Missourians Show Christ's Love Through Rebuilding Project

Scottie Parker is 18-years-old. He's a college student, not a carpenter. Yet there he was, in Biloxi, wielding a hammer to set a front door in place.

"It's different," Parker admitted. "I've never built a home before. So it's a learning experience. Our man over there Josh, he's really patient with us. And he helps us out a lot. So it's nice."

Josh is Josh Herin.  He's the only person with any home building skills on the Coeuvas Street rebuilding project.

"They're doing great. As far as I'm concerned, these kids have built this whole house," he said.

Herin temporarily moved his construction equipment from Missouri to east Biloxi.

"We just wanted to be able to come down and help out someone else in their tragedy," he said during a Thursday lunch break.

Herin came here at the request of his longtime friend Paul Larson.

"I'm a financial planner by trade. So this certainly isn't something that I know what I'm doing," the St. Louis native said. "We've got one carpenter and the rest of us are unskilled. Yet, a house is standing here today. So it's certainly a blessing."

Herin said blessings are what this project is all about "so we could show Christ's love, his grace. That's what we're down here doing, we're representing Christ."

The St. Louis volunteers gladly leaped into this homebuilding project. They patterned it after a Wisconsin Christ Community Church group that did similar hurricane recovery work in January.

"They came down and built a house in three weeks, and really inspired us to do the same thing," said Larson.

The inspiration obviously paid dividends. A bunch of unskilled volunteers from Missouri and Wisconsin should have Ann Humphry in her newly built post-Katrina home in just a couple of more weeks.

While the Missouri church group is in town, it's members are staying at First United Methodist Church in Biloxi.