Here we have our California guy grouting the new tile in the hallway to the sanctuary with Monty checking out the results. Grouting this tile is VERY time consuming as it is a latex grout and comes in a tube that resembles caulking. Poor Tom may never walk upright again. But thankfully it was him and not me! :)
The next photo is the inside of Gladys's home after the sheetrock is all in and the finish texture sprayed on the walls. The tub still sits in the family room but should be installed tomorrow. Our California team has divided in 2 teams and 1 of them will be in her house all week bringing as close to completion as possible. They have done wonders already today with getting the entire thing primed and ready for paint tomorrow. The big discussion now is what we are going to do with her floors. Looks like they may be all new before it's over. They are painting the entire place an off white with her favorite colors of blue in the kitchen, bath and her bedroom. Each is a different shade and it will be beautiful when it's all done.
The other half of the team is concentrating all of their efforts here in the church building. Today they were in the nursery rooms and working like mad! They have already framed in a new closet combination area and framed out a door opening along with a window opening. Before this week is over we should be able to remove the children on the waiting list and get them enrolled in the daycare! Praise God!
I just cannot say enough good things about this California team! They came in here with such servant hearts that it is contagious to all who come near them! They represent the love, compassion and support that volunteers can bring into this area. They area always smiling and ready to dig in and do whatever is needed and beyond! This is where the coordination of volunteers with the needs of the people is so important. These volunteers knew ahead of time what they would be doing when they arrived and were able to plan accordingly. This planning, on both parts, is what makes a trip even more successful and an even greater blessing to all involved.
Monty was busy loading even more sheetrock for people off and on all throughout the day. It is so amazing talking with them and hearing their stories of what happened to them in the storm. They are always so thankful and wish they could give something back in return. Our last delivery of 850 sheets is getting down there and hopefully there will be more coming before too long.
We also were blessed to have a meeting with the couple in charge of the Convoy of Hope efforts all along the coastline. They, too, are amazing people who have devoted 150% of their time to helping rebuild homes and lives. Up to this point there have been 4 Convoy stations located in Mississippi. One of them is already closed down with 2 more to follow in the next weeks. They are closing down because the volunteers running them are tired and planning on returning home. The needs here are still just as great but people do get tired and need to take a break. Once the others are closed, we will be the lone Convoy relief station here in Mississippi. We talked about how the future is planned and how Convoy will remain on the coast indefinitely. This is exactly what Monty and I needed to here as we have devoted ourselves to this relief effort and want to continue what we are doing. We are thankful to be a part of Convoy and pray for their efforts.
We would like to ask for special prayers this evening. The sister of Monty's step father passed away today after a long battle with cancer. She was a wonderful example of strength for all of us and will be missed by the family. We all know she is with God in heaven and finally released from her pain but she will be missed.
Thanks to all of you who are reading and joining with us in this mission. It is our wish that by reading this you really do feel a part of the relief efforts and understand what is going on here. Sometimes it can be difficult to describe the days in a way for you to understand as it does feel like a third world at times. Your support in the way of prayers and thoughts is what keeps this effort up and running. There are times when your prayers are as close as the feeling of our shirts being on our backs. We thank you for that feeling!
For those of you who would like to join in and be a part of this, you can send your tax deductible gifts to: Vineyard Community Church at PO Box 3277 in Bloomington, Indiana 47402. Please be sure and note "Katrina" on your gift as all 100% is used for the relief efforts. Without your gifts we would not be able to remain here and do the work God has called us to do! Bless you for your generosity.
Until tomorrow....remember how much we miss you! Susan and Monty