Saturday, April 29, 2006
Missouri Blesses John
We would like to introduce John and his 8 and 9 year old sons. The team photo is the entire Missouri team. You will notice that John is a small man but only in size. His heart is bigger than most men who are 6" tall. Let me tell you his story.
John and his boys left their home just before the storm. At that time his mother lived with them and helped care for the boys. When they returned from the storm they found their home had been broken in to, everything inside had been stolen and their were bums living inside sleeping on a bunch of mattresses they carried inside. John proceeded to toss them all out and try and make some sort of home for his family. They discovered they had around 6' of water inside their home. Due to the damage left behind he was forced to move his mother into a government subsidized apartment. He made due the best he knew how. He got a job with an individual doing roofing and John's job was to carry all the shingles onto the roofs. This caused him to get a hernia that now will require surgery. The individual he was working for up and left town and left John with no income. John now finds whatever he can to furnish his home even though his water was turned off during the storm and they are forced to go to his mother's apartment to bathe the boys. He has no working stove, no kitchen cabinets as they are falling from the walls, a dining room ceiling that has fallen in, the dining room floor, kitchen and bath floors have also caved in, the walls in the dining room have collapsed along with the ceilings in the bath and hallway. John gets a bed for the boys to share and one for himself. He still has no water and no way to cook along with no refrigerator or cabinets to store food.
This is how we found John and his children, living with much less than our own animals!
In comes our awesome team of volunteers from Missouri. They "adopted" John and his boys for the past 3 days, the entire time they were here. John did the best he could to work right along side of them, even with his hernia. In 3 days this team tore out the entire kitchen, dining room, bathroom and small back room. They then replaced the subfloors in each of those rooms, checked his electrical, and sheetrocked all of those rooms. They then purchased a small set of kitchen cabinets complete with counter top and a vanity set for the bath and a bathtub. Along came the kitchen sink and a hot water heater. They installed those too. A gas range has been donated and will be brought in when ready for installation. This team of servants for Jesus transformed John's home! They worked late hours and were determined to accomplish the goals they had set before them - and they did!
But there is something even more important that the rebuilding of John's home that this team did! They brought Jesus into his life! Yes, they were wonderful examples of God's love through their actions but they took the time to really minister to him! Jeff got out his Bible this morning and spent nearly an hour with John, reading, guiding and teaching! John gaves his heart to Jesus and wants to bring his boys and come to church. Now we have the complete circle! Now we have rebuilding! Now we are doing what God has commanded us to do! Each and every one of these volunteers ministered to John in their own ways. Each and every one of them made a life changing impact on John and his boys. When the team left today they left a letter to him inside of his Bible. As soon as John read it he called me and was in tears with thankfulness and love for this team! He could not find the words to express his thankfulness and love! And when the team of volunteers left this evening none of them were ready! They wanted to stay and go back to work at John's house tomorrow morning! THIS IS REBUILDING!!!! This is why we are here, this is what changes lives, this is what brings people to Christ and ultimately to heaven! John will forever be a part of these volunteers lives and will forever know Jesus because of them! None of this is coincidence, God ordained every minute of every day. God knew this was the team that John needed and brought His plan to competion. God is in control!!!! And God will not be stopped!
This is why we feel so blessed to be here, coordinating the teams with those needing help. To be here, talking with those in need and seeing the hearts of everyone involved being changed is seeing the hand of God! Nothing less!
We sent both the California and Missouri teams home today and the tears flowed with both! Their lives will never be the same due to the experiences they had while they were here. A piece of their heart will forever be in Mississippi.
We have met, and will continue to meet, so many wonderful people; those who come to help and those who need help. Our lives will forever be changed! And so will the lives of those who are helped in such a dire time of need here in the south.
I challenge you to read this story, and the others, and not feel it in your heart! When you go and turn on your faucet, be thankful that not only do you have the faucet but you have the water! And when you step into your bathroom say a prayer of thanks that you have a bathroom to step in to. Think of all the small things that we take for granted each day, and then pray for those who have had all of those things taken away by Katrina! They can feel your prayers and your prayers will change lives! Have no doubt! They will change lives and bring those lives to Jesus!
We thank you for allowing us to be a small part in all of these blessings! Without you it would not be possible.
If you would like to help us to continue in this work, in this calling from God on our lives, you can send your tax deductible gifts to us through: Vineyard Community Church at PO Box 3277 in Bloomington, Indiana 47402. Please note "Katrina" on your gift as all 100% goes directly to the support of our mission. Remember, without your gifts this work will not continue and these lives will not be helped! YOU make the difference! THANK YOU!~
Tomorrow....go to your church....thank and praise God for all His blessings....and thank Him again! Susan and Monty