Our second day of the mission trip started with listening to the sounds of sunrise in the swamp. Hummingbirds, woodpeckers, bullfrogs, wild pigs, and tree frogs all sang good morning as the sun broke through the trees covered in Spanish Moss.

After fighting with GPS to avoid the ferry, we finally found the best route to our job site using general directions…first DeGaulle then MacArthur…and arrived on site ready to work.

We started our work day with a great ice breaker from Ashlyn, one of the site supervisors. She had us each say what home meant to us and our favorite memory. There were two themes that rose above the rest, safety and inclusion. Being home for so many of us means a place where we are accepted for who we are, not matter what form that comes in. Our memories included, watching the Lone Ranger, Christmas with families, home cooked meals, and riding in the back of a pickup truck (yes you used to be able to actually do that) to get ice cream. We started work strong with exterior painting and caulking and more floor tile laying in the bathroom.

The weather broke us for lunch with some heavy rains, but our spirits stayed high with homemade chicken and sausage gumbo with a peach cobbler dessert courtesy of Miss Veronica, the home owner’s daughter. Delicious!

With full stomachs, the crew returned to work even stronger to focus on the many jobs that still need to be completed inside. Team Doors helped Ashlyn hang more interior doors, Team Paint and Team Caulk combined to become Team Laminate and started laying flooring in the front bedroom. Team Tile came close to today’s goal of laying 40 tiles! We WILL finish that tile floor tomorrow!

For part of the crew, work wound down around 4:30 and they headed back to the Tree House, while part of the crew stayed behind at the work site to put in a little extra time. When we all got back, we could smell Chef Mike’s deconstructed jambalaya as we were walking through the door. We gathered to thank God for a wonderful meal, wonderful crew and what has been an inspiring mission trip so far!

Tomorrow is the last day at our current worksite before we move to a different one on Thursday and you can already see the impact this project has made on the homeowner. Site supervisor Jay told us that last night, the homeowner, Mr. Lee came over late in the afternoon and just sat on the porch of his new house, feeling safe in the security it will bring him, feeling included with the family and neighbors that join him on his front porch and for Sunday dinners and feeling home.