Friday, October 30, 2015

Last Day

        Wow!  What a fantastic week.  Blessings have been overflowing.  We hope you'll take the time to invite one of these mission workers to talk with you about their experience and how you to can do this!
       Thank you all for your prayers and support.  We'll see you back in Western PA soon.

Blessings abound on the Jersey Coast!

Thursday, October 29, 2015


What a great day working out of Pt. Pleasant, NJ today on this the 3rd anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.  The local and state government officials were on hand everywhere.  The Union Beach crew were greeted by television reporters when they arrived at their site this morning.  The Lt. Governor Kim Guadango visted their site at 11 AM.  All morning state and local officials and police were in an out of our work site until her arrival.  Here she is meeting with our crew (Jim Potter and Mike Dunnivan in the blue PDA shrits) on the third floor of Sandy victims home Wendy.   Jim was interviewed by the local news station.  The mayor was on hand as well.  His home was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.

David Larimer and his crew continued to work on their home today putting new siding up.
                        Ann Himes and Donna Pryor hard at work installing siding!
                                              Siding crew Ann, Donna, and David!

                                                      Gary measuring up flooring to be cut.
                                           Natalie & Jim with Mary's Cupboard after our orientation.    The local Methodist Church began a food program to feed those affected by the storm and volunteer groups on Thursday evening every week of the year.  Our entire group at there this evening.   What a blessing this church and this particular ministry of the church is!
Enjoying a meal at Mary's Cupboard.   Local Disaster Response Director, Peter Farwell presented Jim Potter and Gary Lyon with certificates acknowledging their 3 years of service.  Thanks Peter and Howard Gilbert for making all this possible on the Pt. Pleasant end.

One more day of work tomorrow.  Keep us in your prayers!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Thank You Cross Roads Community Church & Kiskiminetas Presbytery

In late August of 2005 following the horrible destruction along the Gulf Coast of the USA from Hurricane Katrina Cross Roads Community members began to ask us directly, "When are we going to go and work hands-on and give back what God has so richly blessed us with?"  In January of 2006 we arrived with a crew in D'Iberville, Mississippi.  The congregation has actively supported and encouraged these mission trips for their members and for their pastors ever since.   Thanks be to God!
We take you'all with us on each trip.

About this same time folk from the Diaconal Committee of Kiskiminetas Presbytery approached us about considering organizing trips for the entire presbytery.  In 2007, the first trip took us to D'Iberville again.  The Presbytery has amazingly supported all of the trips over the years and we are approaching close to 250 different volunteers since that first trip.  Each trip brings more blessings from our many volunteer team members.  What gifts you all are.

 In addition to the amazing support of Kiskiminetas Presbytery, Cross Roads Community has encouraged us to do this extra mission as an extension of their ministry knowing that it would pull us away for a week each year.  Without the extra work of Cross Roads staff Karen Disciscio and Kiski Staff Holly Wadding & Carol Mock, these trips could be possible.   Please tell them each thank you for their hard work getting this all together.

Thank You Cross Roads and Kiskiminetas Presbytery for getting it!  Faith Works!

Gary and Lisa Lyon 


Finally here are some pics from the Manahawkin Crew.  Cindy Boyer, Don Becker, Bill Rankin, Connie McElinny.
                                                   Cindy Boyer and Live United Volunteers!
                                                     Don and Bill's railing project!
                                             Don Becker & Dave Larimer sizing up the work!
                                                  Bill Rankin and extra help getting ready for the build!
 Tom's River crew spent the morning indoors (regular job site was siding) because of rain.   They were assigned to work at ReStore of the local Habitat for Humanity and had an awesome experience of unloading trucks and dealing with buyers looking for a deal.  All profits are used for local Habitat projects. 
                                            David Larimer setting out furniture.

The Union Beach crew spent all day putting wood flooring down.  They worked in three different crews in a home belonging to nurse Wendy.   Wendy grew up in Union Beach and she rode out the Hurricane Sandy on the second floor of her home with her children.  She is now living in a trailer on the property as volunteers and contracts add a third floor to her home and completely renovated the rest of the home.  The bottom floor had to be vacated.

                                             Natalie at work on installing the floor!
         Americor Volunteer Kelly working alongside of Lisa in a room that is not close to being square.
Tammy and Mike Dunnivan getting ready to lay another piece of flooring.  Jim Potter is probably taking a break and hoping somebody will stop by with a cup of coffee.

Tomorrow this crew has been told that the Lt. Governor from the state of New Jersey will be stopping in for a photo opp on the third anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.   We'll see!   We promise to be on our best behavior!

                           Donna Pryor sanding drywall earlier in the week!

                                Al Fritz, Don Becker, and a local resident back at Pt. Pleasant!
                               That's all for tonight folks!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


Here is the day in pictures from New Jersey!
                                     The Pt. Pleasant Crew's Home!   Inside work includes organization and drywall.   Outside work includes fencing!.
 June and Janine Strohm at the Pt. Pleasant home examining their drywall work!

                                                                Cindy Boyer hard at work!
                          David Larimer and Tom's River Habit Worker surveying the siding project!
                                         Mike Stevanus says, "This is for my family!"

The Union Beach crew pausing for lunch:
Tammy Dunnivan
Mike Dunnivan
Gary Lyon
Natalie Jaworskyj
Jim Potter
Lisa Lyon

They have gone through nearly 22 gallons of paint in two days.   Tomorrow they are beginning to work on floors!  Jim is trying to keeping us in line.  Ha!
      Flooring being delivered.  Out of van to the foot of an extension ladder.  Carried up the stairs.  Handed off to the next person standing on a piece of plywood on an unfinished deck.  Carried inside and stacked.  Tomorrow they need to go to the third floor!
                               Three generations of Strohms: Janine, June, & Athia!

Thank you everyone for your prayers and support!   Love you all!

Monday, October 26, 2015


Three crews were out working in Union Beach, Manahawkin, and Pt. Pleasant today.

The Pt. Pleasant Crew(Mike Stevenus, Janine Strohm, Alisha Strohm, June Strohm, Al Fritz, & Donna Pryor) worked at the home of a women we met at a community dinner one year ago.  One of our members(Natalie Jaworskyj) encouraged her at that time to get on board with disaster related help.  We were surprised to find out the connection was made and we are part of her rebuild.   You'll hear more of her story in the coming days.  Today they worked on some fence rebuild, drywall, clean-up, and building up some trust so that more work can be done this week.  Surprise!  She and her 10 year old son showed up to eat dinner with us!  God does work mysteriously.

The Manahawkin Crew (Cindy Boyer, Don Becker, Bill Rankin, Connie McElhinny, & David Larimer)  drove nearly 90 minutes to their site to work on decking and rails on all the outside staircases.  The house they are working on needed to be raised up and all these decks are a result of the build-up.   Tuesday will find them working feverishly to beat the rain storms heading our way on Thursday.

The Union Beach Crew (Jim Potter, Mike & Tammy Dunnivan, Ann Himes, Natalie Jaworskyj, Lisa & Gary Lyon) worked at the home of a nurse whose first floor has been vacated at ground level so that she can qualify for rebuild dollars.  Instead of raising the house up, she chose to add on two levels above.   This crew painted all day.  Approximately 12 Gallons of paint were used on the two levels.  An entire day of painting is on store for tomorrow followed by laminate flooring the last several days.

Tomorrow finds a new crew being added:  The Tom's River Crew (David Larimer, Ann Himes, June Strohm, & Donna Pryor).   They will begin a siding project.

Still having problems with the router at this end which is preventing us from putting up pictures.  Hope to solve it soon
                               Orientation on Sunday Night!
                                         Al Fritz and Mike Stevanus working on a fence!
                                          Janine and June Strohm on a break from mudding.
                          Athia is our youngest worker.  Jobs today included sanding, mudding, shoveling!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The 2015 Kiski Mission Trip Crew Are All in Pt. Pleasant!

Four mini-vans carrying 16 persons from multiple churches in the geographic bounds of Kiskiminetas Presbytery arrived in Pt. Pleasant by 5 PM on Sunday.   They were met there by their co-leaders (Gary & Lisa Lyon) who were attending a family wedding in the area.  On their way they made a stop for worship at the Bedford Presbyterian Church where former Kiski pastor, Doug Friant, is the pastor.  Hope to have a few pictures up tomorrow night of this reunion with a few old friends of his.

Four members of the Pt. Pleasant Presbyterian Church fixed us an awesome dinner which was followed by the Sunday night orientation by church disaster team staff.

Tomorrow 3 different teams will head out in 3 different directions.  Some will be going 50 minutes south.  Other will be going 40 minutes north.  Still others will be heading 1/2 a mile away.

A very special thank you to all of our friends, churches, and families that are praying for each of us while we are working and all of the donations that have helped to make this trip possible.

Our special prayers this week are for two of our team that had to back out at the last minute, Betty Grunstra and Gene Artman.  We're keeping Betty's husband, Maynard, in our prayers who will be having surgery the first week of November.  We're also remembering Gene's wife who took a pretty hard tumble and broke some bones in her foot/ankle area.

We'll begin to tell you the story from Pt. Pleasant tomorrow.   We were all reminded tonight that this is the three year anniversary week of Hurricane Sandy coming ashore.  It is hard to imagine that work continues.  Blessings abound!