Here is the gang from Minnesota that I told you about in yesterday's journal entry. They just look productive, don't they! :) We miss them and wanted everyone to see what a motly crew they are! Love you all!
We said goodbye to the last couple this morning and once again I found myself in tears. I will probably be drained dry by the end of the year!
After breakfast Monty loaded 94 sheets of drywall to another couple who lost everything. It took them 2 trips to get it all but they managed and were very thankful.
Monty then returned to the truck----again! He still needed to put together the inside floor area. We took it for a test drive downtown and it seems to be shifting much smoother than before so we are considering it a success! Praise the Lord! It still isn't real happy going into reverse but we figure we are only looking forward so the truck may as well do the same!
We tried to lay back just a bit today as we have worked so very hard, non stop for a couple of weeks now. We drove down to the "beach" but found that even though there is sand, there isn't a place to actually swim. I think we might need to wait until we see where the locals go to swim. The water is filled with trash and debris anyway. The machines had been through and cleaned the sand so atleast one could walk through it and there was a small little boy playing in it.
Seeing that little boy playing was something you just don't see here. You don't see people outside moving around. You don't see the kids playing, people taking walks or sitting outside visiting with their neighbors. It's just too quiet and strange! It's like someone took the life out of the place!
We enjoyed an early dinner at a local buffet and decided to go visit a church up the street called Church on the Rock. We had noticed that they have Saturday evening services and thought we should check it out. To our surprise they had a guest speaker, Ashley Smith. Remember about a year ago this time there was a guy, Brian Nichols, who had killed 3 or 4 people already and caught Ashley outside of her apartment and held her hostage for hours! Remember how she read from Rick Warren's "40 Days of Purpose" to her captor? She had an amazing testimony as to what a mess her life had been up to then and how she had been looking for God but the entire time He had been looking for her and she just didn't see Him. She opened herself up for questions from the congregation afterwards - a bold move in itself- and we were thrilled when she answered a question about if she needed drug rehab after the incident. She answered "God is my rehab", a statement Monty has lived by for years now. To hear someone else say it, realizing just how amazing it is when God completely delivers a person from addictions, is awesome! She also had a signing of her new book and was donating a portion to hurricane relief.
As soon as church was over we made a phone call to home as the music group, Vineyard Unplugged, was meeting. This was the first meeting since we left for our mission trip and a part of our hearts were aching for home! It was so great to hear familiar voices and to hear them play a special song for us! And the thing that really made me cry (again) was when we heard the voice of our neighbor, Shelley, there! Thanks for going Shelley and we hope you will go back! They are such an amazing group of people and we love and miss them so much! One week from tonight a group of them will be here to do volunteer work during their spring break! We are so excited to see them! Please keep them in your prayers for safe travel.
I feel extra blessed today as I got to spend some time on the phone with 2 of my dearest friends, Ellen and Cathy! Thanks, girls, for brightening my day and for loving me so much! You are my angels!
I would like to put out a request this evening. I know there are people from all over reading this and you all know all kinds of people. We need sheetrock down here! What we had delivered a couple of weeks ago is the same as gone and the need is so great! Telling people that we are out is so painful, for them and for us! You all have contacts or know of someone who does. I challenge you to reach out and see what you can do! Plant the seed someplace and see what happens. There is no amount too small and definitely none too large! If a company would like to donate they would also need to donate the way to get it here. The company and driver from Minnesota did it! And they really had a long drive! See what you can do, talk to whoever you need to talk to, challenge them to step out and help! Pray about it and then listen for God to answer! I have given you my number before but will again in case you "find the pot of gold".
God bless all of you and please remember us in your prayers when you attend church tomorrow.
We love you all and will be writing more tomorrow evening. Susan and Monty