Jul 13

PV WV Summer – Week Three – Wednesday

In a gentle way, you can shake the world. – Mahatma Gandhi

Today was a day that proved the importance of having flexibility. We were set to start a new site today, but when we showed up the home owner was not home. After knocking on several doors, we were told by a neighbor that the owner was away for the day. Plan B… The crew from that site went back to The Way to do a little bit of dinner prep for later, and then went to help out at the big site on Cabin Creek.

Our other site that was supposed to be a quick finishing job ended up needed a few more supplies then was initially thought and they had to call it a little early and they too ended up at the site on Cabin Creek.

With the majority of the volunteers at this one home repair site, a lot of work was able to be done. Most of the living room ceiling is now in place and the wall is framed out. Another crew worked at trimming the window and door, while a third tore up the flooring in the laundry room where we will be replacing the floor and water heater. Work will continue tomorrow.

The crew that went to Energy Express in the morning had a great time doing an arts and crafts project with the kids and then came home to tear up some tiles in the foyer of The Way, a project that we were asked to do while we were here this summer. While they are not all up, already it looks great.

We had a cookout for dinner tonight. Our PV who is a butcher in Minnesota brought with him ground beef so the hamburgers were made from this. We also had potato salad and baked beans. A great summer time meal that tasted oh so good.

Tonight’s reflection was centered around looking at what motivates us, and in particular, what motivates us to do service. It was wonderful to hear everyone’s thoughts.

Jul 12

PV WV Week 2 Wrap-Up

Thank you to the volunteers who spent their 4th of July week with the PVs in Wyoming County, WV. While we may have been smaller in number, we were able to accomplish great things and explore the beauty of the West Virginia mountains on the Fourth. Lives were touched because of your presence.



Jul 12

PV WV Summer – Week 3 – Tuesday

I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy. – Rabindranath Tagore

Today was a busy day in PV land. Volunteers were spread all over the county doing great work. A group of PVs split the day with going to Energy Express in the morning and then going to the site in Green Camp to wrap up some final touches. A lot of volunteer’s hard work and love was put into the work here and it was a joy to meet and work with the family the past few weeks.

We were also able to finish up at our site in Pineville. The faucet was installed in the kitchen, the paint was touched up and one of our talented volunteers painted beautiful butterflies on the cabinets at the home owners request. Once again it was a wonderful experience meeting and getting to know to home owner. She definitely left a mark.

Volunteers also continued work on the site out near Welch. They were able to locate the source of the leak on the roof and fix it. This enabled us to fix the floor and ceiling that were damaged by the leaking water. The volunteers also changed out the bathroom faucet and shower. The home owner could not have been happier with all the work the volunteers did.

We also started a new site today for two sisters that live in Cabin Creek that we have worked with in the past. They greeted the volunteers they knew warmly and opened their arms to all the new (to them) volunteers. The work they were able to do today was to install a new ceiling in their livingroom, a project started this past spring by the Northern Illinois University students. They also began work on building out a wall and trimming out a door and window.

As you can see the volunteers worked up quite an appetite, which was lucky because a feast was prepared for us by our resident chef volunteer. Sausage and potatoes, eggplant and green bean sauted, kale salad and 4 bean salad. It was all very good and didn’t end there. The dessert…. pound cake with strawberries and blueberries and a beautifully carved watermelon. (pictures to come..)

Reflection tonight was a sharing of who we have met in the last couple of days that reminded us of Jesus. We have met quite a few amazing people these last couple of days.


Jul 11

PV WV Summer – Week 3 Begins

Without community service, we would not have a strong quality of life. It’s important to the person who serves as well as the recipient. It’s the way in which we ourselves grow and develop. – Dorothy Height

Over the weekend we welcomed a new group of volunteers. Volunteers traveled from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Chicago, Minnesota and Wisconsin to spend time volunteering in Wyoming County. Yesterday we had our orientation and commissioning and jobsite sign-ups for the first day.

Today we have volunteers at four different sites throughout the county. One crew headed back to our site in Green Camp to continue with the second coat of paint. They once again had a great time talking with the family.

Another crew worked for a lady in Pineville installing two sets of railings on her steps to make it easier for her to get in and out of her house. While the crew was working outside, there was a crew working inside giving the kitchen a fresh coat of paint. A lot was accomplished today and only touch-ups and a faucet installation is left to be completed.

A third home repair crew spent the day out between Pineville and Welch working for a woman whom the PVs met many years ago. This time we were tasked with trying to stop a leak in her roof that had water running down into her livingroom damaging her ceiling and floor.

We were also able to send a couple of volunteers to Energy Express in Mullens to help with the kids literacy program and feeding program. The volunteers that came were the guest readers for the day and also were able to share what their life is like in Wisconsin. The kids had lots of questions…

For dinner tonight we had sweet and sour chicken, mashed potatoes, black beans, sauteed carrots and green beans and a delightful salad. Definitely a yummy and filling meal. Yum, yum.

We spent time at reflection this week getting to know a little bit more about each other. We have several new PVs this week and many returning volunteers that have not worked together before. It is a great mix and will only get better and we grower closer as a community. We also had volunteers share a new and a good from their day with the group.

Jul 08

PV WV – Second Week – Friday

I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value. – Hermann Hesse

We closed out the week today having two groups working in the county. We sent a group to Energy Express to help with putting together 90 snack kits for next week. These snacks will be distributed at five locations next week.

A group also went back to the home repair site in Green Camp. Upon arrival we were VERY happy to find out the the tarring job from the day before fix the leaks completely. The roof was tested last night with heavy rains, so we and the home owner were very happy. Today we were able to do the final sanding and get a first coat of paint everywhere in the inside of the house. On the outside we were able to patch all the areas on the underside of the porch roof where the leaking had damaged the wood. We were also able to get a first coat of paint on this fresh wood. Next week, second coats everywhere!!!

Both groups spent some time in the afternoon visiting with people with whom we have worked for in the past. One visited the family in Lynco that we have know for years. By all reports all the brothers are doing great. The other visit was to a lady known to the PVs as Foxy Lady, whom we worked for many years back, as well as painting her church. Visiting is such a great experience and we love it when volunteers take the time to do so.

Being it is Friday and we have a new group coming in over the weekend, we decided to clean out the fridge and make it leftovers night. We were able to revisit all the wonderful food that we ate earlier in the week for a second time and it was just as good the second time around.

Also since it is Friday, reflection is focused on looking back at the week that was and to share about how our experience this week has effected us and how we want to bring home a part of West Virginia with us when we leave.

Thank you to all the wonderful volunteers this week. We may have been a bit on the smaller side, but the work that was accomplished was mighty!

Jul 07

PV WV Summer Week 2 – Thursday

We convince by our presence.  -Walt Whitman

Today we went back to continue working on the site in Green Camp. We were able to get on the roof first thing to put tar down to make sure the water had no place to get in. On the ground the crew continued to sand and re-mud where it was needed. They were also able to start painting were the mud was dry and ready. We also did some work on the underside of the porch roof where the water leaking from the top had damaged the wood. We pulled down most of the bad parts and started replacing the wood. Right as we were wrapping things up for the day there was a torrential downpour. It was quite the test for the roof, and happily it doesn’t seem to have any leaks, yay!!!

Dinner tonight was quite a smorgasbord of food. We had meatloaf, a baked potato bar, 3 bean salad and Irish Soda bread. Yum yum! You can never say we don’t eat well here.

During reflection tonight we talked about our journeys as pilgrims through this life, as well as how we can be an advocate for those we meet and share our experiences once we get back home.

Jul 06

PV WV Summer Week 2 – Wednesday

Joy can only be real if people look upon their life as a service and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness. – Leo Tolstoy

Today we spent the day at the site in Green Camp continuing the work of the volunteers from last week. Time was spent drywalling, mudding, taping and sanding said drywall, caulking around the surround kit in the bathroom, painting the outside trim of the newly installed window, and tarring on the roof. It was a bit cooler than last week, but was still plenty warm by the last part of the day.

After the site we all stopped at DQ for a pre-dinner snack to get us warmed up for the main event. For the evening meal, we were treated to perfectly cooked spaghetti and a green salad (always a nice treat) and vanilla pound cake and ice cream for dessert!

Reflection tonight was about where we feel the presence of God and how God speaks to us. A nice sharing and discussion took place with the group.

Jul 04

WV Summer Program – 4th of July

There is no higher religion than human service. To work for the common good is the greatest is the greatest creed. – Woodrow Wilson

Happy 4th of July!!!! To celebrate the 4th we had a community day enjoying all that West Virginia has to offer. We started out the day with a hike at Grandview State Park, on the southern end of New River National Park. Beautiful views and sunshine was abundant. After the hike we had a picnic with our PB and J. Next stop in our day was up to the New River Gorge bridge and visitor center. During the drive north the rain showers started that would be with us the rest of the day. The main bridge overlook was closed so we only a small view of the bridge, but we also spent time in the visitors center. After the visitors center we headed to the town of Fayetteville, voted coolest small town in America a few years back. Fayetteville was having a special celebration for the fourth of July with live music and vendors. After walking around a little (and witnessing a hula hoop contest) the community went out to eat for dinner at Pies and Pints.

Our day didn’t end there though, on the way back to Mullens we stopped at Tamarack to see what West Virginia arts and crafts items there were on display. It is always amazing to see the beautiful work is created. And they may have been some ice cream eaten as well….

It was a great day enjoying West Virginia and each other’s company. We are all refreshed and ready to get back to work tomorrow.