Sunday, March 1, 2009

Settling in at 1014 Cathey Road in Charlotte, NC

We finished moving into our new home. It was an easy move since we had David, Eric, and Glenn Jr. to help us unload everything. On our first Sunday back home, we joined Mulberry Baptist Church; we have always believed when you moved your bed you move your church membership. We felt at home the first day with all of the old friends that were there. We moved back near our old neighborhood and right around the corner from Glenn and his family, it seemed like we were at home again. We did miss our friends that we left at the beach but we have kept in close contact with the beach bunch and visit them as often as we can. It was good to be back in Charlotte and close to our three children and seven grand children and six great grand children which has been a great blessing within itself. We have always been a close family and enjoy time spent together. We started having what we called Family Sunday once a month with a big dinner and an afternoon of fellowship at our house.

After being back in Charlotte for a short while, Hazel felt led to open our home to have a ladies Bible study and asked Betty Peele to lead the group. The ladies Bible study started in September of 2000. Betty taught weekly until her eyes began to fail and she moved to West VA to be near her son in 2005. The Bible
study continued with Lucille McNeil as the teacher and the study is still going strong meeting every Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m.Another highlight on returning to Charlotte are the five new great grandchildren and the many new friends that we would never have had if we stayed at the beach. Pam, Glenn, and Mike's families and many friends gave me a 75th surprise birthday party and we did the same thing on Hazel's 75th birthday. At the time I thought that 75 was old but now I am blessed to be going strong at 82.

I love and cherish my family and dear friends and would not trade them for all of the gold in the world. I realize that without God and you I would be nothing.

In the next series of blog posts, I will be sharing more about my parents and siblings. I will feature one of my family members each week for the next few months.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Moving Back to Charlotte

In October 1999, Glenn, Pam and Mike and their families decided to have a fiftieth anniversary party for us at Mulberry Baptist Church in Charlotte. It was on a Saturday and we had a great party with many of friends. One of our lifelong friends Tom Worthy was not there. I asked his wife Margaret where he was and she said that He was not feeling good and did not think it wise for him to get out. She shared that he was going to see his doctor on Monday and he would find out was wrong. On Monday night we called Margaret to see what the doctor had to say and Tom answered the phone. He said that I should talk with Margaret; she shared that the doctor said that Tom only had three to six month to live. The next morning at 4:00 a.m. we were on our way back to Charlotte to see them. After a short visit we went by Glenn's house to tell him about what had happened. He was not at home but we saw a house 1214 Cathey Road for sale which was right around the corner from his house. We went on over to Pam and David's house to tell them and after hearing about Tom, Pam ask us if we would move back to Charlotte so we could be together and help each other should something like happen to us. I told her that we would stay at the beach and not consider moving back. She asked us to pray about it I said that I would pray but I would never move back to Charlotte. On the way home we did much praying about what we should do.

That night we called Glenn to let him know what had happened to Tom and the we came by to see him but he was not at home. I also shared what Pam had asked us to consider. He shared that the perfect house was for sale just around the corner and we ask him to see what was the price and let us know. In the meantime he asked a realtor friend of his to check, well she did and set up five other houses for us to look at and asked him if the next Wednesday morning would work. We decided to come on back up and look at them and visit a little with him and Robin. We arrived at Glenn's house a little before nine and met with Lisa Nobles. We first went to see the yellow house on Cathey Road. After looking at the house Hazel said that she did not want to live in this house. I ask the lady if we could come back later that day by ourselves and she said we could. We did not like any of the other four houses that Lisa showed us. After lunch I got a pad and pen for Hazel and ask her to write down everything that she could not live with when we went back to the house. We took a good look around and afterwards she said that she loved it and had decided it would be the house we would buy.

We went back to the beach and in a few days we made an offer on the house. After some going back and forth we finally bought the house and we closed on it after Thanksgiving. The couple needed to stay in the house for a couple weeks which was fine with us. By Christmas we had most of the painting and other things done and were able to move in by the first of January 2000. We could see first-hand how fast God can work in the lives of his people. We are so thankful that Pam asked us to pray about coming home to Charlotte! Listen to me tell about our move to Charlotte.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

King's Karpenters in McClellanville,SC

When returning home from Charlotte after Hurricane Hugo, we discovered that some of the men from North Myrtle Beach First Baptist Church had gone down to McClellanville which had been totally destroyed by Hugo. They took water, chainsaws, and any thing else that that the folks down there may need to keep going.

After getting back home I joined together with other men and went back to help repair damage in the town. After a couple days we saw that there was a small community north of the town that no one was helping so we got as many men together as we could find and went back there to help them. We met Robert and Mary Lennen who had lost everything that they had in their home. They had an old warehouse that was given to them to be used as headquarters for our work teams. They planned on living in the warehouse until everyone had been placed back in their homes then we could help them. Robert and Mary's house was one of the last two homes that we help build.

After a couple days we saw that we could not do all that needed to be done alone so we approached several other churches and we had three others that said that they would go down one day each week. We started repairing the houses that we could complete in the least amount of time and by doing this, let the people know that we would be on a job five days a week untill it was finished and found that they started helping us some. Not too long after we started the other churches kind of dropped off but before they did we had repaired over twenty homes and had built one new one. The men at First Baptist keep on going as much as we could At this time we decided to name our group the Kings Karpenters.

After working in McClellanville for two years we were not needed there any more. We left McClellnaville with memories that will be with us as long as we live. I hope that someday people will read this and say a prayer for those folks, that God will continue to bless them and their children. We returned to North Myrtle and started doing work around North Myrtle and it was not long the need was so great in and around the county we were repairing homes all over Horry county.

I left the group in 2000 and moved back to Charlotte but I will always be a Kings Karpenter. When we were formed as a team our first leader was Ben Martin who led us well for a few years but due to bad health had to turn it over to Leary Baker who let us for couple years untill he fell off his golf cart and had to give it up, but he still worked with us until the end. Bill Taylor took over and led the group until now and they are still doing what he and others can for the needy people in and around North Myrtle. Bill is one of the most faithful men that I have ever known. Even through much sickness and hospital stays Bill just keeps on working every Thursday and sometimes other days of the week. It has been going on over twenty years; may God continue to bless the folks involved in this project.  Listen to me tell this story.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Hurricane Hugo

Shortly after this trip, an event was about to happen that would provide an opportunity for the King's Carpenters to help folk close to home. On September 21, 1989 Hurricane Hugo was on its way to the coast of the North or South Carolina. Hazel did not want to stay at the beach and we chose to come to Charlotte and keep Betsy and Kati while Robin and Glenn went to Raleigh, NC to attend a weekend for educators thinking all would be well. We came to Charlotte and settled in and were ready to have a few days with our two grandkids. We stayed up until midnight to see what Hugo was going to do and wondered if it would come inland near our beach home. At midnight all power went out in Charleston, SC and we decided to go to bed because Hugo would only come ashore for a few miles and then back out somewheres along the coast of North Carolina. Little did we know what Hugo had in mind for its travels! About four in the morning Glenn knocked on my door and ask me if we were going to sleep through Hugo's visit to Charlotte. I got up as fast as I could and boy was the wind blowing and we could see that all of the trees were bent almost to the ground. All of a sudden it got really calm and the winds stopped blowing. We all thought it was all over but just in a little while it started again and this time it was really bad! We saw some green lights as transformers blew out.
When daylight came we could see trees and power lines down everywhere but Glenn and Robin did not have any damage to their home just no power. I got to thinking about the four great big oak trees near Pam and Davids house and envisioned them all down on their house. I told Hazel that I was going to try to get over and help them and would only know how they fared the storm by going there. I started out on the five mile trip and with all of the damage it took me one hour to make the trip and I only was able to get to within about one half of a mile. I ran the rest of the way and was relieved when I got to the house I saw all of the trees around their house were standing tall and was not blown down on the house. However, they did have about twenty five big oak trees to blow down in the woods near the house but no damage was done to their home. This is another way that God was looking after my family.
We told Glenn and Robin to go on to Raleigh to the conference and we would take care of everything. We had a freezer full of frozen food and a camp stove and plenty of gas for the stove. Every one's power was out but Pam had a gas water heater and city water, both were working. With Glenn's gas stove and Pam's water we did real well. Betsy and Kati liked the camp cooking and all the candles as we did our best to make do with what we had. Glenn and Robin made it to the conference, had a great time, and returned to find that all was well. Little did we all know that for the next two weeks they were to be without power. It even took longer for some others.
We went back to the beach to find that Hugo did not do any damage to our home only a few very small limbs down and part of a couple shingles from the roof.  Listen to me tell this story.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Church Building Trip to Jamaica Pictures/Audio

For the past two weeks I have shared about my two trips, one to Haiti and the other to Jamaica. I have some pictures this week for second trip so you can see the work that was done for this community in Westmoreland Parish.

Listen to me tell about these trips.

The men on the Jamaica Mission Trip formed a group of men called the King's Carpenters. This video shows the results of the efforts of these men and members of the church, taken from video of the trip.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Church Building Trip to Jamaica

Upon returning from Haiti, we started planning another trip down to the island with a target timeline to prepare and return within one year. We shared the events of our trip and enlisted fifteen of our friends to go. We completed the planning of the trip and before we could make the travel arrangements found that the political situation was getting really bad so we could not return to Haiti due to safety issues.
One of the men, Fred Morris, knew Pastor Moore in Jamaica, he was Fred's yard boy many years ago, was led to the Lord during his time there, and later became a pastor to the people up in the hill country of Westmoreland Parish and Burnt Ground. This area was five miles from the two nearest Baptist Churches. The people had to walk almost five miles to go to either of the churches and they had been working on a church at Burnt Ground for about two years; they just could not get the construction started. We decided to make plans to go down and complete the construction of this church. We shared our plans with Pastor Moore and requested that he send a list of what it would take to build the walls and to put on the roof. The next week we received a letter that contained all the information we needed. In the next few weeks, we raised enough money and planed a trip down.
We arrived on Monday night and were taken to the Baptist Bible College for the night. Early the first day we went to see what we had to do; to be honest we did not think we could do what they needed. The entire team got into a circle and had prayer. Fred and Pastor Moore went to buy the materials. It just so happened that on that day the money exchange was much better than it was on most days. We had taken enough money to put the wall up but now with the extra money we were able to buy enough materials to put the roof on. By noon that day all of the materials were delivered and we had made plans as to how we were going to do the job. I had taken a four foot level and enough line to get the building laid out the best we could. After we had lunch we started laying the concrete blocks and prayed continuously that we had the building level. The blocks were made with equipment that was use years ago when blocks were first being produced in America; the blocks were not uniform. The only sand that we had to mix with the mortar had rocks as big as marbles so we had to learn how to work around that hurdle. By the end of the week we had all of the walls up and when we got to the top we were only two inches out of level and Pastor Moore thought that that was great.

The work went so well that we had our last day to take a trip around parts of the island and were able to see a number of sites. We left them with enough supplies to put the roof on the church. We had made some wooden benches and they held services in the Church the first Sunday after we left even though it did not have the roof and the floor was dirt. On the tenth day we headed back to North Myrtle Beach. It sure made us feel good to have got so much done in just eight days.
Listen to me tell about this trip to Jamaica.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Mission Trip to Haiti

After we got everything around our new home finished, I was asked by Ralph Schoverlan to go to Haiti and help build a church school. I shared with him that I was not able to go that far away from home with the unpredictable way my back was from time to time. He asked me to pray about it and see what God would want me to do about being part of the team. All went well until the time that I had to let him know. Judge Norwood Gasque had a house just across Eyerly Street and he wanted me to add a very small wash room to the rear of his beach house; I took the job and was able to complete it in a couple days and my back did very well! Later that week when Ralph called I told him that I had prayed about the trip and I feel like I should go. He said that I would have to come up with $550 for my part of the trip. That was a problem until Judge Gasque came down and saw what I did to his house and he paid me twice what I charged which was exactly $550!

Early Saturday morning Ralph Schoverlan, Fred Morris, two young fellows, and I left North Myrtle Beach and spent the day traveling down to Rockledge FL. where Good Shepard Ministries was based. We spent the night and at 4:00 a.m. the next day we were leaving Merritt Island, FL heading for Haiti. We arrived safely and as we landed I was shocked to see all of the little huts that the people were living in. We landed at Cap-Haitian International Airport and were surprised that it was just a small concrete block building with a front and rear door and the toilet was a hole in the floor of a small room. We were picked up and taken to the Good ShepardMinistries compound in a little pickup truck. We were told not to eat or drink anything other than what was in the compound kitchen and not to hug any of the little ones because many of them had AIDS.

We were told that all of the lumber that was sent down for our building was still on the ship and all of the workers were on strike and would not unload it. We were told it was best to stay away from the docks but Ralph suggested that we go and try to get our lumber. We arrived at the dock and talked to one of the men and told him that fourteen men came all the way from the U.S. to build a school up in the mountains for the children. This did the trick and the men got together in a huddle like football and came out in a little while and said that they would unload only the lumber, they even put it on the truck that we rented.

Ralph and I created the layout and made a pattern for the roof trusses, cut all the lumber to fit, and loaded it back on the truck for early next morning. We got up at 4:00 a.m. to a very rainy Tuesday morning. We had breakfast and were told that we should wait and see what the rain was going to do. Ralph and I talked and decided that we should at least take the lumber and look over the building site. Shortly after our meal, we drove up the mountain for about two hours; when we arrived the whole village was out in the rain. They gave us a heartfelt welcome. We were only able to get the truck to within about three hundred feet of the building site. We started unloading lumber and every one that was there tried to help us. We had the truck unloaded in just a little while. Fred said that we should go back down the mountain because it looked that it would rain all day. Ralph got us in a circle and said let us all talk to God and see what he would have us to do. We got in a circle and prayed for about fifteen minutes.Just as we started to walk back up the truck, the sun came out and all the people that were watching us let out a big cheer. We went to work and before the day was over we had done much more that we thought we would be able to do the first day. God gave us a good week, we could feel His presence with us all week and everything that we did was much better than we had planned. We finished the job in six days and had an extra day to work around the compound and fix things that were broken.

We were able to go out into the bush and have Bible study and preaching every night. All of this made me be thankful to God for what I had back home. When I returned home I told Hazel that I would never complain again about any food that I had to eat and I never have. I just had witnessed how God could look after people that did not have another meal to eat. I saw one little kid that had a bug in a can and that was his only food for the day. At the compound school, the children would be served one bowl of rice and beans. The children would take half of it home to their mothers or some old folks that did not have anything all day. The children would follow us around and if we would stop and talk to them they would sit and listen to every word even though they could not understand what we were saying.

We took as much money as we could to buy goats for the little boys. If a kid had a little nanny goat it would give them milk every day. We also bought them each a 10 foot piece of rope. The little children would play with their goats every day and it would sleep with then at night. We were able to buy fifty goats and give them to the kids. When we bought the goats we were also helping out the goat farmers.

Those ten days went by too fast. We got back on the little plane that came down for us and headed back to the US. We flew into Ft. Lauderdale, FL to go through customs and when we got there one of our young boys had not brought any identification with him. We thought that we would not be able to get him back into the country but finally we got through customs and flew on to Merritt Island, FL, spent the night in Rockledge, FL, and headed for North Myrtle Beach early the next day. We sure were thankful to get home safely. Listen to me tell about this trip to Haiti.