Tuesday, April 25, 2006

God is an awesome God!

The cross in Bethel on Palm Sunday. Monty and I went and cut the palm branches and no wonder those things withstood the storm, they are nearly wooden!

The next is Gladys's kitchen cabinets, minus the doors. They have been painted a nice almond color and are coming along nicely. The California team continued their transformation on her home today. Jane chose Gladys's favorite color, blue, and put 3 different shades of it in the house. The kitchen is a brighter blue that just makes you smile when you walk in. Her bedroom is a soft blue and her bathroom is yet another shade that will really brighten the room! The rest of the house is a really soft "vanilla" color that is beautiful! They got the shower in today and did run into some plumbing problems but the team is pushing forward and progress is coming in leaps and bounds!

The rest of the team is working in the church building, concentrating on the daycare nursery rooms. Today they continued on the structural changes, creating a completely new area for storage and trimming out the other 2 rooms. Once again, complete transformations that will enable the nursery to once again function as it should. How do you thank people like this who not only come in and volunteer their time but also make continuous trips to Lowes to purchase the supplies they want to use! What a blessing they are! And they still have 3 more days here!

Monty and I went checking out future jobs today and I must tell you about our next "big" project. John and his sons, ages 8 and 9 left their home before the storm. When they returned they found that not only had the water destroyed most of their home but it had been broken in to, everything stolen, and people were living inside! He ran them off and still has a stack of nasty mattresses that he was able to cram into a back storage room until he can get some help getting them to the trash.

Since the storm he has been living in the house, he has nowhere else to go and was turned down by FEMA (who knows why). His mother had been living with them but due to the condition of the house she had to be moved into a government apartment. John must take his children to her place to bathe as he has had no water since the storm. He did finally get ahold of the proper authorities today and got his $140 and paid the bill so it should be on tomorrow.

His bathroom is completely destroyed and everything in it must be removed, walls and flooring and all. His kitchen is the same way. His cabinets are trash, he needs a new range and the walls, ceiling and floors are caving in. The ceiling in the dining room has fallen in, along with the floors and walls.

He has done the roof patching and has stopped any moisture from coming back inside the house. The soffetts need repaired but overall the outside isn't too bad.

Our plan of attack is to start demolition in the kitchen, dining room and bath. We will be forced to take it a couple of rooms at a time in order for him to continue living there. It will also depend on the availability of volunteers and the availability of funding for his needs. We won't know about the electrical until the walls are removed. If that needs redone it will require skill and funds. As always, God will provide.

This man is trying to do his best to raise his 2 small boys on his own and yet can hardly provide a decent roof over their heads due to the storm. THIS is why we are here! THIS is why we ask God each morning to work through us to accomplish His will! THIS is why we need volunteers!
THIS is priority when it comes to rebuilding homes and THIS is rebuilding lives!

There is more to the story. After we left our visit with him he called and said his electricity was going to be shut off tomorrow because he didn't have the $185 to pay the bill! Now how in the world could we send our next team (coming Thursday) into a house and work without electricity! This is where our networking with other relief organizations is vital. We made a couple of calls and were able to raise all of the money, go to the power company and pay the bill and bless John and his children! When we called him to tell him how God had worked in all this he was in tears! He told us he had been praying all afternoon for God to find a way to help him and God had answered his prayers!

The next time you think you are having a bad day or are feeling "less than", I challenge you to remember this story of John! And when you remember, know that it is REAL! This is hurricane Katrina 8 months later! This is God in action! This is God pouring out his blessings to Monty and I, allowing us to be a small part in His plan! God is an awesome God!

If you would like to be a part of this mission, even though you are not here, you can send your tax deductible gifts to us at Vineyard Community Church at PO Box 3277 in Bloomington, Indiana 47402. Please note "Katrina" on your gift as all 100% is used in this effort. God bless you for your hearts of service! May His blessings be returned to you ten fold!

Until tomorrow.....stay tuned.....God is moving.....Susan and Monty

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