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