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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Make Hay While the Sun Shines" (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (03/06/08)

TITLE: Hammer Time
By L.M. Lee


Eight days after Hurricane Katrina blew apart our world, we prepared to reopen our doors. Miraculously every building on our street was damaged, but ours remained untouched. Every building had lost power, but mysteriously we had electricity. All of our employees had lost their homes, but they all returned ready to work. Every phone line was down, but we had a cell phone with tower. With employees living in the office R.E.M.’s (Ready to Eat Meals) for nutrition, and a reprographics printer who found a source for paper, we took a leap of faith and reopened our doors.

That Tuesday morning we found five contractors sitting on our porch waiting for the doors to open. They needed stock house plans and they needed them now. People needed houses. The first month after the storm we sold over 100 plans.

The next four months were a blur. Hundreds of displaced families and contractors skimmed our stock plans diligently searching for a starting point to rebuild their lives. We heard one tragic story after another. We could not keep Kleenex for the tears shed. Many simply broke down from the strain. Often we hugged complete strangers farewell as if they were kin. Hurricane Katrina’s imprinted our shoreline and our hearts.

2006 was a hectic year. Every week our office was packed with clients. We literally put the customers side-by-side at the conference table so we could assist two families at once. It was mind-boggling how we managed to rebuild not only our own personal lives, but those of our clients.

Then things began to slow. The number of contractors in search of stock plans trickled down. Individuals remained steady. As the stock clients declined, the custom home buyers increased. The scales remained balanced, but for how long?

The gossip rippling through the housing industry this year is frightful. Firms much older than ours, with stronger market shares are just barely hanging on. Our closest competitor laid off their entire staff. Contractors are turning their keys into the banks. The banks are foreclosing on builders with stellar reputations. The sun is setting.

Some were wise and saved their unexpected profits for possible crunch times. Others partied away the wealth. Hopefully we made the right choices. We saved. We invested. And we gave, trusting the Lord of Harvest to keep that which we committed to Him through the coming night.

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This article has been read 797 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sally Hanan03/13/08
I enjoyed this--I like to learn bits of information and you made a clear point with your entry.
Yvonne Blake 03/13/08
Katrina was a trying time for a lot people. It really tested their strength and endurance.
Keep writing.
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/16/08
Thank you for sharing your interesting story of how God blessed your diligence and gave you wisdom to work in a difficult time.
Lyn Churchyard03/19/08
I have never seen anything like the results caused by Katrina. I saw enough on TV to make me eternally grateful to God that where I live I will never be touched by a hurricane. What stood out in this narrative is God's protection and providence. Yours was the only building that "just happened" to be spared. You were the only ones with a phone. The only ones with electricity. A perfect example God-incidents at work. Well done!