We awoke to a gorgeous, sunny day, with temperatures in the low 70s; the perfect weather to conclude our work time in New Orleans. Breakfast eaten and lunches made, we’re now ready for the morning Prayer Service; today our reflection is about the legacy of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton; the first American born Saint who founded the Catholic School System. We were reminded to learn to ‘meet our grace.’ Sister Monica has blessed us with our reflections each morning, a meditation moment to strengthen us and carry us through our day including sharing of our hopes, our cares and our prayer. "Let your chief study be to acquaint yourself with God, because there is nothing greater than God, and because it is the only knowledge that can fill the heart with a peace and joy that nothing can disturb.“ – Our message from Saint Elizabeth. Steve has to leave today, so we send him off with prayers for safe travels.
Today we divided into 2 crews, similar to yesterday, so we could finish as much as possible. One group of us went back to Mr. Frank’s home. We asked him what color he would like his front porch painted; he chose gray. Off to Lowe’s we go gathering supplies and paint. We come back to Mr. Frank’s house and we started getting the porch ready to paint. Mr. Frank realizes that we are here for awhile today and he opens his front door; out comes his electric guitar and up goes the volume. He entertains us with Amazing Grace and This Little Light of Mine. Next he sings ‘God is so Good,’ a simple tune we sang with him on Day One of this journey. Four of us begin rolling and brushing his porch with the gray paint – teaming up to cover the details in his steps and front porch floor. While we are painting, Mr. Frank entertains and intermittently peeks around his chair to see outside – what activity is happening; his response always is "I am so blessed. God is so good to me. He brought you to me.” We completed the porch painting and went to Lowe’s for some more River Stone ground cover for his new garden areas. Ten bags were spread. That coupled with the painted porch present a very nice view from the street. As in our other days’ experiences, the neighbors came by and thanked us.
The second group went back to Pastor Dylan’s home where there was more insulation to place. Our ‘A’ insulation team went into formation and completed placing ALL the insulation for this home. Our worker from Honduras, William, who was with us yesterday, was also there today. His role is to put up the drywall. Through Translator Betsy, we offered to assist William with his project for today. He realized that we were there to assist him, not take any work away from him. Our team was able to learn more skills today as well as learn more about each other.
Meeting our Grace – we each experienced our own component and together we further finessed seamless team building and communication skills. Our sense of accomplishment looms large.
Our closing Prayer Service allows each of us to reflect on what we have learned and what we will take with us. Candles lit, we sing the song ‘Light Your Candles’ – we are refreshed and ready to light our world! In the words of Mr. Frank – We are making it look like somebody lives here!
Our time for this work in New Orleans is complete. We will leave Thursday at 0700ish and travel back to our destinations – Martha to Little Rock, Sister Luke to Nazareth and the rest of us to the Chattanooga area. Our trip planning started one year ago. It will soon be concluded……or will it?
Thank you for your time reading our story. Thank you to Sister Celine, our Chattanooga Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Associate leader, to Sister Luke SCN for being with us and guiding us and “letting us”, to Sister Renee, Sister Claire and Sister Monica for their leadership and warm hospitality. Thank you too to Mr. Earl, Mr. Frank, Pastor Dylan and all the other people we have encountered during this time.