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Working with Wood and People on OBT

For a long time, my husband has been talking about making a wood work shop where we could create projects in pallet wood and jobs for the homeless people. We have a heart for the homeless, and this wood shop has been on our hearts for several years. We have talked about it and looked for people who could work with wood, but nobody showed up until we actually started the production one month ago!

Our first project was to make an American flag made out of pallet wood. My husband found a how to do video on youtube, so we went out to buy the tools. First we went to the pawn shops, but they did not have what we were looking for, so instead we ended up in Harbor Freight and Home Depot to buy the proper tools and the paint for the project. It was not cheap, but the good news was, that we already had the wood for free. The wood was in “the hood”, on Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando, which is the neighborhood of our church. The wood is all over the place, so we asked some of our guys to look for pallets, and the same day they started hauling in pallet wood to our shop.

Then we started to break down the pallets and pull out the nails, cutting out the stripes for the flag with a table saw, preparing them for the paint work. I will spare you for the video. None of us are used to working with wood, but we made it work anyways. My husband was cutting, one of the guys from the street was sanding, and I was spray painting. Eventually we put it all together into our first American pallet wood flag!

The Production

It all started with a vision, and over the past month we have build an production out of pallet wood that we pick up in the neigborhood. We work outdoors in a shed outside our church building, and in this little shop we have made a great selection of wood art. American flags and different signs with scriptures, Christmas decorations and even artwork painted on pallet wood.

We even have a brand. We call it Heart4Homeless OBT referring to the vision, to make projects and create jobs for the homeless people in the area of Orange Blossom Trail (OBT), but so far there is no paid jobs for this business. It is all based on volunteer work, until we find the right places to sell the wood – and the vision.

I am sharing this because I want you to know that we can do all things trough Christ, even wood work. My husband and I are pastoring a church, but we have a heart for the community that make us step out of our comfort zone, out of the box, into a wood shop and create something significant out of wood that other people would throw in the dumpster.

We are a team, and we love working together, even the days where nobody comes to help us. We are here for the vision. Everything we do, we do it as unto the Lord. Even the wood work. When we work in the Heart4Homeless wood shop on OBT, we don’t primarily work with wood. We work with people. They might look rough, full of nails, we find them dumped on OBT, homeless, selling drugs or prostituting themselves. In the eyes of this world they are considered “good for nothing”, but God sees the potential, and in his hands they can be made into something beautiful.

This is a small beginning, let’s see how it goes in this season of Christmas where we will go out to present the work. It is all for sale, like a lot of other stuff on the internet. But we are not there only to sell the wood work, we are there to share the vision, our heart for the homeless and the needy people on OBT.

By Karen Hedegaard

Co-founder of Evangelist Ministries International. Webmaster and author.

2 replies on “Working with Wood and People on OBT”

What a fantastic idea. I really like the signs. Thank you for starting up this project. It gives a lot of inspiration and it shows that with few means you actually can do a lot and make an impact.

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