Today was a day where we felt like we accomplished alot. Monty was up at 5:00am working inside the church cleaning up things and rooms. This is such a large and spread out building that the cleaning up will take....forever?
We decided to take a mid morning break and had breakfast. While we were still at home we received a phone call from a fellow neighbor who was also working down here in Pascagoula. She invited us to come and visit them when we got here. They are located in the side yard of the Central Church of Christ, also in their camper trailer. This is not an especially large church but what they are doing is extremely large! They house up to 175 volunteers a week and provide 3 full meals a day for them and anyone else who would like to come in. They took a house across the street and gutted the whole thing. It is only a very large kitchen with showers in a room in the back. What they do with food is nothing short of a miracle! Women literally never leave the kitchen and prepare the most wonderful home cooked meals. They invited us to return for dinner and a church service this evening and we were happy to accept. We will be back at 6:00pm.
We headed back to our church and to our projects for the day. Monty and Dave went to the warehouse and worked and worked until Dave decided it was time to stop! :) They are cleaning up and taking trash out to the city curbs where large trucks come along, load it up and haul it away. They have been doing this for 6 months now and we are not sure just how much longer they will do it so the guys are working furiously to get the huge building organized!
I spent my day in the upstairs above the school going through boxes and boxes and more boxes. The school supplies donated by children around the country are amazing! The director of the school, Miss Fran, says they are so thankful for everything. They will not need to purchase supplies for quite some time and are able to provide each student with a brand new backpack and a packet of supplies. This saves the parents from purchasing and allows them to have a bit more to do rebuilding and hopefully get their families back into real homes sooner. I learned that this school, from nursery through 8th grade has 125 students. It is so much fun to go through the cafeteria during lunch and see all their sweet faces. The babies are adorable and sometimes come out in the parking lot to see our dogs. Most people, and children, have never seen a Chineses Crested hairless dog and love to look and maybe touch him!
This school is such a blessing to the children who attend, the parents that enroll them and to the church itself. It brings such life into what could be considered a kind of death. With laughing children around it is more difficult to be sad or depressed. No wonder Jesus loved children so much!
It was now time to head to dinner at the Church of Christ. We loaded up cartons of sippy cups that we had stored in the warehouse. There are more than enough to share! We also took some of the clothes that were extra for here. The Church of Christ has the sanctuary only half full of pews. The back half is filled with racks of free clothing for anyone who comes in.
The meal was outstanding----fried catfish filets, hushpuppies, 2 kinds of potatoes, baked beans, vegetables, cole slaw, fruit salad and 2 types of desserts. Like I said, quite a spread, and they do it 3 times a day.
Now-----a request for volunteers-----come the month of March this church will be needing some kitchen help as they are expecting record numbers of volunteers. They hope to be in their new location, an old renovated Pizza Hut, and run shifts of mealtimes. Anyone out there who might love to work in a kitchen----this is the volunteer job for you! As I have said before, this will change your life! Just let me know and we will get you scheduled according to the time you have! Remember, my cell is 812-219-5738.
The church service was wonderful, just what we needed to hear. It was about living by faith, not giving up and being ready for the devil when he decides to see what he can do to distract us from our goal. We really enjoyed the evening and got to meet 2 couples from our hometown that we did not know before. They will undoubtedly be friends for life, whether here or home. They both say they will be back sometime during the summer to return to work in the kitchen.
When we returned to our parking lot the board members were still meeting and from what we gather they are pleased with us being here. As I have said before, it is only with your help and support that we can be here doing what God has called us to do. Without your prayers and support it could not happen. We are looking forward to tomorrow---we will have 3 volunteers here helping us with some of the cleanup and organization! Stay tuned to tomorrow's entry to see how that goes!
Blessings to all of you! We miss our families and friends and hope to see you down here visiting us sometime before too long!
PS. Tomorrow is our friend Dave's last day with us and we are sad just thinking about it. He has been such a wonderful blessing to us! We have worked so hard and laughed even harder. We won't mention how he "dozed off" during the service this evening! Exhausted doesn't describe it! God bless him, he's been an angel for us!
Until tomorrow...... Susan and Monty