Yes, today is Thursday and we are finally here. In a way it doesn't seem possible after all of the planning and preparing and more planning and more preparing. We have been on such a fantastic adventure and hadn't even left our driveway!
We were able to get our donated pickup truck repaired by some of the most wonderful auto mechanics in the world! True angels, thank you Dave, Tony and Joe!
We left home yesterday morning around 7:30am. I took the lead vehicle, our van, with our 2 small dogs, Monty was in the middle pulling the 27' trailer (thank you Mark for the home) and our dear (and priceless) friend, Dave Scott brought up the rear. It was a long day filled with stops, some planned and some not so planned. Pulling a trailer that size is strain enough but also pulling with a vehicle one is not familiar with is added strain. The weather was fantastic, mostly clear and sunshine the entire way. We were able to stop after the first hour and meet up with my youngest brother, his wife and daughter for a wonderful breakfast and final good byes. Thanks alot Johnny---I love you! Get better real soon!
The entire drive was on interstate 65 which made it pretty smooth. I don't really remember just how many stops we made but our original goal was to make it to Birmingham, Alabama. We stopped about 30 miles short of it and got a hotel room where we could stretch out and get some much needed rest! Not to mention watch "Lost" as the 3 of us are hooked for sure! We did get some rest, along with the dogs who did not sleep a wink the entire trip and just kept looking at me as if to ask when we would be going back home!
We were awakened at 5:30am this morning by some guy banging on our hotel door---and then admitting he had the wrong door once confronted by Monty as to what in the world he was doing! It did get us up and moving and after a quick local breakfast we were on the road again. Driving the second day it soon became apparent just how tired we really were. When none of us had a backup driver and had to do it alone, even with 3 way radios it is long!
We did fine, with many stops and one for a quick tire plug as the camper tire got a screw in it. No major events, just long interstate for a long time. Once again the weather was beautiful and continued to get warmer and warmer the farther south we went.
We managed to pull into the church parking lot here around 4:00pm. We backed our camper in next to the back of the church where we have a very large light outside on the pole just near us. Actually I like the light as it feels a bit strange to be here. I know it will take a couple of days just for Monty, myself and the dogs to learn to motivate in the 24' long and 8' wide space we are calling home! It didn't take much to get it set up as we had packed all our clothes inside before leaving. There were no suitcases and such to unload.
We worked for over 3 hours getting the electric hooked up and the trailer blocked and leveled. We decided the plumbing will wait until tomorrow. We have full use of the church restrooms and showers so we are fine.
We had dinner at a nice Chinese buffet and finally felt as though we were a bit settled. The hot shower upon returning to our "parking lot" felt more than wonderful!
The weather is so warm that we actually have the windows of the trailer open--and we were worried about heat!
The dogs have completely crashed on the couch and hopefully will remain there until morning!
We did have the opportunity to meet with Miss Fran who is in charge of the elementary school here within the church and when we told her we planned on staying here for a year to help in whatever capacity they needed us she began to cry! She couldn't believe we quit jobs and such to do this! We also met DJ, a student in the school who was completely spell bound to see our one dog who is a Chinese Crested---hairless! He even came out to make a second trip to the trash dumpster (which is in our front "yard") just to see Samson again! What a cute kid! And I look forward to meeting so many more of them.
I am so thankful to all God for allowing us this opportunity. This is something my heart has been telling me to do for so long! God has nothing but confirm all our plans, bit by bit. I pray He will be able to accomplish whatever He wants through us. He is an awesome God and we only want to do His will and spread His love to these people and all we meet.
We plan to meet with the drywallers who are finishing the work inside the church here tomorrow. We also have a meeting scheduled with a gentleman on the board of directors at the church. We then will be traveling to the nearby city of Gautier where we will meet with the man in charge of the Convoy of Hope who have been working tirelessly with volunteers and getting supplies here. We hope to then travel along the coast a bit farther, heading towards Pass Christian where the eye hit. Our faithfull companion, Dave, has his video cam ready and plans to bring the filming back home where it can be put together in a presentation for the church and surrounding churches.
I would like to sincerely thank all of you who have financially made this trip possible for us thus far. You know who you are and I only wish you could see my heart and feel the warmth and love for each and every one of you! Without you we would not be able to accomplish God's will.
We will be keeping all of you in our prayers and just know how much we miss you already. We have already decided our Small Group Bible study should just meet here in Pascagoula as usual so everyone-----pack your bags and get ready!
We love you all and until next time-----God bless you!
PS. It is my hope to journal each evening and let you know how the days go. Your comments are valuable and we thank you for sharing in our journey!
Blessings, Susan & Monty