Our first day on the job sent the group to St. Paul’s Homecoming Center. This organization helps those who may need assistance with rebuilding, home repairs, landscaping, and many other services.
We met our supervisor, Joe, who told us his incredible story and why he does what he does. Although Joe and his family were unharmed by the hurricane, his home was completely devastated. He had nearly renovated his entire house when Katrina struck and it took several years to rebuild, with the help several previous mission groups from St. Michael’s. Despite all that Joe has been through, he still feels that God calls him to serve those who are less fortunate. He now works for St. Paul’s and lends his construction expertise to various volunteer groups who come to New Orleans. He certainly serves as a model and an inspiration for all of us in his selfless love and care for others.
Our first job was to remove several weeping willow trees from one location to be planted in another. After quite a struggle, we were able to get all three out of the ground and holly bushes planted in their place.
One group headed to plant another shrub in one home owner’s yard. We all met later to plant six small trees in a yard. After a long day of gardening, we headed back to St. Andrew’s Parish House to relax and enjoy the fellowship of one another over some delicious jambalaya.
We closed our day with an Evensong service, complete with plainchant and multi-part hymn singing. It was a wonderful way to prayerfully reflect and unwind after our first day working together.