Wow! We sure accomplished alot today.
The day started early with a phone call from Convoy of Hope saying there would be 2 people coming for loads of drywall today.
We are fortunate enough to have an old grocery store turned into delapidated warehouse just next door. And we are doubly blessed to have a forklift inside. Since Monty is a heavy equipment operator this is right down his alley!
I got to talk with the lady and her nephew picking up the first load. The two of them had worked on her mother's house first. Her mother is 89 years old and blind. They were not done with it but got it to a livable state and were now turning their efforts to hers (the nephew has not even started on his yet). She told how the water had risen to 13' high in her house causing her to loose everything inside. She also had a fire that burned down her kitchen and sun room areas. These fires happened when people left for higher ground and did not turn off their electricity ( an added tragedy). She also spoke about the insurance problems she and everyone else are having. She had the hurricane coverage but not flood. She was not located in a flood zone therefore was told it was not necessary. Her entire insurance payout was only $12,ooo.oo to do everything to rebuild! What a sad story as she has already spent that just in cleanup and has yet to get into the rebuilding process! This is the story that comes from everyone and, may I express my own opinion here---I think this is such hooey! If you were here and saw and heard what we see and hear I think you would agree. Something needs to be done about this and that something is up to the insurance companies!
We spent the rest of our day inside the church where we are living in the parking lot. They put off doing anything but the absolute necessary and concentrated their efforts to the general public for all this time. They are now in the drywalling process and things are quite a mess! We concentrated our efforts on 2 main rooms and really made progress. We will start the process of setting up and office area for us to work out of next week. Monty was able to begin the task of locating tools that are strewn around the church and school and get them into one room where they can be cared for and inventoried for future use. There is not a lack of tools, just a lack of knowing where they all are. Getting them organized will help the volunteers coming down and allowing them to do the work necessary.
We also worked with cleaning the make-shift kitchen area. This church is over a city block in length and the rooms are numerous. At this point it is difficult for us to know what rooms are supposed to be used for what. On Monday we will be meeting with Miss Fran who seems to be the lady to turn to for all the answers. She is an awesome lady and highly respected by all who speak of her.
We did not do any touring today. We have logged many miles over the past 3 days and needed a day of getting a few things done here. The weather also took a major temperature dive, into the 30's by tonight with light, cold rains. Tomorrow doesn't look much better but Monday looks great.
We still need to do some work on our camper. The plumbing is not hooked up yet but we have full access to the church so it has not been a problem thus far. We have been using our heat today and that feels quite good. I guess we should not complain as we hear it is to drop to around 4 degrees at home tonight!
We enjoyed a great seafood dinner this evening at one of the local restaurants that is open and running well. The owner told us of how his other restaurant closer to town suffered in all the water. Everyone has their stories and they feel a sense of both relief and sadness when they tell them. Everyone is different yet the same. All have suffered such tremendous loss in the material sense but what it has done with their emotions is something totally different. The sadness in their eyes, the sense of "will it ever get all done"? shows on all of their faces. When we take their hand or give them a hug you can see some hope, some sense that maybe it will get done, and the blessings come back to us ten-fold. THIS is what they need the most. THIS is what brought us here. THIS is what God wants us to do! THIS is what we hope to do over the next year.
As usual, thank you for keeping us in your prayers. I cannot explain the emotion---and this is only the 3rd day.
When you attend church tomorrow please remember all of these people in your prayers. You don't need to know the names, you don't need to see their faces, you just need to know how desperately they need your prayers and how thankful they are for them. Thank God for all of your blessings---and then take time and notice your blessings and for a day---don't take them for granted!
God bless and keep you until we talk again!
Love, Susan and Monty