Sept. 2018 Work Bee to install new ceiling support beams.
“Walk it in this way. Ok, now back. Wait—not that far back!”
I watched as the monster of a beam, maneuvered by Gerardo Bermudez and Del Johnson, was moved forward again and muscled up onto two of the three lifts rented for this event.
Not too bad. However, this was to be repeated at least eighteen more times before the day was done.
Prior to the beam’s migration, it was expertly measured, cut, and fitted with brackets through the efforts of Del Johnson, Hugh Gray, Shawn Erick, and Clayton. Young. Though the operatic noises floating in from that area could be deceiving, their (mostly concentrated) efforts were evident as each beam was (almost always) perfectly fitted in place.
After being fitted, moved inside, and placed on the lifts, the operators slowly moved up with the beam toward the ceiling. Moving at the same speed was crucial; any difference would cause the beam to jam into the wall.
“Hold it!” Exclaimed supervisor Herb Hasselman as he observed from the ground. “Mo, you need to slow down a bit and Rick, you need move a little faster. Watch each other.”
After this correction was made and things were leveled out again, the lift operators and assistants would guide the twenty foot beam into its place along the ceiling, a task far easier said than done. Usually it required Brad Wechner or Dodi Suhari working in tight spaces with a nail gun securing the beam on all sides as Rick Hernandez and Maurice Rogers steadied the beam and maneuvered the lifts.
There were a lot of noises clamoring to be noticed all at the same time, yet with each whine of the saw blade, blast of the nail gun, roar of the compressor, or shout of instruction given, was a declaration of determination: we will face any challenge,even if it’s the ceiling sagging five inches, and fix it—together. Because together, we can be “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Steadfast, immovable—these are qualities to be developed not only for the work at hand, but for a far greater work set before us. All but two of the TrustJoist beams are up, and with walls coming out in the Mother’s room and concrete being poured next week, progress is apparent as we continue forward bettering our place of worship. Our place, and the place of more to come as we get to work and reach out beyond our church walls.
written by Melia Hernandez