By David Westerfield
Director of Communications
Shreveport-Bossier Community Renewal
What a magnificent Monday for the first official day of the 2007 Millard and Linda Fuller Blitz Build!
Some 300 volunteers are out in Shreveport's Allendale community this week to build nine houses and make renovations on five others. I am out there with them, assigned to House No. 3 - a two-bedroom house that will soon be home to Shreveporter Yvonne Staples.
In one day we put up the walls, put on the roof and put in the windows. The bathtub is in, as are the pipes to give it water and the wires to bring electricity to the room where it sits. We have a dedicated team of volunteers representing states from Ohio to Oregon - and many places in between. Much of the credit for the amazing progress goes to a hard-working group of Amish men from Indiana - more about them later in the week.
The award for traveling the greatest distance to get to the Blitz goes to David and Rodica McGuire, who came all the way from Romania - about 6,000 miles! That's them in the photo on the right. David is actually from a town near Manchester, England, who has been a missionary to Romania for the past 11 years. He married Rodica there little more than a year ago.
David helps build houses for needy families in Romania and wanted to learn new techniques that may help him there. An evangelist told him about Millard Fuller and then David learned about the Blitz. But how could he afford plane tickets and cover his expenses? As it turned out, after much prayer, a friend offered to pay his way. The McGuires flew to North Carolina first for a short visit, and then drove to Louisiana. His biggest question about the project: Could the houses built in Shreveport withstand sub-zero temperatures for an extended period?
One of his greatest joys on Day One of the Blitz: Living out the Gospel with a hammer in his hand, helping to build a house with love as well as nails. This is something we are called to do, he said - show our love for others through our works and not just our words. He came to the right place. Much work is going on this week in Shreveport!