Here is Hal's wrap-up letter written after they all arrived safe and sound back in Sudbury. If any of you are interested, I am sure they can use the help next year!
Have a great day.
Good Tuesday morning,
We are pleased to report the safe return of the Back Bay Mission crew.
Of course, the "Flyers" arrived home late on Saturday Evening. Those
driving got into town at about 3:45 yesterday (Monday) afternoon. Their
trip was relatively uneventful but did include some heavy traffic in
the area of Bristol, Virginia where the NASCAR fans were lined up on
Interstate 81 trying to get to the Bristol Motorway and at a couple of
other locations along the way.
We hope you have shared the excitement, inspiration and satisfaction of
the Crew through our messages this past week. We thank all involved who
helped to make the week the success that it was for the Crew, for Back
Bay Mission and for the individuals whose lives were touched by our
efforts. A very large percentage of the congregation has shared in this
* The Christian Education Committee which organized the M&M Campaigns
in 2005 and 2006 that raised several hundred dollars.
* A donor who matched $500.00 of the second M&M campaign.
* The Outreach Committee that provided $750.00 from its 2006 budget.
* All who donated generously to the "Bundles for Biloxi" fund raiser
* Bettie and Wade Kornegay and Sue and Ed Eaton who hosted the
"Drivers" on their trips to and from Biloxi.
* Karen Ross who drove the "Flyers" to the airport for their 6:00 AM
* Nick Ward who picked the "Flyers" up after their 10:48 PM arrival
back in Boston.
Of course, the Crew has appreciated the continuous good thoughts and
prayers you all have offered.
What was accomplished? I do not think we can put into words the
satisfaction that we all feel as a result of the weeks efforts. Most,
and perhaps all, would describe the event as life changing. We saw
another world that we do not confront in our daily lives here in
Sudbury. The people of Biloxi and Gulfport where we worked are among
the poorest of the poor and yet they demonstrated to us they are
wonderful people with hopes and aspirations that we could all share.
Having the damage and disruption of Hurricane Katrina inflicted upon
such lives could easily be overwhelming but was not, at least in the
lives of the people we worked with. We believe the work of the Back
Bay Mission through its staff and volunteers is an important reason for
The physical work we accomplished also provided a great deal of
satisfaction. Our main focus was the home of Lucious and Clementine
Breeder in Gulfport where we installed insulation in the walls and
ceiling, sheet rocked about half of the walls and ceilings, removed a
couple of exterior windows and re-sided over the resulting holes and
patched multiple holes in the floor through which critters might enter
the house. The attached three photos show the progress of this work.
Terry worked at another house with folks from the Wisconsin Crew that
shared the week with us at the BBM. That house was nearing completion
of its renovations. Terry trained others in that crew in the
installation of crown moldings and trim on the finished walls (Note:
crown moldings are not a luxury item in these houses. They are required
to conceal the unavoidable imperfections in drywall installation due to
the lack of square corners and straight lines in the structure.) Terry
and Hal worked at a third house where they jacked up a section of
flooring and installed partial floor joists to correct problems caused
by rotting of the original floor joists.
We were all struck by the constant "thank you"'s for our efforts
offered by local people we spoke to at gas stations, at stores and
restaurants, behind the deli counter, the Wednesday church service and
virtually everywhere else we went.
Would we go again? You bet we will, during the week of February 17
through 23, 2008. We have already signed up for that week based on the
interest of this year's crew and multiple expressions of interest by
others who could not join us this year. If we get more than 14 persons
who are interested, we might even sign up for another week.
In the words of Old Miss Jones of the skit performed by the Youth Group
during the commissioning service on March 11 'MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!"