Thursday, March 02, 2006

The volunteers are coming....

Since I have talked about all the work being done on the truck I thought I should give you an idea of what it looks like. This is me and our friend Dave, who followed us down, at our house before we left home. Monty spent the entire afternoon and evening underneath that truck still working on dropping the tranny and changing the clutch. I think it is mostly put back together but then I don't know much about it and try and stay clear! Once again, God blessed us with a bunch of men who seem to know what they are doing and are happy to help. Thanks to the Fagan men and Rick it is nearly done! God has also blessed us with some of the nicest weather to work in, sunshine and near 80 with no rain in the forecast for the next week, just in case it takes a bit longer!

The next photo is what is left of a house located directly on the bay. If you look closely you can see the water in the background. Many of the houses were built on stilts like that, to avoid flooding, but were no match for the winds of the hurricane. And this is 6 months after it happened!

We had a great "meeting of the minds" this morning. Tim and Sherry are back. They have been doing the relief coordinating, and a million other things around here, since December. We got caught up on alot of things and got our calendar scheduled with all of the volunteers coming this month. The week of the 12th it looks like we could have 60 - 70 here----wow, everyone will be blessed! I am getting things lined out for work and positive there will be more than enough! The list of things needing done has no end!

We had a wonderful visitor this afternoon. Brad, from another church up the street, came by and would like to house his volunteers here for the next few months. The church they have been working out of is near completion and after they put in the carpeting they are going to stop housing volunteers, which is understandable. He has a full schedule of people for the next few months and we were thrilled at the idea. We have plenty of room here and will welcome all the volunteers we can get! That's what this is all about. It's not the name or denomination of the church---we are all one church! And it is at times like this especially, that the labels need to be dropped and the only denomination is "Christian". And if a volunteer is not a Christain, what better way to reach them!

Even though our news up home doesn't have much about the hurricane anymore it is still the main topic on every channel down here. This morning a commentator made a statement that has stuck with me all day. She said that the people are still having problems with insurance and lack of help has slowed the rebuilding process. She said that thanks to faith based organizations they are getting there! I thought this also stated what we are all about and why we are here. It's time to have "the rubber meet the road" and remember the saying that "actions speak louder than words". It's easy to say we are a Christian but living it is another story!

Please don't get me wrong with what I am about to say! No one actually realizes just how hard it has been for us these past couple of weeks in being here! Living in disaster, seeing it everywhere, every home, every business, hearing everyone's story of loss, trying to make some sense of it all, trying to do something but knowing it is never enough and our "in box" will never get anywhere near empty----it's tough! But God has called us to do this! I know that with every fiber of my being, clear down through my soul----and with God nothing is impossible. In so many ways this has brought us closer to Him. I find so much strength in Him! That is the strength I want to share with others here. They are worn out, feeling weak and lost and discouraged. I have seen what sharing my strength does for them. I have seen the smiles, the sense of relief, the deep sigh followed by tears at the thought that someone cares, that God cares and has not forgotten them! That is what this mission is about! I may sound like a broken record but it needs repeating and repeating! You may think that there really isn't anything you can do, you don't know construction and you can't come down here. That's okay---you CAN pray, for them, for us! The power that is unleashed with prayer can move mountains, the Bible says so and I believe the Bible!

For me, this has been a day where I feel my calling even stronger. Getting to work with volunteers, planning, scheduling, talking with the people who need help, that's why we are here.

Lunch was a perfect example of how thankful people are for what we are doing and how the blessings are always poured back to the ones who are blessing others. We went to some small mom and pop style restaurant. The food was fantastic. We got to talking with an obviously retired gentleman who was interested in where we were from and what we were doing here. We explained it to him and his main question was how we were able to be here without any income. When we explained how we are here because of the goodness of other people's hearts he was brought to tears. We offered to come and work on his house but he was plugging away himself and said there were others who needed the help more than him. When we got ready to pay the bill the waitress told us it was paid! By the gentleman we had been talking with! God is so good!

I had the opportunity to talk with our precious neighbor ladies this evening. They are mother and daughter and well, how shall I say this, the mother is one of the most fascinating women I know! We love them both so dearly and have taken care of them for the past 7 years! Our other neighbor, Shelley is one of the people who is taking care of our house and lawn and she has been kind enough to print these daily entries and takes them to my ladies! To all 3 of you, we love you dearly and miss you more than you know.

It is very late and exhaustion is setting in. Monty is outside talking with our Minnesota volunteers and trying to unwind at the same time. I know I will find myself in tears when these volunteers leave too. And for that---I would like to thank my mother for the gift of crying so easily! (she also has such a heart for others and I am proud (sorry for using that word Daddy) that she is my mom! Okay Daddy, I got more than a few wonderful traits from you, that shall remain nameless! I love you both and miss you so much!

Before I ramble on even more, God bless all of you and thank you for loving us enough to read these entries and for supporting us on this mission.

Love, Susan and Monty

PS. Kevin, it was really good to hear your voice this evening. We are so proud of you! 3 more months!!!!!

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