Friday, February 12, 2010

Big Stone Gap - Friday

Today is the day that we are finishing up our projects. The closet has been completed and a coat of primer is being applied as I write. The two large rooms that we hung sheet rock have been sanded this morning and the primer is going on this afternoon. It seems that we should finish up just about at quitting time today.

Last night Shirley and her crew fixed us a rice, beans and sausage casserole. It was quite good. We went to Dairy Queen afterwards for our weekly fix of ice cream. Tonight we plan to go out to eat at Pizza Hut.

Last night we had more great conversations about spiritual things. Several shared of times when they've been hurt and God has brought them through the pain. It was quite touching and we could really feel God's presence. This week has been a phenomenal week for us as we have grown closer to God and to each other.

Keep us in your prayers. Amy's (my wife) grandfather passed away last night. Please keep them and myself in your prayers. I will be preaching the funeral on Sunday. Also keep Pastor Todd in your prayers. Since I will be away at a funeral, he will be preaching at Bagley Swamp. Keep our team in your prayers at we finish up today and as we travel tomorrow. We could run into some snow.

That's it from Big Stone Gap. Thanks for checking in.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Big Stone Gap - Thursday

As far as the work goes, no real updates. We're still in the 'mudding' and sanding process with the sheet rock. The plan is to have that mostly finished up by quitting time today so tomorrow we can put on a coat of primer. The closet has been built near the bedroom that we painted the other day. Sheet rock is being hung, a light and outlet installed, and the door hung. Our plan is to be finished with this mostly by today, so we can get a coat of primer on it tomorrow.

Last night we had baked spaghetti, salad and chocolate cake at the same church, fixed again by Shirley and her crew. She shared with us about God's call on her life, how she got from Anderson, SC to Big Stone Gap, VA and how God has used her and her family to minister to children and teens in this community. Her son, David, runs The Edge, the teen center that has bands to come in a play each Saturday night. Check out The Edge's myspace here.

Some have asked about the snoring situation. On Tuesday evening when we went to Lowes, several sets of ear plugs were purchased, so there has been more rest:-)

Today the weather is still quite cold, though it felt pretty good at lunch when we walked down to the same restaurant that we ate at yesterday. Today, some got the chicken livers, while the rest had the hamburger steak. That place has good food and seems to have a good business. It's one of those places where the older waitress calls you 'son' and the younger ones call you 'hon' or 'sweetie'. You gotta love it!

After lunch we spent a few minutes milling through some of the downtown shops and meeting some of the locals. We struck several conversations with folks, most of them wanting to know where we were from. I've a pretty good southern accent, but I believe the folks here have event more of one :)

Gerald is smiling more than usual today. He is a grandpa again. Colton Adam Christian was born this morning to Brandy and Shane Christian. From what we know, mom and son are well. Congrats!

Great conversations again last night! God is at work in us and among us! I'm more pumped now than ever about what God is doing and what God is gonna do through Bagley Swamp.

Continue to pray for us - we're praying for you!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Big Stone Gap - Wednesday

Yesterday afternoon was quite productive. Annie, Christy and I finished painting that room that we had started earlier in the day. As you may remember, we were painting over paneling, so we had put kilz on it, then several coats of paint. We were surprised that we were able to finish. We thought that it would take us two days.

The guys finished hanging the sheet rock. They also taped all of the joints and put one coat of 'mud' on all joints and screws. They left kerosene heaters on last night so the 'mud' would dry.

Last night we went back to the same church to have dinner, prepared again by Shirley and her crew. We had tacos and all of the fixings. It was very good.

After dinner we went to Lowe's in Wise, VA, about 15 miles away. We needed to get some trim supplies for finishing up the sheet rock trim around windows and doors. While we were in Wise, it started to snow hard, but by the time that we got back to Big Stone Gap, it wasn't snowing.

Last night we had probably one of the best discussions I've ever had with a group of people about God and how we can try to impact our community for Christ. It was great! Before we knew it, it was 11:30 and well past some folks' bedtimes.

This morning we woke to snow covering the landscape. It's only snowed a couple of inches, and continues to snow now, but it doesn't seem to be accumulating. The temperature has been in the 20s and when the wind catches you just right, it's real cold.

The guys spent the morning working on the sheet rock some more, putting on the final coat of 'mud' so that it can dry. Some of the crew worked on the trim work around the windows and doors. We went to lunch in town at the Mutual Drug & Cafeteria. Most of us had chicken & dumplings or meatloaf. It was real good.

This afternoon we are finishing up on the 'mud' and trim on the sheet rock so we can start sanding first thing in the morning. We are also building a closet outside of the room that we painted yesterday.

This evening we are headed back to eat dinner with Shirley and her crew. Shirley is going to share with us her story of how she came to Big Stone Gap, how she started her ministry, and how it's working today. You can find out some about it here.

I'm not sure where we're headed after supper tonight - we've been to Wal-Mart and to Lowes - so we'll see.

I look forward to another great evening. Can't wait to see what His plans are . . .

Pray for us - we're praying for you :-)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Big Stone Gap - Tuesday

Yesterday afternoon we finished up with the insulation in the building we are working in. There are two large rooms, and one room we finished hanging all of the sheet rock. This morning some of the guys started putting 'mud' on the sheet rock that was already hung, while others worked on hanging sheet rock in the other room.

Annie, Christy and I began painting a room in another building this morning. It had paneling on the walls, so we put kilz on it this morning and started to put the first coat of paint when we broke for lunch. That's the work status as of now.

For supper yesterday we ate at Artesian Baptist Church where Shirley and her helpers had cooked us lasanga. Shirley is the director of HIS Ministries, where we are doing the work that we have done so far.

After supper, we took to mandatory trip to Wal-Mart in Norton, VA. There is a Wal-Mart in Big Stone Gap, but it was an old one, we wanted the Super version. After getting more snacks, we returned to our house for the evening.

It seems that the snoring increased last night, at least by some reports. The 'non-snorers' are thinking that they may be well trained in the art of snoring by the weeks end :)

We've had some rain today. Not a hard rain, most the occasional shower. It is supposed to snow tonight - 1 to 4 inches possible.

We're laughing a lot, getting to know each other and enjoying each other. Keep us in your prayers - we're praying for you.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Big Stone Gap - Monday

Ten of us from Bagley Swamp are in Big Stone Gap, VA this week on a mission trip. I hope to update daily while we are here. We'll see how it goes. My Internet connection is at the McDonald's a mile or two away, so it shouldn't be that hard.

We drove into Big Stone Gap, VA on Sunday around 4:45 pm. As we traveled, we were on four-lane highways the whole way except for about 10 miles. The roads were clear of snow and dry. At the top of some mountains we saw a lot of snow, sometimes snow and ice still in the trees.

The house we are staying in has three bedrooms, and no beds. So . . . we are on the air mattresses and cots that we brought with us. The two women are in one room, three guys in another room, and four guys in the third bedroom. Myself and our host, Ken, are in the living room. So . . . by the end of the trip, we ought to be real close.

Lots of laughter this morning as each told stories of waking during the night to hear the others snoring. We'll probably sleep sounder later in the week when we are more tired (probably snore more, too).

We ended up watching the Super Bowl last night in the lobby of a Comfort Inn up the road. Nice big screen HDTV. We thought about staying for the free breakfast, but decided we'd better not push our luck.

This morning we have been working on finishing insulating a new building for His Ministries in town. Right before lunch we began putting the drywall on the ceiling. It was cold when we started this morning, but the building we are working in was warmed up by kerosene heaters, so by lunch we had our heavy coats off.

This afternoon we are working hard on the sheet rock and hoping to finish it tomorrow. This evening we plan to eat at a local church. Here will be the interesting part - there is only one bathroom/shower in the house. Who gets the hot water?

Keep us in your prayers - we're praying for you!