Pallet Furniture Ministry Update

I have been looking into the availability of pallets here in San Ramón and I have good news to report!  I have found several places that are willing to give me pallets for no cost.  In fact, most businesses are eager to help once I tell them what I am doing with them.  It is fun trying to get this ministry all set up and ready to go.  As I have been getting things set up, I have found a few items I need which are mostly tools.

Recently,  a good friend in Washington donated a sander that Hannah will bring back with her after her visit this summer (Yes, Hannah will be in WA in August!).  The sander will be very helpful for making smooth surfaces, especially for tables.  I would hate to make a table for somebody that has uneven planks which causes their drink to constantly tip over as a result.   We also recently got a sawzall. The sawzall is very helpful to take the pallets apart.  I have been using a pry-bar, but that damages about every third plank.  Many of my tools are still in the U.S. and  Hannah will be bringing some of those back down with her.  However, some tools are just flat out too expensive to ship to C.R. or too heavy so I will need to purchase them here.  The main “big” items that I will need to purchase in C.R. are a small shop-vac to clean up my work area and a tool box (the cardboard boxes keep on falling apart!). If I could make a vacuum out of pallets I would.  I do not have a work shop, but I do have a laundry room/dining room which has more than enough space to build items, however, I have been getting sawdust throughout the house and in the clean laundry.  It would keep my landlord happy and help save my marriage if I can keep my work area and house clean!

Other items that I will need to purchase are fasteners, paint, screws, sand paper, and adjustable feet for the tables (every tile floor seems to be uneven).  I know that many people want to see me set up a business model and sell the furniture to people because they “might not appreciate a gift.” I understand this, however, I also know that some people just need a gift, a hug and a friend.  That is why I am planning to gift most of the furniture that I make to people who are truly in need.  I say “most” because I also want this ministry to be self sustainable.  I am planning on making  extra pieces of furniture to sell and my hope is that if I can sell a coffee table or 2 for a small profit, it will help pay for the other needed items to continue the ministry.

Please join me in prayer that this ministry will become a reality.  Please consider donating financially to help get this ministry started.  On the donate page on the SOR Mission website, we now have a tab called “McBride Ministry”.  Click on it to donate to this ministry and in the note write “pallet ministry”. Every little bit will help me to get the ministry going, from $5-$???  I will be posting pictures of the donated furniture and if  I am allowed to share pictures of the families and a little of their story then I will share that as well.  Your help is greatly appreciated. Please also pray that I will continue to get free quality pallets. Some are very nice with 4×4′s on them which are hard to find. Finding one of those is like finding an Upper Deck, Griffey Jr. rookie card in a pack of cards back in the day. The wood on these pallets is perfect for table legs and bed frames.

Thank you in advance for partnering with me as we assist the poor and share the Gospel with the people who receive these gifts.  I get very excited to think that a table could help strengthen a family by allowing them to eat meals together or to host a Bible study because they now feel that they have a place to sit with friends and dive into the Word!  I do not know exactly how the furniture will be used but I know that it will!  If you would like to see pictures of some already made furniture please click here to see our “Pallet Furniture” page.


Teamwork at its Best

Recently, we moved to San Ramón, Costa Rica.  We have been here for about 4 weeks, and in that time we have had to leave the country to renew our visas, hang out at the police station for a morning waiting to get fingerprints for our residency papers and we hosted a team from Lynden, Washington for 1 week.  We have been very busy to say the least. This morning the team (minus one) left Costa Rica and now our house seems empty.  It was a very different experience for me to be on the host side of a mission trip.  I got to feel and see the thrill of people being here for a week, working hard and developing relationships with local people.  I also made new friendships and strengthened old ones with the team members.

I worked closely with Mateo, Jose and Lorenzo (the only man on the team). We worked on the house of a lady named Flor.  She has some medical issues and is not able to work many hours and as result does not have much of an income.  Due to her medical issues the cold nights here really bring lots of pain to her.  Our goal was to put a “cielo razo” in her house.  A cielo razo is a type of suspended ceiling. The goal was to put this ceiling in her bedroom, the bathroom, living room and kitchen.  The point of this is to keep the cold air out and the warm air in the house.  The warmth will help reduce her pain tremendously.

After day 1, we did not think we would finish the task, but God blessed us with speed and with a good understanding of how to  install the system.  We worked hard to try to provide this for Flor; meanwhile we were given the customary coffee breaks and lunch breaks. These killed us inside because it was important for us to finish the task but we had to stop for these breaks rather than work straight through.  We did the correct thing and had cafecito with Flor and got to know her and her heart for the Lord.  She is an amazing women inside and out!

Thursday rolled around it was our last day to work on her house and we did not know if we would get it finished in time.  If not, I would go back later and finish the task, but it was important for us to finish while Lorenzo was “on loan” from the Pacific Northwest. We worked very hard to finish, and about halfway through the day on Thursday we realized that we would, in fact, complete the job for Flor.  As we were getting close, Flor came home from a friend’s house and started to make coffee for us. When she saw how much we had completed, she had a HUGE smile on her face.  We were finishing up the last pieces in the bathroom while she was in the kitchen singing praises to God.  It was truly an amazing experience.

After we finished, we visited with Flor and we prayed a blessing over her house.  We were very happy to see the smile on her face and we knew that we had just helped her out immensely,  as now she would be able to sleep and enjoy her own house without being in pain.  Then she dropped something on us which almost made us cry and definitely gave me goosebumps.  Flor told us since she she now has a ceiling in her house, she will not be embarrassed to have people over and she will start to host a Bible study!  That was so humbling for us to hear.  We were helping her out by doing a construction project to help her physical pain but God had a different plan and he gave us a glimpse of how our obedience can be used to impact the lives of many other people!

God is so good and we never would have been able to do this without your help and support.  We are in this together and because of your willingness to financially and prayerfully support us, souls will be changed for an eternity!  Thank you all.

Below are some pictures of the job.