Meet Gary & Joanne Thomas. They are in their mid-sixties and live in Beech Island, SC, outside Augusta, Ga. They are both disabled. Their current residence consists of two 42 year old single wide mobile homes that have been joined with a common roof. Since Gary’s brain aneurysm in 2002 he has not been physically able to maintain the property. Joanne suffers from COPD, lymphedema, lipedema, fibromyalgia, hypertension and is hypoglycemic. The roof leaks in several spots causing black mold issues. Obviously, this is an unsafe environment for both Gary and Joanne as well as their daughter and her three children who are temporarily living with them.
This case was referred to us by Aiken Electric Co-Op as a result of their concern for their member. Due to the unsafe nature of the living conditions our Board of Directors has elected to build them a new two bedroom one bath home directly behind the existing structure which will be demolished upon completion of the new home.
The Lord is really working in this project! We have received the building permit, with the fees waived, from Aiken County. Mr. Bob Schanhals from Aiken has graciously volunteered to be our local project manager. With his help, we are pulling together the subcontractors and materials contacts we need. The site prep, foundation and slab work will be donated by local contractors. We should be breaking ground next week. The work schedule will follow shortly.
We Have Broken Ground
Thanks to the donated help of Toby Marks the building site has been cleared and prepared for fill dirt. After the fill has been delivered and compacted Anthony Fail, Owner of Augusta Superior Concrete, will donate his labor for the foundation. We hope to be framing by the end of the month. It is truly amazing to see God’s hand at work on this project.
Ready For Foundation & Slab
We are ready for the foundation! The fill dirt has been hauled in and compacted by Toby Marks. Anthony Fail will be digging the footings this weekend, David Bolin will be installing the rough plumbing on Monday and concrete will be poured shortly afterward. Due to delays with the fill dirt we are now planning the framing for November 20 – 22.
Ready For Framing
By the grace of God and the hard work of Bob Schanhals, Toby Marks and Anthony Faile the concrete for the foundation and slab was poured on Saturday. The site work, fill dirt, compacting and labor for the concrete forms and finishing were all donated! Is God good or what? This means we can go forward with our plans to frame up the home this Wed. – Fri. We are getting a lot of help from the Aiken and Edgefield Baptist Associations with lodging, meals and volunteer help. Parker Carlisle with KC Concepts is providing his expert help with this build as well.
As you can imagine, the Thomas’ are extremely excited. During my last visit, Joanne thanked us for all we are doing; but, she especially thanked us for the new NIV Bible we gave her which she says she is reading every day. She says, “It has given me a peace that I have never known before.” Amen!
The Framing Is Completed
Parker Carlisle, Joe and Tony with KC Concepts provided their expert guidance in leading the team of Methodists from North and South Carolina and Baptists from the Edgefield Baptist Association, led by Wayne Miller, in the framing of the Thomas’ home. The Aiken Baptist Association, led by Pastor Bob Boone of Stiefeltown Baptist Church, provided awesome meals and accommodations for the out-of-towners. Bob Schanhals did a stellar job of coordinating the delivery of materials not to mention picking up all the discarded nails. What a great example of the body of Christ coming together to help the Thomas’. They truly have a lot to give thanks to our Lord and Savior for this Thanksgiving.
Next steps: Windows and external doors 12/3; Siding 12/11-13; Shingles 12/14…
The Windows Are In
We would like to thank Danny Thompson, Ed Goodson and Bob Carlisle for going down from Anderson to install the windows and external doors. That allows the electricians from Aiken Electric Co-op to begin pulling wire on Monday. It also paved the way for Marvin Horton to bring his team from Rock Hill, SC to install the siding and build the deck the 11th through the 13th. Additionally, Wayne Miller and his team from the Edgefield Baptist association will be putting the shingles on Saturday the 14th. Obviously, all of this is dependent on weather which we will leave in the Lord’s hands.
The Christmas Present Is Wrapped!
Thanks to the hard work of Marvin Horton and his band of volunteers from Cornerstone UMC in Rock Hill, SC and Todd Scoggins and his volunteers from Aiken Electric Co-op, Gary and Joanne’s new home has shingles, siding, back deck and rough-in electrical. Except for the final grading and landscaping the exterior of the home is now complete just in time for Christmas.
As we were finishing up yesterday Joanne handed me a Christmas card. The following was written inside:
“May God bless you all! Thank all of you for everything. We hope you all have a very merry Christmas. We pray for you all and your families to be safe and well.” Gary and Joanne
Drywall is finished…time to paint!
Thanks to Barry Patterson with Maner Builders Supply and Russell Rachel with Southern Pride Drywall for providing us with discounted pricing on material, hanging and finishing of the drywall. A team from Aiken Electric Co-op will be painting the end of this week. That sets the stage for floors, cabinets, trim and finish work to be done.We have targeted April 1st as the move in date. We welcome your prayers that the Lord will continue to provide the volunteers and funding to allow us to finish strong. Teams have been scheduled. DHEC is requiring us to install a new septic system which we have not had to do before. That accounts for $3600 additional expense. Obviously, we cannot get the certificate of occupancy before that is installed and inspected.
As you might imagine, Gary and Joanne are really excited about moving into their brand new home. They have been having fun picking out flooring, cabinets, fixtures, paint color, etc…to which Joanne commented, “Man, I’ve never had to do this before!”
Wall Paint, Floors & Cabinets Are Complete
In spite of a destructive ice storm, the month of February has shown a great deal of progress on the Thomas home. Since the last update we have painted all the newly hung sheetrock thanks to volunteers from Aiken Electric Co-op as well as Mike Cornish from Greenville. This week teams with members from Zion UMC in Anderson, Buncombe Street UMC and Westminster Pres. in Greenville and Etowah UMC in Etowah, NC we have installed the flooring and kitchen cabinets as well as replaced storm damaged siding. Also, we now have power to the home thanks to storm weary crews from Aiken Electric Co-op.
The move-in date is the first week of April. We should be able to finish everything up within the next couple of weeks including water hookup and septic system installation.
We continue to trust that the Lord will provide the resources needed to get Gary and Joanne moved into their new home.
The Septic System Is In!
You probably don’t know too many folks who get excited when installing a septic system, but we do! We are in the final stages of finishing the Thomas home. In addition to the septic system being in and passing inspection the interior doors are hung and the remaining trim should be in over the weekend. We are still targeting the first week of April to move them in.
God has worked His miracles, again!
We are fond of saying that each home is a series of small miracles culminating in the major miracle of a safe, sanitary and secure home for our families. In this case, Gary and Joanne Thomas.
Thanks to the hard work of Bob Schanhals locally, the electrical and plumbing were finished last week. Two huge steps. Also, Zion UMC provided teams the past two weeks to finish and paint trim, hang blinds, paint doors plus many punch-list items. Thank you Zion!
The Home Dedication has been scheduled for Friday, March 28 at 6:30 PM. Please come help us celebrate what the Lord has accomplished through His servants being the Body of Christ. This beautiful home is dedicated to His glory.
The Home Is Dedicated To the Glory Of God
The Home dedication was a blessed event, as always. The rain did not dampen the spirits of those in attendance. Family, friends and volunteers who worked on the home came together to celebrate what God can do through His willing servants. Preacher Bob Boone from Stiefeltown Baptist Church did an outstanding job of leading the worship. KC Carter presented the traditional cross made by his wife, Kimberly, to Gary and Joanne as a symbol of the body of Christ, bound by His love, coming together to make this home a reality. We also parted from tradition and presented a cross to Bob and Marilyn Schanhals for their many hours of service dedicated to this project.
After the service we were treated to a meal that included Gary’s special catfish stew. Music was provided by Bob Schanhals on the tuba and his partner Lee on the keyboard. it was a grand celebration!
We Have The CO!
Since the home dedication Bob Schanhals was kept busy jumping through numerous hoops to satisfy the local code requirements. As a result, we obtained the certificate of occupancy (CO) late Friday. That evening Gary & Joanne moved their bed into the home and slept there for the first time. Also, during the week they finished moving their daughter Wendy and her three children to Atlanta. Wendy’s new job and their move “just in time” for the Thomas’ to move is another one of the Lord’s “coincidences”.The final step in the process will be the demolition of the old home which is scheduled for later this week.
Gary wants everyone to know that “We are tired but so thankful. We can never thank everyone enough for our new home. Joanne has been in the walk in tub every night and it is helping her legs a lot. Please let everyone know how appreciative we are.”
Gary & Joanne Say Thank You
The Thomas’ have been in their beautiful new home now for several weeks. Their electric bill for the first three weeks was $95. The previous month in the old home was $700! What a blessing! Needless to say they are thrilled and praise the Lord for what He has done in their lives.
The old home is gone! The demolition and haul off has been completed. Finish grading and planting grass seed is next.