Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Love One Another

Love one another was the theme the pastor spoke on this evening.
I am going to approach this day backwards. Because of the theme, it will work!
This church is without a pastor. We all know our church is our foundation, especially in trials and tribulations. Imagine going through what these people have been through, and then loose your foundation. Okay, Jesus is our one true foundation but you know what I mean. It has added more difficulty to an already difficult situation. The congregation has gotten smaller and smaller. This pastor commended those still here for not walking away. He was right. This is a hurting church, in alot of ways. But this is a powerful church. God is definitely here. You could feel Him in the sanctuary. There were only a handful of people in the chairs but the power was of multitudes. Please keep them in your prayers. He spoke of loving one another, of taking the leap of faith and loving those who are difficult to love. This is a direct command from God, the most important command. If we are not feeling blessed it is because we are not loving others. A pretty powerful statement, but true! Gives us all something to ponder!
The temperature was one we had been waiting for around here. 78 for a high, with a light breeze. The kind of day that makes you want to sit outside and just take it all in. Our friend, Dave, even got sunburned arms from spending his afternoon cleaning up around our camper trailer and in the parking lot. It looks so much better. The only one who did not appreciate it was the lizard sunning himself on the air conditioner behind us! But somehow I bet he will be back the next sunny day we have!
We were fortunate to have 3 volunteers of our own for the day. They were 2 women and a man from Raleigh, North Carolina. They spent their entire day upstairs above the school going through and organizing all of the mountains of school supplies donated by people and children all over the country. What an amazing thing to have supplies to last for a long time. The parents are the blessed ones as this will save them time and money. There were 4 rooms filled with all sorts of supplies, from pencils and paper to new desk chairs and oak cabinets to store things on. We hope to take those 4 rooms and combine them into 1. Not an easy task but one they all 3 took on with such energy and vigor I really believe they will have it completed by tomorrow. They plan on returning and are then heading back to their home on Friday morning. Please also keep them in your prayers. Volunteers coming in are such a blessing and we were able to experience the other end of that today, being the recipients. It would have taken me days and days to accomplish what they did in one. They also brought hand made fleece blankets to give to those who might need them. They were so beautiful and each one went to a good family before the day was over! We have access to so many needy families just through the day care and nursery here!
We were also happy to start receiving phone calls from others who want to come and volunteer. A gentleman from our home town called. Their men's group of 12 want to come the end of July or the first of August. We are thrilled and hope they read this blogspot and are able to get a slight vision of how life changing it will be.
We also learned that a few from our own home church will be coming down for their spring break. One father will be bringing his 11 year old son who wants to come and work. There is something for everyone here, skilled and unskilled, young and old. With us knowing ahead of time we will be able to plan on special projects according to skills and age. We encourage children to come as long as they have a parent or guardian with them. Kids need to see how fortunate they are at home and what really happens in a disaster such as this. We, as parents, need to allow children to share in the special ways God has given them to share. Children are our future and we should never forget it.
Monty loaded more drywall for another Pastor today. We are expecting a shipment coming into our warehouse tomorrow. We also have 2 people coming for appliances. We have an allotted amount of refrigerators and gas ranges to give out. One of each will be picked up tomorrow. They both were nearly to the point of tears with thank yous today on the phone. Their desperation comes through the phone lines.
Speaking of phone lines, I sure wish I had one of the guys I used to work with here with us. The phones - and there are only 2 working- are having such static on the lines you can hardly hear the other person. It was determined by the local phone company that the problem is inside the building---surprise! surprise! How could it not be!? Guys, I need you! :)
We are very sad today----our friend (family), Dave will be leaving for home tomorrow. Dave has become family while he has been here and it will be more than difficult to say goodbye to him tomorrow after our usual breakfast at the only breakfast place in the city, Waffle House. I don't think Dave will want to eat a waffle for quite some time! Dave, we love you and are seriously thinking of letting the air out of your tires or messing with your engine so you will have to stay! :) Thank you for everything you have done for us! May God bless and keep you as you make the 14 hour trip home!
Tomorrow we will be attempting to do laundry-----why the attempt? There is not one household in this city that has a working washer or dryer so the laundry mats are packed! There are more cars at the laundry mat than at the bar! Imagine that!!!! We will try and go during the day and hopefully come back with some much needed clean clothes.
I wish to leave you with a passage that came to me in my readings this morning and I think is appropriate for not only today but everyday.
"Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!"
God bless you all. Do something nice for someone tomorrow, and don't tell them! The blessing will be yours!
We love you all and thank you for sharing in our journey! God is awesome! Praise be to Him!
Until tomorrow evening, Susan and Monty


some guy named Dave said...

We're praying for you and the church there everyday. Praying for God's strength to do what He's called you to ... praying for His provision ... praying for His grace ... praying for encouragement for the people of Bethel and the community of Pascagoula, as Jesus helps them rebuild their lives and uses you to do it. Keep your eyes always focused on Him, because He is the source of your strength, your provision, your joy, your patience,your wisdom, your direction ... There's a reason God responded with "I AM" when Moses asked his Name. He really is EVERYTHING we need.
It will be good to see Dave when he gets home and hear him tell about the work. It's 7:00 A.M. here now, so he's probably getting ready to get on the road. We're praying for a safe trip home for him. -- Dave (one of the many Dave's you know. This could get confusing for people.)

"I will seek the lost, bring back the strays, bandage the injured, and strengthen the weak, ... I will shepherd them with justice." Eze. 34:16 (HCSB)

kevin said...

i found some stuff on Pascagoula prior to the huricane. i think it is cool lookin. i will send you a arial photo via email

Pascagoula is a city located in Jackson County, Mississippi. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 26,200. It is the county seat of Jackson CountyGR6.

Ingalls ShipyardPascagoula is the industrial heart of Mississippi, and the Gulf Coast as a whole. Prior to World War II, the town was a sleepy fishing village of only about 5,000. The population exploded with the war-driven shipbuilding industry. Although the city's population seemed to peak in the late 1970s and early 1980s as Cold War defense spending was at its height, Pascagoula has recently experienced new growth and development. Today, Pascagoula is home to the state’s largest employer, Ingalls Shipbuilding, owned by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems — "America’s Shipbuilder." Other major industries include one of the largest Chevron refineries in the country; Signal International, an oil platform builder; and Mississippi Phosphates. Another community asset, Naval Station Pascagoula, is located on Singing River Island and is homeport to several Navy warships as well as a large Coast Guard contingent. However, Naval Station Pascagoula is set to be decommissioned as part of the 2005 BRAC recommendations.

Pascagoula, the "Singing River" city by the sea has a deep and rich history as a European settlement that goes back over 300 years. The name Pascagoula, which means "bread eaters," is taken from a band of peaceful Native Americans. Hernando De Soto first made contact with these Native Americans in the 1540s. Local legend says the noble Pascagoula tribe chanted and waded hand-in-hand into the Pascagoula River, drowning together rather than become enslaved to an enemy tribe, the Biloxi. Thus, the legend of the "Singing River" was born. Those who now live in Pascagoula maintain that on still summer and autumn evenings, the sad song of the Pascagoulas can still be heard near the river. The charm of the old South is alive in this beautiful seaside town where the streets are lined with splendid antebellum structures and grand live oaks laden with Spanish moss.

Pascagoula has been home, hideaway, respite, or inspiration to many interesting people including the pirate Jean Lafitte; the infamous Copeland Gang; “Old Hickory” Andrew Jackson; General (later President) Zachary Taylor; Confederate General and Congressman David Emanuel Twiggs; Union Admiral David Farragut; Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who penned "The Building of a Ship" while in Pascagoula; and Nobel Laureate in literature William Faulkner who is believed to have written "Mosquitoes" while summering in Pascagoula. The world renowned rhythm and blues band The Nite Riders also got their start in Pascagoula in the 1950s. Many of the original members still perform together in local casinos.

Pascagoula gained noteriety on October 11, 1973 when two local fishermen, Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker, claimed to have been abducted by aliens from a Pascagoula pier. The media frenzy that followed touched off national interest in UFOs and extraterrestrials unparrelled since the Roswell incident. In 1983, Hickson wrote a book about his ordeal entitled UFO Contact In Pascagoula.

Pascagoula also gained dubious national attention in the 1980s, when novelty singer/songwriter Ray Stevens featured the town in his hit, "Mississippi Squirrel Revival." Stevens admits, though, that the song may have been set in any Southern town.

Points of interest include: Beautiful white sand beaches; championship golf courses such as Shell Landing Golf Course, designed by Davis Love III, and Mississippi National Golf Course, located on the Singing River; The Longfellow House; beautiful Horn Island located off the Mississippi Coast and the Old Spanish Fort, which was built between 1715 and 1726 and is the oldest edifice West of the Atlantic coast. Originally, this historic structure was the carpentry shop of Joseph Simon de La Pointe.

The city is the home of Republican Senator Trent Lott, the birthplace of American singer and songwriter Jimmy Buffett, attorney Richard Scruggs, NFL players Jim Marcellas and Terrell Buckley, NBA forward Antonio Harvey, actor William Nakia Yelland and Major League Baseball player Harry Walker.

The city is served by Mobile Regional Airport, which is located in nearby Mobile, Alabama, the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport about 20 miles west of Pascagoula, and the recently constructed Trent Lott International Airport, located within Jackson County.

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated Pascagoula, like Biloxi and Gulfport and the rest of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Mayor of the city is Matthew Avara.

tcarey said...

wow, you sound really busy. thanks for posting, its so good to hear everything that's going on down there. it makes it feel like you aren't quite so far away! love you! Teresa

Jackie said...

Monty & Susan!!!

I finally got to your blog! The link is on the Vineyard site!

WOW you two are truly doing the work and the WILL of God.

Keep HIM first in *your* daily life. Do not get too over whelmed, as I know you want to do it all, but stay balanced.

Prayers of your mission are everywhere. Even here with us in Guatemala!

We love you two and relate so much with your faith.

Blessings to MS,

Jackie, Levi, and Lydia

The Parkers said...

Blessings, grace and power to both of you from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! We have been praying for you and the people of Pascagoula daily---it's great to hear that you have enough school supplies. Is there anything urgently needed at the moment? I know a guy who can get things. . . :-)
Here's praying that you got some laundry done today!
Blessings and peace,
Steve and Raetta