Monday, January 30, 2006

Getting ready to roll

We now look as though we actually live in Mississippi. The camper trailer from my brother is parked on our drive way and we spent the entire weekend getting it ready. It still amazes me how much behind the scenes work that is required to get this mission going. I think we spent half the weekend in Walmart! :) Other than a couple of "issues" with replacing speakers inside we moved along well. Monty will be working on packing the brakes and other mechanincal things for the next couple of days.
God's hand continues to move on a daily basis to reaffirm that this is indeed the direction He wants us to go. Pastor's lesson yesterday morning was also just what we needed, as usual! (How does he know those things?)!! It was extra nice because Pastor Dave and his wife, Lisa, got the opportunity to come by the house and "tour" the trailer yesterday. We also had our very dear friend, Joe, take care of getting us enrolled with AAA. God just puts people in our path that think of things we haven't thought of or thought they were just out of the picture. If I sat and told of all the times these things have occurred during this preparation I would be here all day. And seeing as how I am really supposed to be still working at my job that may not be a good idea.
My last day of work is this Wednesday so I may be unable to update this site for a few days. My parents are purchasing a laptop computer for us but I don't know when we will get it and our one at home doesn't have internet access. Just stay posted and as soon as possible I will return.
Our plan at this time is to pull out of here on Monday, Feb 6th. This depends on getting a driver to pull the trailer then. Although a couple of people have volunteered nothing is definite as yet.
We have started the difficult process of saying goodbye to family, neighbors and friends. Even though we are not leaving permanently it is still leaving and that part is very hard for us. I cannot imagine how tough it will be this coming Sunday when the church family will be praying for us and our journey! We are so fortunate to have our church members be our family, not just friends! We will be taking parts of each and every one of them with us, but it just won't be the same!
Our prayer is that we are able to know what God would have us do, that we are able to surrender everything and follow His leading. It is our deepest desire to help in whatever way God directs us, wherever He directs us and however He wants us to do it.
As I have said before, we are leaving without all the details planned out. How our bills will be paid and "minor" details like that are still being worked out. We just know we are supposed to be there and delaying until those things are worked out is just wasting precious time. God will work them out and it is up to us to completely lay them at His feet and trust!
We thank all of you for your wonderful comments and encouragement! You just don't know how much they mean to us. We encourage you to continue to comment, continue to keep us in your prayers and continue to remember all the people suffering and how badly they need our help, support and prayers.
Until next time, may God bless each and every one of you!
Susan & Monty

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Onward Ho!

This has been an extremely busy week. We spent the entire weekend cleaning the camper trailer we will be living in. My brother, Mark, was kind enough to loan us his trailer. It is 24' and in practically new condition. It had been parked for a few years, thus the cleaning process. It will work perfectly for what we will be needing. We will look just like the rest of the residents as they each are living in FEMA trailers.
The behind the scenes work seems to never end. This is an entirely new venture in so many ways and we are all learning as we go. The details will not be all ironed out before we leave but we know God is leading us and He will direct everything to work according to His plan. Our target date is still Monday, Feb. 6th. That exact date will depend on transporting our trailer down there. We have had a couple of offers but the timing has yet to be determined definitely.
This has also been a rough week as our best friend passed away early Monday morning. He had been suffering with pancreatic cancer for months and although we know he is rejoicing in heaven with all the saints we still have the loss and grief here. We will be attending a memorial service for him tomorrow, complete with military honor guard as he was a Vietnam Vet. Your prayers will be appreciated.
There are just so many examples of how God has directed us in this venture that it would take me days to tell of all of them. One that happened just 2 days ago is fresh on my mind. My husband, Monty, was wanting to purchase some specific construction tools to take with us. They were not cheap and he had done his usual research finding the best price. We still had a Christmas gift card for Menards so we decided that would be the best use for it and we would just pay the difference, which was still not a small amount. The very day he went and made the purchase we received a check in the mail from his retirement plan from a previous employer that we did not know even existed. It was for more than we had needed! God is so good!
On Monday I did a radio interview on our local Christian station explaining in further detail just what we hope to do in Pascagoula. We are hoping to keep awareness at a high and thus move the hearts of people to support the victims and the upcoming volunteers, along with helping us with the finances necessary to make this mission successful. We thank you for your prayers in these areas also.
As I promised in the beginning, I will do my best to keep this site updated and appreciate any comments and feedback you wish to post.
May God bless each and every one of you and may we follow the example of Jesus and his love for those in need!
Signing off for today. Susan & Monty

Friday, January 20, 2006

Our first entry

This is a new adventure for us. In a couple of weeks we will be packing up our 2 small dogs and the 2 of us into a camper trailer and head to Pascagoula, Mississippi to work as disaster relief coordiators. Hurricane Katrina's results will be felt for many years to come and just because it is out of the news headlines doesn't mean it should be forgotten.
These are people living in a city the size of ours (Bloomington, Indiana) and only a 12 hour drive from our own home. They have lost everything! Homes, vehicles, jobs and in some cases family members! We cannot imagine such losses! They are living in small camper trailers parked in front of what is left of their homes. They live disaster 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is everywhere they look, in everything they touch and in every conversation.
My husband and I took a trip there the first week of December with our church, Vineyard Community Church. It was life-changing! I cried when it was time to come home!
I have been called to return and do what I can. We are committed to doing whatever it takes to get there and help these people, our people!
We will be working out of an Assembly of God church in Pascagoula. This is not only a church, it houses an elementary school and daycare.
We will be coordinating the needs of the victims with the volunteers who are coming to help. We will be there to meet with the people, go and access their needs, reasure them that we are staying there to help, and then coordinate that information with those who are coming to help. We will be able to inform the volunteers what is it that we need and how they can best help. If there are special skills/trades that may be needed, that information will be relayed and those who are skilled may want to come and help.
This is new to us. We are going with the awesome support of a group of ministers here in Bloomington who share in our desires and calling. Without them this would not be possible.
Without you---the volunteers---this rebuilding will not get done.
It is time to step up, stand up and take part in this! We are Americans, we are family.
"There, but for the grace of God, go !"
Keep reading. I will try and write as often as possible.
If you would like further information as to how to help or just to let us know you are praying for us please send a note to:
Vineyard Community Church
2375 S. Walnut ST
Bloomington, IN 47401
Thank you and God bless!