Jack of All Trades

Today began our five days of working on whatever job site we were going to be assigned to.  After waking up early, an incredible breakfast, and orientation, we headed about 30 minutes from headquarters to our work site north of Houston.  Upon arrival, our great team lead, Mark, walked us through the home to talk about the various tasks on the agenda for today.  Once we had our working buddy and assigned task, we began unloading the tools from the amazing tool trailers Samaritan Purse has.

Here are some of the various tasks that we tackled throughout the day:

  • Cutting and laying tile
  • Hanging kitchen cabinets
  • Building a base for a water heater
  • Installing doors and hanging trim

Even though the home owner didn’t show up today on site, we did experience working on things some of us had never done before.  CJ had the great accomplishment of after two hours finally getting a door installed along with the trim work (it may not have been the easiest job of the day).  Brad and Jon were great teachers throughout the day taking Scott, Paul, and CJ under their wing teaching and guiding us through things we had never done before (we are grateful for being alongside fellow brothers who have home improvement experience).

We wrapped the evening up with another fantastic meal (volunteer cooks are so incredible and we are so grateful for all their hard work and love they put into the food).  While our food settled, we played the one card game anyone from Wisconsin would play, which is Euchre.

IT was a great day minus the heat and humidity and we are so thankful for how God is continuing to use us in the Houston community and we ask for your continued prayers of safety and focus as the week moves forward.

Go Team Texas – Brad, CJ, Jon, Paul, and Scott.

I think it will hold a water heater after all

We Made It

Our journey to Pearland, Texas began earlier this morning at 7 am where we were met with a good amount of rain in the first few hours of driving.  Our journey took a quick detour as we decided to make a stop at the church that our senior pastor worked at back in the 80’s and 90’s, Shreveport Bible Church (see pictures).  It was a great stop and we took a few minutes to see if any of the staff or members remembered him and we did find some who remembered. 

After our quick detour we got back on the road to get a bite to eat and watch the Packer game.  The Packer game didn’t end up how we would have liked, but Paul was happy as the Bears ended up winning.  With only a couple hundred miles to go, we began our final drive to Pearland, Texas to get checked in and settle in at the host church.  Upon arrival to the host church site, we got settled into our living quarters for the week as we get prepared for the serving that God has called us to do.

We ask for your prayers tomorrow as we go through orientation and are on site for our first day.  We ask for your prayers for safety and that God will use us to show that He is the light.  We look forward to sharing stories this week on how God is using us to share the good news.

Go Team Texas – Brad, CJ, Jon, Paul, and Scott

695 Miles

Today began our driving journey to Pearland, Texas where we met at Blackhawk Church to be sent off by two of the elders, Jeff and Scott, and our awesome impact director Susan. Before hitting the road the elders prayed for our Mission trip and we even had the pigeons join in on the prayer as they began chirping once prayer began.

The goal for today’s drive was to make it to our overnight destination so we could finish off the driving to Texas on Sunday.  During our quest to our overnight destination, we had many little stops on the way from breakfast at the IHOP to Walmart so we could get an auxiliary cable so we could stream music in the car.  We capped the evening off with some great barbeque at The Mean Pig.  Jon even tasted their extreme hot sauce (he may have tears coming from his eyes).

We appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers and we will back on the road early tomorrow morning to finish our quest to Pearland, Texas.

Meet Brad!

My name is Brad and I’m excited to travel to the Houston Texas area to rebuild homes impacted by Hurricane Harvey in 2017.  I was fortunate enough to be part of the disaster response that happened for several weeks after the hurricane left much of the East coast of Texas heavily flooded.  As a profession I develop custom software for an insurance company in the Madison area but I have a strong passion for construction specifically related to helping others in need.  I’m looking forward to see what God has in store for the awesome team that I’m traveling to Texas with this year.

I have a wife named Melissa that I’ve been married to for 13 years in October.  I also have two kids: Caleb (9) and Isaac (6).

Meet Paul!

My name is Paul, and I am excited to participate on this GO Team to Pearland, Texas.  I have served once before with Samaritan’s Purse.

I am a Physician Assistant in Family Medicine, and have been in health care for more than 30 years.

I am happily married to my wonderful wife, Heidi.  We have four awesome daughters: Tess (25), Mary Grace (24), Emma (24), and Lillie (22).  We are relatively new empty nesters, and love it.

I have been involved with Blackhawk since 1981, and have served and been served in many ways.  I have been on GO Teams in the past to Honduras, and multiple trips to Kenya.

I enjoy playing and following sports, reading, and doing woodwork.

Meet Scott!

My name is Scott and I am excited to be part of my first GO Team Trip with Blackhawk Church and go back to Texas.  I went to Pearland, Texas last year after Hurricane Harvey hit to do disaster clean up and looking forward to serving the community as they continue their rebuild.  I have also served in Southern WI and Louisiana doing mission work after natural disasters and excited for my first rebuild experience.

My wife, Kate, and I have been together since 2007 and are blessed to have three beautiful children, Peyton (8), Camden (5), and Dawson (3).  I currently work in Healthcare as a Continuous Quality Improvement Facilitator for SSM Health and when I am not working I enjoy training and competing in Obstacle Course Races and other sports and outdoor activities.

Meet C.J.!

My name is C.J. and I’m super excited to be part of this Texas Disaster Rebuild GO Team from Blackhawk Church. God has brought so many influential people into my life at critical “disaster” stages of my journey that I want to be available for this same purpose in Texas for those that have been negatively impacted by the hurricane.

I have been married to my wife, Blair, for almost 14 years and we have 3 amazing children, Grace (12), Paige (9) and Landon (4).

My wife is a rockstar homemaker, mentor, and athlete (amongst many other things) and I work as a retirement planner in the Madison community.

Meet Jon!

My name is Jon  and I am excited to be part of this team and trip to Texas.  I have previous experience on trips to Honduras and Bolivia but this will be my first time serving on a trip like this in North America.

I met my wife Rachael via a team member, and now good friend, that I served with on a trip to Honduras in 2014!  Rachael and I have the privilege of working together to raise three girls: Addie and Taylor (twins), age 13 and Lola, age 10.  I work in residential construction and enjoy woodworking, exploring the rural countryside, and tinkering on projects of all sorts.