Scott on the scissor lift cleaning the beams in the entry way of the church, 30' in the air!
The house remains are located on Dauphin Island off the coast of Alabama. Nearly half of the homes on the small island are completely gone. All are built on the stilts you see here, some were even taller. The winds and water were just too much!
We started today with devotions in the meeting room with our team from Zionsville. (Monty started his day at 4:30am!) From there they headed to our "extreme makeover" house that belongs to Gladys. All 21 of them. We are so anxious to see the results of this makeover! What a blessing this team will be. There were a few younger ones that stayed behind and helped us wash down all the chairs inside the church.
Before we could get the chairs done the next team from Calvary Chapel in Pennsylvania arrived --- all 42 of them! They brought all of their own bedding and such and came with more food than you see in a grocery store! The women of their congregation had prepared meals and then frozen them so they could all be warmed in the crockpost they brought with them. As soon as they had everything unloaded and organized they headed out for their days work.
We went back to cleaning the chairs until it was time for lunch. We decided to use that time to go and check on our team and see how they were progressing. Amazing! They are like worker ants and already had the old shingles off and were working on the structural issues. They set up for the lunch they had brought with them and then it was back to work. We took off for Lowes to pick up some of the supplies they needed. We ended up making 2 trips for them but it is worth it as they are highly skilled and know exactly what needs to be done. No complaints, just working with enthusiasm and joy! This combination is exactly what we have been working towards since we got here. We were able to communicate with this team prior to their arrival and let them know the details of the house they would be working on. This allowed them to bring the tools and equipment necessary to do the job. THAT is what we are here to do! The entire process is alot more successful, thus alot more fun!
Before we could get back our 2 friends from our hometown church had arrived. We were so very happy to see them and they came with care packages that were awesome. I have enough body wash to feel clean and smell good for quite some time! They brought snack foods, complete with dog treats, and donated fleece blankets to donate to the nursery kids here. I must thank Karen for the many, many quarters-----now I can get some laundry done!!!! Bless you for thinking of it! Thanks to Joe for the movies and for my 2 Oprah magazines-----but who knows how many months it will take for me to get through them as time is precious! Thanks to Keith (and Karen) for the laundry detergent as you also made it much thriftier to be clean! Deep thanks to those of you who put together some gas money!!! You are all such a blessing to us and it would involve way too many tears to tell you truly how much we miss you!
Our friends, DeeDee and Meow (yes, that is her real name!) are not roughing it quite as much as the other teams; they are staying in the camper trailer we moved out of! They still have to go into the church at night to use the bathroom and will also need to wait their turn to take a shower but their sleeping arrangements are a bit more on the comfortable side! They both are smiling!!!! :)
The 4 of us decided to go out for dinner this evening, a chance for us to visit and get away for a bit. We enjoyed a local buffet, complete with some dessert to hold us until tomorrow!
When we returned our Zionsville team had a wonderful bonfire going in the back. It is nice and warm during the days but the night temps have dipped into the 30's so the fire felt good! They are taking tomorrow and going to Dauphin Island. They want to go to a beach and that has the cleanest sand that we know of. They will then return to Gladys's house Monday morning ready to dig in and work hard another day!
The last team for the week is coming tomorrow night from Tennessee. There are 7 of them, also skilled. They will have one of our teacher's houses to work on for the entire week they are here, another real blessing!
So our count of volunteers this week is "up there", I'm too tired to add them up but I know there are alot and they are doing alot of good and blessing so many people! We thank God for each and every one of them and for their hearts of service.
Tomorrow is Sunday, a day of praising God and resting! We set that day aside for rest, or atleast we make an attempt to do so! We have so much to be thankful for and so many reasons to praise our Lord! He has been so awesome to us and we are so blessed to be here doing what we are doing!
If you are interested in helping to support us in our mission, please send your tax deductible gift to Vineyard Community Church at PO Box 3277 in Bloomington, Indiana 47402. Be sure and note "Katrina fund" on your gift as 100% of your gift is sent directly to us. We thank you for your giving heart and pray blessings for you!
Until tomorrow....give thanks and praise to God for all your blessings when you are in church tomorrow! God is an awesome God! Susan and Monty