More photos! One is the inside of the church here. You are looking at the stage area and can see the new drywall on the walls that is only hung but not painted yet. The stage itself is still just bare plywood and the steps are temporary. There are 2 stained glass windows, one on each side of the stage area and that blank white place is where the baptismal area is, behind it. Right now that is just a piece of drywall protecting the area until everything is completed. The pews are gone and chairs take their place.
The other photo shows all the trash and debris along the road with a boat and car jammed into the trees in the background. They are getting more and more of the debris cleaned up and hauled off but it still keeps coming.
This morning we took a trip over to Gautier to the Convoy of Hope disaster center. We get our bottled water and other etcs from there. They have a huge warehouse filled with all kinds of things that have been donated.
We also made a couple of stops to pick up materials for our drywall finisher. He has been focusing on getting the sanctuary itself done. He has most all of the sanding completed and will hopefully be priming and painting soon. The board has to meet to decide on a color, not an easy task for such a large building. The carpet selection will soon follow, an even more difficult job!
I got busy this afternoon scheduling jobs for our incoming volunteers. We had quite a few work requests that needed a follow up call, all still waiting for some type of help in so many ways. The work ranges from the original tear outs to tiling floors, hanging cabinets, finishing drywall, painting, cleaning up yards, rebuilding fences, repairing electrical problems and so on and so on and so on. I also met with the teachers of the school. It seems they all have needs and have put them on hold saying they wanted the community to be helped first. I reminded them they ARE the community and such an important part here in the school we want to move them up on the list!
Monty loaded the last of our drywall from the warehouse. The resident needed more than what we had but some is better than none. Convoy of Hope says they are working on getting more but that is such a difficult task. If anyone has the connections, they do! We could use every shipment we can possibly get---and more!
The weather today was another one for the books. It was beautiful, sunshine and near 80. We would like to keep this year round but know that the summer is nearly unbearable with heat and humidity. We'll try and soak up as much of this as we can! (we heard it wasn't even 40 at home-----what can we say)!
Speaking of home, we had a great conversation with our friend (brother), Dave, who had followed us here and spent a week with us. We miss him so much and feel that in some ways, he is the only one who really knows what it is like down here. We laughed at so many things, the way Monty and I will never be able to use the same bathroom again. He uses the "boys" and I use the "girls". If we have to use the bathroom in the middle of the night it is an ordeal. You see, we don't have plumbing hooked to our trailer so we get up, find our shoes, get the key to the church, trek across the parking lot, unlock the door and pray you left the light on so you can see all the way to the bathroom! Showers are also hysterical! We each get our "toolboxes" of hygiene equipment, get the key, get your towel, get your clean clothes and once again make the trip across the parking lot! Showers must be taken before 8am or after 5:30pm due to the school and daycare being in session. Like I have said before----a true adventure-----and we love it!
Our newest "change in arrangements" is in our sleeping. I am only 5'3" and my feet hang off the end of the bed---it's that small! When I got the Katrina cough I decided I should sleep out on the couch. Now understand that the couch is about 2 feet from the bed but it is in a different room! :) I now sleep there each night as I can stretch out and Monty can sleep cross ways on the bed and have some room! It works well for both of us but the dogs aren't as happy! They had to be moved from the couch to the bench seat, which is quite a bit shorter than the couch. The first night one of them fell off in the middle of the night, hitting the floor with a thud and the next night the other one fell with the same thud! I think they have it figured out now as both of them have stayed put the past couple of nights! Good thing they are both small!
We laugh at these things and wonder; if someone would have told us a year ago that this is what we would be doing we would have never believed it! But we have adapted quite well and as long as one of us it sitting down the other has room to get dressed! :)
Seriously, we know we are doing what God has called us to do because we do it and laugh about it! The material things don't matter. The space doesn't matter. The funny way we get to the bathrooms doesn't matter. They don't matter because of the blessings that come from being here. We are here to help rebuild lives, to rebuild homes and to share the love of Christ with everyone we meet. It doesn't matter if we meet them while in line at Walmart (we are going to their house next week) or if we know they are the sheriff of the city, they are all God's children and all have suffered and are in need of help. THAT is what matters. We will have our house, our space, our one bathroom, our one bed when we return home. In the meantime we praise and thank God for bringing us here and pray He will continue to give us the wisdom and strength we need to be His hands and feet! Please join us in this prayer!
Until tomorrow...be safe...and be the hands of God...wherever you are!
Love to all, Susan and Monty