Mrs. Mattie Nell Hudson is a 74 yr. old widow. On Dec.18, 2004, an electrical fire caused extensive smoke and water damage to Mrs. Hudson’s home. When the power was disconnected as a result of the fire, she was homeless. To make matters worse two years earlier she had canceled her insurance to help pay for a surgery so she had no way to rebuild.
In spite of receiving only $ 990 per month income from Social Security she has continued to make her mortgage and tax payments on the home for the past six years! Although she has been on the street several times, most of those six years she has somehow managed to rent modest apartments or mobile homes for herself and her disabled granddaughter. She has maintained an unwavering faith that the Lord is going to help her get back into her home all that time.
She is an active and long-time member of the Salvation Army Church and is very involved with the Alcohol and Drug Recovery Program at the Salvation Army. The participants refer to her as “Ma Nell”.
Ma Nell is remarkable for her positive attitude. She does not complain about her situation, but continually thanks God for His blessings and knows that He will find a way for her to return to live again in her own home. Will you help us be God’s hands and feet to this beautiful lady?
Thanks to the help of a number of Buncombe Street UMC youth and adults from several churches we were able to do a day’s work in half a day!
Ma Nell had done a great job of cleaning her personal belongings out and placing them in the mobile attic. Other family members and friends who were using her home for storage removed their items as well. This cleared the way for Ross Turner’s senior high basketball team and Rhonda Gervias’ girls to remove remaining sheetrock, insulation, sheetrock nails, two cast iron tubs, damaged studs and all manner of filth that had built up over the past six years.
Also, a strong team, including two members of the Habitat Women’s Build Team, made short work of demolishing the back deck and removing the siding from the back wall. The afore mentioned Rhonda Gervais demonstrated that she can swing a mean sledge hammer!
We are currently negotiating with the City of Greenville to try to get the $841.73 permit fee waived. Additional work sessions will be scheduled once the permit is received.
What's a Bonnie?
We were very fortunate to have an energetic team of students from St. Bonaventure University in western NY here this week to do service projects in Greenville. They are members of BonaResponds, www.bonaresponds.org. The group formed after Hurricane Katrina and has since traveled around the country to help, primarily, following natural disasters. They were here this week to work with Father Pat Tuttle and Ellis Beddingfield. Fortunately, we snagged them for a day to do some additional demolition for Ma Nell. Before lunch they removed anything that was non-supporting under the house such as plumbing, water heater, ducts, air handling unit, etc. Additionally, all vinyl siding was stripped from the walls. After lunch they took great pleasure in dismantling (pun intended) the two chimneys from the roof to below the subfloor. They made sure everyone had plenty of soot on their bodies by the time it was over! See pictures below.
The Demons Are Exorcized!
Thanks to the hard work of the previous teams we were able to closely assess the status of the existing structure. After seeking the counsel of several building experts regarding structural issues and the difficulty involved with getting the home upgraded to current codes it was decided to tear the house down and start from scratch. Upon hearing the news Ma Nell said, “Praise Jesus, I have been praying for a NEW home so we can get rid of all the old demons!” Who knew? She told no one that she had been praying for a new home. Now God has answered her prayers.
On Monday and Tuesday as we were responding to the tornado damage in Alabama, S. H. Carter Development Co. made the house disappear! I would like to thank Mike Cornish for supervising that effort in my absence. Now the rebuild can begin. Our plan is to get the foundation and flooring system in place in advance of our three day framing kickoff. We need to get a little further along before scheduling that but it should be within the next 30 to 45 days.
The Demons Are Exorcized!
I am excited to report that we now have footings for Ma Nell’s new home! When footings appear can framing be far behind? Yes, now that all the planning, permitting, demolition, digging and associated delays are behind us it is full speed ahead to get Ma Nell back into her home. I would like to thank Parker Carlisle, Mike Kerley and Joe of KC Concepts (no relation to yours truly) for getting the foundation laid out, dug and poured. They will continue to handle laying of the block and framing. In an effort to make up some time, we hope to have the home in the dry before the end of the month. Our volunteer teams will finish it out from there. As a result we will need assistance with plumbing and electrical by July 1. If you have skills in those areas or just want to learn, please let us know.
Ma Nell is a true woman of God; and, He is rewarding her for her service, patience and persistence. Come be His hands and feet. You will be rewarded beyond all expectation.
For those of you who are unable to help with your time, please consider contributing unused furniture or appliances. Also, we still need approximately $15,000 to finish the project. “Nobody made a greater mistake than one who did nothing because they could do only a little.” Edmund Burke.
After almost seven years now Ma Nell is getting fired up about her new home becoming reality.
We Have A Foundation!
“Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.” Ephesians 2: 20 – 21.
Ma Nell’s home is finally out of the ground! Anyone who has met her knows what a testimony to patience and faith in the Lord she is. There is no doubt that this foundation is built “with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone”. It was easy to become impatient with the time it has taken to get to this point. But, Ma Nell, with the wisdom of one who is rooted in the Lord and has had the patience to wait six and a half years, was quick to respond by saying “Be encouraged.”
The apostle Paul goes on to say in verse 22, “And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.” By helping Ma Nell we all are working on our own dwelling for His Spirit. God bless all of you who have already helped as well as those who will help in the future.
We Have A House...Now Let's Make It A Home!
This past Wednesday, Thursday and Friday the team from KC Concepts headed by Mike Kerley finished the basic framing on Ma Nell’s home. As we turned off Laurens Rd and headed down Lenox Ave Friday morning she started crying tears of joy when she saw the walls were up. Imagine paying the mortgage for six and a half years on a home you can’t live in, praying for a “new” home, having God answer that prayer and seeing the tangible evidence of the reward for her awesome faith in Him. Wow!
Lots of progress has been made on Ma Nell’s home since the last update. Thanks to teams from McCormick UMC, Zion UMC, Westminster UMC and Buncombe Street UMC along with plumbing pro, Lou Hall, and electrical pro, Lester Farmer, we are ready for the rough-in inspections for electrical and plumbing. The HVAC rough-in should be complete by the end of the week. In addition, the windows and exterior doors were installed and the roofing is complete with architectural shingles. One third of the shingles were donated by the City of Greenville.
We have a team coming down from Cornerstone UMC in Rock Hill to finish the exterior by constructing the porch, deck and hanging siding on July 25 – 27. Also, Mr. Kevin “Bird” McCormac is bringing a team from Midland, NC to hang sheetrock August 11 – 14.
“To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example , that you should follow in His steps.” 1 Peter 2:21
God Is Good!
“Marvelous” Marvin Horton and his band of brothers worked their magic again! They swooped down from Rock Hill, SC and along with some local help added the front porch, siding and almost completed the back deck. Maybe that wouldn’t be so remarkable except for the fact that the heat index was over 100 degrees each day. Many thanks to Marvin, Ken, Jim Smith, Clint Raymes and Don Mobley for giving of their time and talents.
God has a way of putting the right people in the right place at the right time and he certainly did that this week. He even sent us a team from the Lakeland, FL area to complete the back deck railing and steps. Thank you Rev. Ellis Beddingfield for sending them our way.
In preparation for the siding and porches we had to back fill around the foundation and rough grade the yard. This past Saturday Eddie and Zack Nabers brought their skid steer over and with the supervision and shovel work of Les Pritchard did a super job. Thanks, guys for giving up your Saturday for a great cause.
We passed the rough – in inspections for plumbing, HVAC and electrical so the floors and walls have been insulated. Next step, Rev. Kevin “Bird” McCormac is bringing a team from Midland, NC to hang sheetrock August 11 – 14. I am sure it will be much cooler then!
“Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new.” Isaiah 43: 18 – 19.
The Sheetrock Is Up!
Rev. Kevin “Bird” McCormac brought his team of energetic youth from Midland, NC to hang sheetrock August 11 – 14. With their hard work and that of others from Etowah, NC; Greenville, Anderson and Westminster, SC the rock is up and being professionally finished this week. We would also like to thank Anita Burton and Bobbie Pritchard for providing great lunches for us on Friday and Saturday. It is awesome to see the “Body of Christ” at work.
The Painting, Floors & Trim Are Finished
Things have been happening fast and furiously at Ma Nell’s new home. After the sheetrock was professionally finished the volunteers from Buncombe Street UMC and Mountain View UMC spent the 9th and 10th priming and painting all interior surfaces.
The dedicated team from Pond Branch UMC, Gilbert, SC led by Charlene Dunbar came up and installed the laminate and ceramic flooring on the 16th and 17th. With the capable guidance from Ken Morris and Mike Cornish they were able to finish up at lunch time on Saturday in plenty of time to get back home for the Carolina game! We would like to thank the ladies from Mountain View UMC for providing lunch both days for the team.
This was followed by the help of many awesome volunteers from Zion UMC, McCormack UMC, Mountain View UMC and Buncombe St. UMC the 22nd – 24th. With their help we were able to get the interior doors hung, windows trimmed, base molding installed, all doors and trim painted and electrical finished.
We would like to offer a special shout out to Ken Morris for his expert help. Ken is a great builder and carpenter but an even greater Christian brother and mentor. He spent the past ten days away from his family in Virginia helping guide the teams with the floor installation and trim out. We can never thank you enough, Ken.
Imagine being widowed for over 30 years and at the age of 74 having God answering the years of faithfulness by rewarding you with a new three bedroom home on the spot where your old home stood. Imagine Him providing the furniture and all the items to live in the home going forward. And finally, imagine Him paying your mortgage balance for you! How would you feel?
There are no words to adequately describe the feeling. As homeowner or willing servant there is the sheer joy of knowing that for a moment in time you are in the center of God’s will. It is a moment when time stands still as you watch Ma Nell prostrate on the floor with hands extended, overcome with emotions, worshiping and thanking her Lord. It is a time when tears run down your cheeks as you share in the joy of the moment. It is a time when you know that “surely the presence of the Lord is in this place”. God is so good…..all the time.
From the celebration liturgy: “This home is not only a dwelling but a symbol to us of God’s loving care and of our life together as the family of Christ. So let us bring praise and thanksgiving for goodness and mercy, offering ourselves to one another as God’s servants and as loving sisters and brothers.”
Reverends Jerry Hill and Jerry Temple, Sr. Minister at Buncombe Street UMC, presided over the service. There were approximately seventy five in attendance including most of Ma Nell’s family.
The Trees Are Down
The trees overhanging the home are now gone! Many thanks to ArborTech out of Anderson, SC for providing the labor and expertise and R. J. Shirley, Inc. for providing the crane. These services were donated that otherwise would have cost $3000. King James Morrison deserves a huge thank you as well for coordinating the effort…..and it was a major effort.
She Is Moved In
We at MSN hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving. We certainly have so much to be thankful for and so does Ma Nell! Thanks to many of you she was able to spend Thanksgiving in her new home with its new (to her) furnishings secure in the knowledge that she never has to make another mortgage payment! She does, however, need to make insurance payments on her “new” car. It is truly amazing how God has chosen to bless her for her years of service and unwavering faith.
Believe it or not we are not finished! We still have landscaping to do. Through Skip Armstrong, landscape architect, B. J. Seaborne Landscaping will be bringing in top soil and doing the final grading. It will be up to us to rake, add the plants and mulch. Glen Boulton will be painting the foundation. I will be sending an email with planned work times as they are scheduled. This will be a great way to work off a few of those turkey pounds!