Thursday, February 23, 2006

Day of Blessings

We said goodbye to our friend, our brother, Dave this morning after our usual breakfast at Waffle House. We have eaten at one nearly every morning so why should this one be any different. We are certain that the last thing Dave will want to see when he gets home is a waffle. He wondered if anyone down here had ever heard of a pancake? :) Seeing him pull out of the parking lot brought me to tears. We both missed him all during the day and were glad to know that he made really good time in getting home. Dave, having you here for a week meant more to me than we can say. You now know and have experienced what we have been talking about. You really and truly understand our hearts and just why we are here. That is priceless and we will miss you each and every day until you decide to come back! (and you will!!!!) "muddobber"!
We had our 3 returning volunteers who once again completely transformed the upstairs and the tons of school supplies that were strewn throughout 4 rooms. They were amazing, once again inviting us to eat brown bag lunches with them. Their crew leader would come by around lunchtime and they would all gather outside with sack lunches and great laughs and conversation. It was such a great way to get to know them and the other members of their crew. They will be leaving tomorrow morning and we pray safe travel for them. They also are about 14 hours from home. I did not realize the emotional attachment that had already grown with us. When they left I cried! Those tears really surprised me! Will it be that way each time we have volunteers here? They all said they were jealous that they had to go home and we got to stay here and be a part of all of this! What a compliment! What examples of service! You 3 did such an awesome job here and your help blessed this school more than you know. We sincerely thank you and hope you will keep up with our adventure via this site.
This afternoon was extremely busy. We had 2 families come by for the refurbished refrigerators. Their joy and thankfulness blows us away. But then we think about how it would be to have to completely rebuild AND refurnish a home! The one family has 4 small children, all living in a small FEMA trailer---and the only thing he could say was how blessed they had been throughout this whole thing! Such an example of faith! I ask myself---could I do the same thing with the same attitude?
The second family was driving a pickup truck that had obviously been through the flood and they just let it dry and kept on going. Both front tires were nearly flat but they still rolled. The drivers door did not work so they just got out through the passenger side. She was concerned about how they would pay for all the sheetrock that would be needed. Their house was one that had water half way up and they had only torn out the walls 4 feet up from the floor. But when the inspectors came in and tested for mold, it did not pass so now they were forced to tear out the rest of the way up, including the ceilings. This would require so much more sheetrock than what they had thought, thus more money that they did not have.
Another family came and picked up one of the gas stoves. All the stories are the same. And all are so thankful and talk about how blessed they have been with the volunteers and are sorry that they cannot find the words to properly thank them. No one moans or complains or whines, they are thankful and filled with praise for the help they are getting. They are surprised that they have not been forgotten about after all this time! THIS is the reason we need volunteers to continue to come down here and help! You ARE still needed and will be needed for quite some time! Call us and come join us---your life will be changed!
A huge blessing pulled up in front of the warehouse late in the afternoon. A semi load of sheetrock! We knew some was coming but had no idea it was a semi load. 918 sheets to be exact! The largest load seen around here since the storm. And the driver had donated his driving time-----and the load came from Wisconsin!!!! Our thanks to him really caught him off guard as his only thought was that the company could have donated more!!! We took photos and he left with a huge smile that may take days to wear off! Monty had a blast on the forklift getting it all unloaded and stacked to perfection in our warehouse with no electricity! We are wondering just how long it will take for all of this to be gone! Not long!!! Supply definitely does not meet demand!
Speaking of that, it is quite an experience to just walk into Lowes! There are no other competitors so the store is packed from morning till night! You see it all coming through the checkout lines, lumber, lamps, floor tile, cabinets, tools and small items so numerous you cannot count them, household items, water heaters, plywood---you name it! The carts are not big enough to hold everything they need. Watching them makes us so thankful that we are not the ones having to rebuild our lives like this! I cannot imagine the expense of replacing every single thing inside our home, let alone the structure itself!
We were so tired that our dinner was at the closest place we could find---good ole' Taco Bell!
We had intended on getting to the laundry mat today and I even got the clothes bagged and ready but the time just did not allow it. Tomorrow it MUST be done or things might get a bit interesting! Showers themselves are sometimes put on hold but one can only hold for so long! We are hoping to find a used washer and dryer and install them inside the school or church someplace----soon!
As I look back over this day I am reminded over and over again how the attitudes of the people are focused on the blessings they are receiving. They realize just how terrible this whole thing has been but what is keeping them positive are the efforts of the volunteers! That is the difference, not some magical thing or denial, just the giving hearts of others! It's not something difficult, not something expensive---just people giving to other people! Jesus set the example for us and commanded us to love one another---He didn't ask us to do so, He commanded it!
We would ask that you take a minute of quiet this evening, or whenever you read this, and thank God for the blessings you have. Come on, admit it, we have so many we cannot possibly count them all! Try anyway! Have an attitude of gratitude and then say a prayer for the victims here and all along the coast! Think of something you can do for them, some way you can help. Pray about it, God will answer you! Then follow Him! It will change your life and you will in turn be blessed!
As I sit here, in the quiet and look 2 feet to my right and see Monty sound asleep on the couch with one dog at his side serving as an arm prop and the other one at his feet I see just how blessed I am! Thank you God! Thank you for bringing us to this place. Please work through us and give us what we need to be your representatives!
May God bless all of you!
Until tomorrow night.......
Susan and Monty (and Bitty & Samson)

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