the hiring of a contractor or handyman nearly impossible. Can we pay attention and make this a priority in every church and every faith community?

Due to the storms, I have been on active duty since September 5th and will remain as long as September 30th. Listening to the stories every day of the first responders and tracking the response and recovery efforts put a new emphasis on our ministry. Although not in the path of these storms, there were people in Alabama affected. Heavy rain, wind, tree limbs, and more put pressure on vulnerable structures. Later this week, I will share with you Ms. Samford’s story and the storms she has faced.

Looking forward to going in the shack three weeks from Wednesday!

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