Another photo of where a home used to be. This is taken right along the coastline, you can see the water in the background. There is nothing left standing except a few of the posts that held the house above the water. Homes along the coast were built on "stilts" to keep them dry in case of hurricanes. Didn't work this time, not with the power of Katrina. You can see the bare concrete foundation underneath, the flag they hung from the tree and the trash surrounding the area. This is what it looks like all along the coast - NOW! They haven't even begun to rebuild! Just think of all the work that will need to be done and the time it will take to do it, then multiply it by thousands and you have an idea of how desperately volunteers are needed here! Then take a minute and fold your hands and thank God for what you have!
Today was quite a day! I have mentioned Convoy of Hope before. For those of you who did not go the their website (Convoyofhope.org) let me tell you a little bit about them. They are an organization started and completely funded by the Assembly of God churches around the nation. They come in disaster areas and provide assistance in the form of rebuilding and at times have the funds and connections to also provide materials. They are responsible for the drywall we have received thus far (and the semi that is due in Monday, rescheduled from today). They have stations set up at the cities on either side of Pascagoula. We are so very pleased to now be their station here in Pascagoula. They will be assisting us in providing skilled volunteers and materials. We are so thankful for this opportunity to be able to provide even more help to residents with this connection.
We also have combined efforts with another disaster group from the Calvary Churches nationwide. They had been working out of another church here in town but that church is now in the final stages of completing their rebuilding and are anxious to get back to normal. After they install the carpeting they would prefer to not house the volunteers. We met with their representative and have successfully combined efforts. This will also allow us to have more volunteers which will in turn help even more people in getting their own lives back to normal.
We are so very thankful for this "merging" of 3 efforts into one location! God has truly had his hand in all of this and as usual, He is able to bring about efforts we could only dream of. We have seen so many miracles during this adventure that I told our pastor today that I truly believe the day will be coming when I see the physical hand of God!
I took yet another "adventure" to the laundry mat this morning and didn't even have to wait! But I got the shock of my life while there! Two women and their daughters/granddaughters from our home town and home church came walking in! They had wanted to come down here and do something to help the people but with 2 very young girls coming here with us just wasn't advisable. They had been reading this blog and remembered us telling about the kitchen down the street that is serving 3 meals a day to volunteers and residents. They packed up their things and their girls and went directly to the kitchen where they were welcomed with open arms, complete with pots and pans and spoons! This kitchen had told us the month of March would be difficult as they expected so many more workers out in the field but were going to be short help in the kitchen. What a blessing these women and girls are this week! And they really blessed us by coming by the church before finding me at the laundry (Monty told them where I was) and brought us a homemade yellow cake with delicious chocolate icing! You girls are awesome and the cake was just what we needed! Brianna did tell us how Rose misses us and the dogs to which my tears started rolling again! Thinking of our friends at home always brings the tears! We plan on going to that kitchen tomorrow evening for dinner and to once again see our friends from home!
Late last night our group of high school seniors from Georgia came in. There are 15 of them, including the adults. They came in singing and really looking forward to getting to work. Oh, the energy of the young!!!! They were up and ready this morning and off they went. We expected them back by early evening but they went to one of the local seafood restaurants for a good dinner and didn't roll in until nearly 9pm. When I asked one of the guys if he had worked hard today his response was,"yes, but not as long as I wanted to." Like I said, the energy of the young! They are such a great group and seem to really want to get in and help, and to get to know the people. They realize this is such an important part of the rebuilding process. The people need the emotional and spiritual connection. We are so thankful for this group coming down and making such a wonderful difference. They will be here until Monday morning and we will have photos of them here within a few days.
Monty spent most of the day working on the stage area of the sanctuary. They have the 2 stained glass areas removed and will start the drywalling process tomorrow. We also plan to get in and really try and clean up the area tomorrow. With all the drywall process and sanding everything!!!! is an ashen color and you dare not wear anything dark in color or you will have the dust all over you! Some of the Georgia kids will be helping us and the rest will be back out there working in the homes again.
I have to throw in a bit about our dogs! They get rather "restless" being in this small trailer nearly all day so we wait until the children leave the building each day at 5:30 and then let them go inside and run the halls. They know now that when we ask them if they "want to go to church" that they get to go and run! They are always wanting to go to church so we laugh and say we have very religious dogs! Really they are pretty much idiots that just like to run but if you own a dog you know what we mean! All of the volunteers enjoy them and aren't quite sure about a dog with no hair! (Samson is a Chinese Crested Hairless).
Oh--more good news. Our van is now running! The couple visiting Tim and Sherry (the other coordinators) does vehicle repairs as his mission and he is fantastic!!! We have had who know how many technicians looking at that thing trying to figure out why it won't run when there is any moisture and he took one look and fixed it! Don't ask me details---I am an idiot in this area! But thank God for someone who took this on as his ministry! What a blessing he is! Another person following God's call. Thank you Chris. Tomorrow he is going to check out the brakes and wants to make sure all is running as it should be before they leave on Monday!
Enough for today!
Thanks again for reading, for supporting us, and for loving us!
Susan and Monty