HCRN and Hope City work hard to rebuild in a timely manner for our home owners. To do that, we work with volunteer teams from all over the country and North America. However, sometimes we get teams from much closer to home. That’s the case with this week’s team from the Tri-Valley Group of United Methodist Churches from the East Bay California. They were led by the extremely skillful Steve Elliott who took a short break from building to do an interview with us.

Steve and his team are not just experienced in construction needs, but also in volunteering. They do four to five missions trips every year spanning the US and even outside the country. However, every year they try to plan a “close to home” trip. One geared toward being within two or three hours drive from their home base. Steve told us, “We’ve been anxious to get up to this part of the world for a year. We’ve done several wild fire recoveries in the past. We were delighted to get a chance to do this. It’s close to home. You feel a real connection to it.”

With all of the disasters facing the country in the last few years, Steve and his team have had a hard time choosing. “The unfortunate thing is there’s a lot of projects to choose from. There’s an abundance of needs all over the country.” The project they took on before visiting Hope City was cleanup from Hurricane Harvey. Truly, his team excels at any stage of disaster recovery, and we were so glad to have them work with us.

Steve’s team worked on four different properties including Mickey Thibideau’s and his family’s home. We asked Steve about working on Thibideau’s home. Steve said, “[We’ve] really gotten a blessing out of getting to know Mickey and Shannon and his family. They put up with our noise and our humor. While the work is important, we are interested in getting to the know the clients we serve. Connect with them personally. We like to live our faith serving others with love. While we enjoy the construction and that’s really our specialty, it’s really about getting to know the people and connecting with what their needs are for their recovery.”

Hope City has been so blessed to work with such dedicated and talented individuals. Their hearts are full of love and a desire to help others in the name of Jesus. The last thing we wanted to know was how Hope City did on our three promises of Good Work, Good Food and Good Rest. Steve was honest with us: “We’ve seen miserable hosts, and terrific hosts and Hope City is one of the most terrific hosts we’ve had in a long time. Well organized, great accommodations, and make it easy to focus on the work we need to do. We come back to good warm showers. We are especially attracted to Hope City because of the way they view work, their faith based thinking and it ties in nicely with what we think we should be doing.”

Thank you so much to this amazing crew and the love they are continuing to spread in the name of the Lord!