Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Drywall in --- drywall out
I wanted to show this church, or what's left of it, in Biloxi. We were shocked when we saw how much damage there was to it and yet it is still standing. The entire bottom of it just blew out. The other view in taken from the inside looking to the back, completely gone. And yet outside in the yard the angel statue was not touched! Another miracle in the midst of the storm!
This day started at 5am for Monty. He had to get the forklift and lift the scissor lift onto the platform area inside the sanctuary so the drywallers could work above the platform area. Although the ceilings in that area were not covered with water they were damaged. They needed scraped and remudded and retaped before being repainted. It was not an easy task getting one lift to lift another but he got it done.
He had to get it done early as the semi with the drywall was to arrive at 7am. It actually got here at 8:30 and within an hour he had the 700 plus sheets unloaded, along with 1/2 a trailer of insulation and had 2 trucks loaded for the people to take to their homes and get started with the rebuilding. It was quite a morning. He unloaded and stacked it all only to take the rest of the day to unstack it and load it onto trucks and trailers, even a rented UHaul, for people. I think drywall is worth more than cash around here! We went from over 700 sheets to around 85 now left and they will probably disappear tomorrow! We pray there is more on the way and it won't take long to get here. The people on the receiving end were so thankful! The drywall gives them a ray of hope that things are progressing and they are making headway in getting back into their homes again! Seeing the smiles, feeling the hugs and hearing the thank yous are priceless and we feel blessed to play such a small part in it.
Oh, I almost forgot. We were busy loading drywall on a pickup truck and an attached trailer and noticed that the college aged kids all had Indiana University shirts on. We are so used to seeing them at home that it took awhile for us to realize that this is not the norm in Mississippi! It turns out they are IU students down here spending their spring break doing whatever they can do to help! What a boost for us to see people from our hometown, even if we didn't actually know them! Thanks to all of you for choosing to come and serve others!
Keith, Jonathan and Scott spent their day painting a house for a lady who had injured her knees trying to paint it herself and is facing a double knee replacement. They were able to get almost all of it done and be such a blessing to her! We are so thankful to these guys for coming down here and making themselves available to do whatever needs to be done. God bless all of you! And Jonathan did such a great job!
Tim and his friends from his home church spent their day getting ready to rebuild the fence around the school play yard here at Bethel. It looks like it is about 400 feet of fence and over 95% of it was destroyed. They made the trips to get all the materials and started drilling for the posts. The children will be so excited just to see it starting to come together. The only place they can play now is inside the gym and with these really nice warm days they are getting stir crazy, not to mention what it does to their teachers! Tomorrow and Thursday should show some real progress and show even more smiles!
Monty and I took about an hour this afternoon and "got away" from it all. We went back to the ponds we found the other day. We were the only ones there and the ducks were very happy to see us,especially since we came bearing food. The really ugly ones will come right up and take it from your hands. It is a peaceful place, a great place to go and reflect and get some energy back. Not to mention today was about 70 degrees with a wonderful north (dry) wind. I say wind because I don't think there is such a thing as a breeze around here being so close to the water. It was nice to have the high humidity gone. We felt a bit more rested when we returned.
Our dinner was the Pizza Hut buffet, which Jonathan really enjoyed!!!! The sugar and cinnamon breadsticks with icing were a favorite! It has become the place to be for Tuesday night dinners. We always try and look for the best deal of the day!
Jonathan was last seen arranging and playing the drum set in the church this evening. Our drummer is left handed and since they instruments are down on the church floors he was arranging them to suit him and having alot of fun. I think the icing combined with Mountain Dew gave him added "energy'?!
I got a phone call that really warmed my heart today. Our church family members Jackie and Levi and their adorable baby girl, Lydia are also on a mission. They packed up and moved to Guatamala! They left about the same time we did and getting the opportunity to talk with Jackie is so great because we now have so much in common. They are doing fine and we are keeping each other in our prayers! Thanks for calling Jackie! Love you all!
I feel the need to share with all of you what God told me this morning. Nearly 2 years ago (for those of you who don't know) Monty had a heart attack and it took the doctors shocking him twice to bring him back. They put in a couple of stents and said he could live to see age 90 (he was 39 when it happened). He had also been the type of person who needed to take a nap during the days and would tire easily. Since we have been here he is the one who is up at the crack of dawn and goes non stop all day and into the evening. He commented to me a couple of weeks ago that he was amazed at the energy God was giving him since we had been here. This morning God got my attention and told me this is one of the reasons He brought us here. He wanted to show Monty just how much life he has, how his life truly has meaning and when you are following God's ways you have a zest for life, combined with the energy and love for life that you have never had before. This is why God needed Monty to be here! I have seen more life from Monty than ever before. He is truly alive, with a purpose, with a love for life and for what he is doing. THIS is God! THIS is His blessing! And because it is a blessing for Monty it becomes an added blessing for me! I am the one who gets to see this for my own eyes. I am the one who gets to share in this. Monty and I are one person, joined by God and the blessings given to each of us are shared by the other. I thank you, God, for this incredible life I see and share in with Monty. I pray you continue to lift us both up, keep our hearts open and grant us your wisdom.
If you are interested in supporting us in this mission you can send you tax deductible gifts to Vineyard Community Church
PO Box 3277
Bloomington, IN 47402
Please note in the memo section of the check "Katrina and/or hurricane relief"
100% is sent to us.
God bless you for your help. Without you we would not be able to do this work!
Until tomorrow...we love you! Susan and Monty