This photo shows our logo for our misison project. There are 2 of these magnetic signs, one on each door of the truck, designed by Ryan at Everywhere Signs! Our thanks to Chuck for having orange as his favorite color!
The other photo is one of the casino barges in Biloxi. It was blown ashore and blown apart! You can see clear through the thing and other casinos around it are literally falling into the bay!
We started the morning by needing to remove a refrigerator that was located in the school gym. It had been moved there after the flooding and was still there, until some small child decided it would make a great place to hide during hide and seek! The teachers are so awesome here and so on top of things! The child didn't get far and the refrigerator is now relocated! Kids!
After breakfast we stopped at Lowes to pick up a parking lot magnet. We need to sweep the lots around here because another major problem left from the storm are all the screws and nails everywhere. Our van tires have successfully picked up a couple and although plugging them works, it won't work forever!
Monty got started on the truck once again. We were so blessed that one of the couples from Minnesota, Tom and Cathy, came back early afternoon just so Tom could help Monty. I don't know what we would have done without him! Even though it required yet another trip for parts, it is now done! All that is left is for Monty to put back the cab area. It works much better and what was originally thought to be a 2 hour project turned into 4 days but God blessed us and it is done!
We also received a couple of visitors this afternoon. A lady and her 93 year old mother drove in to see if this was the place where they could get some help. Her mother lives in the same house that her father built over 40 years ago, a house built out of cinder blocks. She had just been released from the hospital because they thought she had pnemonia. She did not, she had poisoning from the black mold that is in her house. She had no idea! She did not have water inside her home but found out that it had come in through the damage in her roof and is not only in the ceiling, it is coming down the walls. She had been hand washing it off the walls without knowing what it was. The stuff is deadly and how she survived is only by the hand of God. She and her daughter had no idea where to turn or what to do. Her mother has no insurance and now all of her ceilings and all the walls will need to be torn out, sheetrock replaced, painted and trimmed out. She was desperate! When I told her that all they need to do is get her mother's belongings out of the house and washed down and then to call us back and we will take it from there she burst into tears, sobbing tears! She didn't know how to thank us and repeatedly said that if there was anything! they could do for us to please! ask. Her tears were tears of joy and relief, and we haven't even done anything yet! This is what I have been talking about when I speak of rebuilding lives! This woman has lived on this earth for 93 years, lived in the same house her late husband built and where they raised their children and now she is faced with this! When I told her we could have all the tear out done in a day and sprayed for the mold she couldn't believe it! She will definitely be moved to the top of our list! She said she has contacted FEMA for a trailer (they have moved her in with her daughter) she was told it could be 6 months! We will have her home rebuilt and her back in it before FEMA even thinks about getting her a trailer! God will help us----and so will all of you----with your prayers. Her name is Gladys (so you can be specific in your prayers) :)
We went to dinner with our Minnesota crew as all but 2 of them pulled out tonight for the 26 hour trip home and the other 2 will leave in the morning. What a fantastic group of volunteers! Of course, I was in tears once again saying good bye to them. (there are going to be alot of tears over the next year, I just know it)
We went to a great seafood place where everything is served family style! Being from so far up north they really got a kick out of the accents "down here" and will definitely be taking some of the lingo home with them---whether they think so or not! We want to send out a very special thanks to Floyd for taking care of our dinners this evening! What a blessing you have been and we thank you for your hospitality! You all did such a wonderful job this week and were able to bless others, we - and they- will never forget you!
Joining us for dinner this evening was Pastor Hart, his wife and son. He pastors a church just down the highway a few minutes. They were hit so hard by the storm that it completely wiped out his church, the building and everything in it! They were left with nothing. And they also lost everything in their home! They were living in a small trailer with 30 church members who also had lost their homes! They are still meeting in a tent, with nothing! But the heart of the church remained and they will rebuild. He told us 2 amazing stories that I need to share with all of you. In them both you will not only see God's hand, hopefully you will feel it!
They had been in the process of adopting a 2 year old girl from Guatamala prior to the storm. To do such a thing is quite costly but they had been working on this since she was 3 months old and were getting closer. Then the storm hit and with all the loss they no longer had the funds to adopt. Then one day Pastor Hart got a phone call from a church in Oklahoma. It was about 6 weeks after the storm and they had been without cell phone or regular phone service since the storm. This Pastor told how their church had been in prayer about how they could help some church down here and he knew this was the church. The pastor said God had told him there was a personal need that was also a need of the church and they were going to fill that need. Pastor Hart told him of the adoption process and that Oklahoma church will be paying all the expenses to finalize the adoption! All that is left is to receive the phone call saying it's time to pick up their little girl! Miracles never cease!
His second blessing came when a church in Indiana, near Kokomo, called and said they also had heard of this church's devastation and wanted to do something to help. They ended up providing the tent in which they are still using for worship. They had been meeting in what was left of Pastor Hart's front yard! They are still using the tent and have just purchased a metal building kit to replace the tent until they can begin the rebuilding process. They have focused all of their efforts in rebuilding the homes of the church members and knew God would help with the church building---and He is!
Both of these stories are true miracles! The Bible tells us that with God nothing is impossible and God doesn't lie! Both of these, along with the 93 year old Gladys, and Tom from Minnesota taking time to help with the truck are just more blessings from God! We have been so privilaged to come down here and do just a little bit to help! Every little bit makes a big difference in someone's life! We can't do it all, but we can do what we can do, and do it now! So can you!!!!!
During this mission God will bring so many people into our lives that it will be overwhelming. We come here to be used by God and to hopefully bless others. And just as God promises, we will in turn be blessed! Sometimes I think if I focus my eyes just right I will physically see God's hand moving things around down here! It's hard to describe. It's something we want you to experience also, whether it is by coming here or by just reading about it through our journal. It is only through your hearts and your support that we will be able to remain here and do the work God has called us to do! We thank you now and will continue to thank you!
The weekend is coming. Monty has sheetrock to load for a woman at 10 in the morning. We have been invited to Sunday dinner at one of the church board member's home after church and will be going over to Pastor Hart's Sunday evening worship afterwards. So many times to show our praise and worship and thankfulness to our Lord and Savior! Thanks be to God!
We hope all of you have a blessed weekend and when you go to church this Sunday, pray for Pastor Hart's church, his family, his church family and for Gladys! We thank you for it!
Until tomorrow evening.....all our love. Susan and Monty