Mission Trip to Harbor View Presbyterian Church
James Island, South Carolina

September 26 – 30, 2016

Monday, September 26, 2016

Roof replacement will be the main job for our group this week, with one group working on a house on Johns Island and the other group on a house on James Island.

House on Johns Island

The team from North Carolina and Sandy Menzies worked on a house on Johns Island. This home has multiple pre-manufactured units that were fit together. The roof was installed in a way that resulted in many leaks within the home. The homeowner, Debra Grant, was very sweet and it was nice speaking with her. Her home is lovely and she takes care of it but the roof was beyond her ability to repair. We were able to remove three-fourths of the shingles today. Tomorrow we hope to remove the paper and supports so that we can install a new roof. This will mean fewer house leaks inside and will allow a better quality of life.

After working on the house, we returned to the Harbor View Presbyterian Church, where it began to rain. It was a good thing we put tarps over Debra’s roof! We will sleep well tonight.

—Sandy Menzies

Tuesday, September 27

Musings from the Greenhill House Renovation Team

This was our second day of work and our spirits were high. Our main goal is finishing up the roof on this house but that takes skill and not being afraid to actually go up on the roof. So let’s just start by saying our roofing crew—Dave, Duan, Elisa, Alex, Charles, and Art—are the real heroes. The ground crew, however, has kept their spirits up by coming up with creative ways to increase the home’s curb appeal. The mailbox had been hit by a car and was leaning and very sad in appearance. The majority opinion was to just leave it alone, but since there were still several of us on the ground, why not try to make it better? It started with simply weeding the giant plants that had grown up around the base. Then we took the plastic mailbox off its timber post, straightened the post, and propped it up by pushing discarded roof shingles under the lower side. We were going to just put the old plastic cover back on, but then found we could get a new one for only $64.00. So guess what house now has a straight new mailbox? And once a house had a new mailbox, we certainly needed to replace the broken outdoor entrance lamp. And the porch railing desperately needed painting. Sure we could, so why not have a lavender porch railing (it really does look nice). Marjorie, Lucille, and Maxine morphed into our HGTV design team and coordinated this greatly improved curb appeal transformation.

On a side note, we had heavy rain last night. Not only was the sound of rain pretty difficult to sleep through, acorns starting dropping that sounded like shots being fired on the metal roof. Blogging faithful, this just in from the men’s sleeping quarters. It is a wonder they were able to do any work today. But let’s end on a positive note. Today is Bob Wasik’s cousin Ella’s birthday, so a great time was had by all celebrating her special day, including pelting her with balloons. Ella and friend Carol, along with Maxine Brown and Cecilia, are our fabulous cooks. This isn’t just a mission trip, it is a gourmet experience mission trip, and I’m sure that everyone will be too polite to mention that even though we were working, we have packed on a few extra pounds!

—Lucille Baur

Mission Trip – Wednesday September 28, 2016

Johns Island – Jeronica Way House

The house we worked on is a 1,300 sq. ft. modular house that two trees had fallen on. The house has three bedrooms with damaged ceilings and two new holes that our work crews created while we were working on the roof.

We concentrated on replacing the asphalt roofing shingles, roofing felts, and wood underlayment. New trusses were required in an area that was 13 feet long by about 12 feet wide. A continuous ridge vent was installed to increase attic ventilation.

We worked through rain on the first evening and were fortunate that the temporary roof covering that we had installed weathered the storm. Other than that rainstorm, some sunburn, and some summer heat, the work went normally.

—Hunt McKinnon and Clay Britt


MotherEmanuelJames Island – Greenhill Road House

The roofing crew (Alex, Duan, Dave, and Elisa) continued to do amazing work. To borrow a phrase from a friend, despite what felt like the heat of 10 suns, the roofing crew completed nailing the asphalt shingles to the roof – the remaining rows and the caps for the two ridges. They kept on going, just like the Energizer Bunny! This included figuring out how to make the two sides of the roof meet in the middle AND look as if the rows were mirror images, even though they weren’t.

We continued our work on the curb appeal of the house with our ground crew of Lucille, Maxine, Marjorie, and Bob. The design team almost completed painting – a second coat of lavender paint was applied to the porch, the pillars and front door were painted black, and the window bases were touched up with the black paint as well. They did their best to make the house HGTV-worthy, with paint and elbow grease. It was a beautiful sight at the end of the day!

We returned as a group to Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church for their Wednesday night Bible study. Psalm 145 was the reading for tonight, and one thing the pastor said about working was to remember to praise and bless God even in difficult situations, and that His blessings for us require action on our end.

We again experienced the Love Feast, but it had changed slightly from this Spring. This time, the pastor walked a loaf of bread around the circle of participants, asking each one to tear off a good-sized piece. Then, starting on his left, he stood in front of that person, offered his bread for them to take a piece, and vice-versa, and then they hugged saying, “I love you, in Jesus’ name.” He moved on to the next person in the circle and continued until everyone had hugged and spoken to everyone else in the circle. It was very inclusive and speaks to the heart of the church itself.

—Alexandra Parker and Elisa McClelland

Thursday, September 29, 2016


This was it, our last full workday. Some of the Greenhill gang (those of us who worked on the bungalow on Greenhill Road) came back to put on the finishing curb-appeal-improving painting touches and hang a storm door. The woman who owns the house works two jobs and even after having worked all night was very enthusiastic about all that we had accomplished. The roof looks great and the repainting in our design scheme of lavender and black accents made for a really cute result, and she and her brother couldn’t have been more thrilled.

On to the doublewide roofing dynamos on the Jeronica Lane house. They couldn’t have worked harder, but the job is really just too big to finish tomorrow. However, a team of 10 to 12 will be back on the site to repair inside ceiling holes, do a little more roof work, and cover with tarps the roof space that will need to be tackled by the next group of volunteers. The plan is that everyone wants and needs to head back home by midday tomorrow.

Tonight was our homeowner dinner, and this year both of our homeowners with a family member came. It is tradition to serve spaghetti, and it was delicious. The evening was capped off by a performance by “Gullah Joe.” Gullahs are Africans who became African Americans after they came to Charleston as slaves and maintained their African traditions through Gullah religion, food, and a special language-style. Our raconteur entertained us with stories, songs. and jokes, and he was a big hit. Here’s a sample of a joke. I know it will lose a lot without Gullah Joe’s expert telling…but here goes:
Two Gullah men go to an employment office in New York looking for work. When asked what kind of work he can do, one man says he is a “pilot.” The job counselor says, “Oh yes, we can find a job for you.” Then the other man says he is the pilot’s brother and they must have work together. So the counselor asks what kind of work the brother can do. The brother says he is a woodcutter. The counselor says, “This is New York, we have no need for a woodcutter.” The brother insists that they must work together because he cuts the wood and his brother will “pilot (pile it).”

It’s the last night for what has been fantastic food, fun, and fellowship. It’s almost time to put this, our 22nd mission trip, into the GPC record book. We have once again been truly blessed to help some of those who have not been nearly as fortunate as we have been. Our lives are enriched by this special time of fellowship and service.

—Lucille Baur