God Blessed our February-March 2009 Trip

We arrived home Tuesday from our February-March 2009 Puerto Rican Mission Trip. The news is good again. God blessed our efforts.

On the down side, Sherilyn has no voice and a terrible cough, and I have had a temperature of 102 degrees Fahrenheit for the past four days. But God was good in this also since we didn't really get sick until we were back in the States.

I'm not sure whether we caught a virus, or it is just plain exhaustion since we kept a very busy schedule, as always. The truth is we probably just picked up a bug. We only hope we didn't pass it on to anyone in transit!

The February-March 2009 Trip was different from our Previous Ones.

The first difference was that instead of working on one project we actually worked on three different churches.
James Greever, the man I worked with this trip.

The second was that instead of supervising work crews, I worked with one other man, James Greever. He comes from Virginia and he is just about the perfect work partner for me. He has experience in about everything and he is very easy to work with. He is also about three months older than I am. I enjoy reminding him of that fact from time to time.

It was a Long Trip.

This was the view from the back of our house right before leaving.

Sherilyn and I left home for Florida on the 4th of February. The picture to the right shows you what the weather was like.

We got home on the 17th of March. I believe this is about the longest we've ever been gone.

You realize how long you've been away when you pick up your mail and it's in a bushel bag!

It usually takes me a week, to a week and a half, just to catch up on the paper work. I'm sure it will take that long after this February-March 2009 trip as well.

As we had found previously, if we flew out of Indianapolis our travel costs would have been prohibitive. The cheapest round trip tickets were priced at about $770 apiece. So once again, we drove to Fort Meyers and our friends, the Attos, put us up for about a week.

They then drove us over to Fort Lauderdale to catch our flight to San Juan.

We had hoped to fly directly to Aguadilla, but there were no direct flights from Florida there, so we would have had to fly through the New York area to get there. The flight would have taken eight to twelve hours, and once again the expense would have been prohibitive.

Going to San Juan we were able to get round trip tickets for $382 for both of us. Even with the gas expenses we probably saved around $1000 dollars by planning the February-March 2009 trip this way.

With the current state of the economy we are very aware of costs. So we are doing our best to use the resources the Lord entrusts to us in the most thrifty way possible.

Arrival and First Work Projects

When we arrived in San Juan we were met by Pastor Steve Buchanan and his wife Anne. They drove us to their church in Aguadilla. We met James there, he had already been on the island for about a month.

Working on work teams apartment in Aguadilla

We were supposed to work on their new fellowship hall/teenage classroom, but the building wasn't quite ready yet, so we worked on rewiring the church and the apartments where the work teams stay. We added sixteen circuits and a new panel to those facilities.

Then, during the last week we were there, we ran a new feed to the new building and wired it.

Toward the end of the two week period we spent in Aguadilla, we took a day and worked for Pastor Shelton in Aguada. We hung some strip lights for him.

We Spent the Last Two Weeks of February-March 2009 in Mayaguez.

The differences mentioned previously showed up the most in Mayaguez. It seemed we were there no time at all since it was only two weeks instead of four.

However, since there were only two of us working, and both of us are experienced electricians, we were able to concentrate on just the electrical. We took full advantage of it!

  • We finished the platform receptacles and energized them.
  • We removed the temporary panel on the sanctuary wall.
  • We installed the lights in the pulpit bulkhead.
  • We added ten cathedral lights in the sanctuary high bay ceiling.
  • We also bought and installed all the sconce lights on the sanctuary walls.
  • We finished installing the ceiling grid under the mezzanine so that all the 2x2 drop in fixtures could be installed and wired.

    In addition we installed two spotlights for the baptistery and the power outlet for the pulpit cross.

    Finally we worked on the stairway lighting and finished the lights and receptacles in the north stairway. The south stairways will have to wait until the next trip.

    Our goal this time was to get the sanctuary lights done. Except for the emergency exit lights, which haven't yet been purchased, we met our goal.

    We've Finished the Slide Show!

    Summary and Future Plans

    All in all, the February-March 2009 trip was a very fruitful one.

    Nonetheless, we are glad to be home and recovering from the bug we picked up.

    If the Lord is willing and provides the needed funds, we'd like to make our next trip to Puerto Rico late this fall.

    We plan write another page in the near future listing needed materials for the Mayaguez project, along with contact information if anyone knows where these materials might be economically acquired.

    We also plan to add a slide show, so that you can get a better visual image of the trip, as soon as we can learn how.

    Finally, we thank you again for your prayers and support of these projects and our ministry. We couldn't do these things without your help.

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