Thursday, May 04, 2006

God spared Bethel

The top photo is Miss Joyce's house. You can see both our Mission van and the church work truck are there. A team of 3 volunteers are installing doors and trim preparing for the carpeting to arrive.

The next photo is the women of Teen Challenge. They all chipped in and helped demolish one of the buildings on their property to make way for a new structure. Monty was over there pulling off each piece of lumber so that the men's Teen Challenge could turn around and re-use it to build a car wash to raise funding for their program. What an awesome ministry Pastor Steve has! Thanks girls!

The next photo is the construction of our wrap around steps at the platform of our church. This task was very difficult, to say the least. Once we got a real plan the men from Kansas took off and worked for 2 days getting them completed. Thanks guys, for working so well with so little paperwork to go by. You were phenomenal!

We are still off line at the church. The telephone men are to be there this afternoon. Come to find out the lightning did alot more damage than was first believed. The air conditioning unit in one of the school rooms wasn't working so Jake, our HVAC man came to check it out. What he found is nothing short of a miracle! It seems the lightning followed a path down some lines, blowing all the lines apart so they looked like they had been shot with shotgun blasts. Then it landed at the end of one of those lines ---which was on top of a natural gas line! Only God's hand stopped that bolt from hitting that line and burning the entire school structure to the ground! Jake brought the pipe into church last night to show as a visual why he had a praise report for the Lord! God stretched out His hand and spared Bethel once again and we owe all the praise and thanks to Him for doing so!

Monty is busy today unloading the semi load of sheetrock. It did arrive (or atleast I think so as I am off site to write this blog). There are so many people waiting for sheetrock to continue on the progress of their homes. We are so thankful for Convoy of Hope and the work they do to provide these materials for the coast! Without them there would be alot more distress in the rebuilding process than there already is!

Part of our Kansas team is back in John's house today as well as yesterday. They are working away on the sheetrock preparing it for Monty to go in and spray the texture on. They have installed more kitchen cabinetry and really added to the blessings that the Missouri team started. All it takes is one look at the face of John and his boys to know God is touching them through the actions of these teams. This is how we bring people to Christ's kingdom. We can talk all we want but the Bible itself says that actions speak louder than words and these volunteers have put their actions out there to speak for themselves! We are forever grateful for them and they will be a part of John's life forever! You just don't forget people who take time from their own lives to come and do what they can to help you rebuild your own!

Yesterday was another day of going out and visiting with some of the people who either call us or stop by needing help. We try and get to as many of them as we can to assess their needs and place them on a priority list according to those needs. Sometimes this is quite difficult but we do the best we can! There are still so many people with so many needs and we are totally dependant on volunteers so it can be tough getting things completed. This is where all of you can come in and possibly think about sending a team here to help. There is no such thing as unskilled labor and believe me---we can put all of you to work in some fashion or another! Give it some thought and if this is something you are thinking about, just comment at the end of the blog and let me know. God bless you for thinking about it.

We would like to ask you for a prayer request. You may remember photos of the girls from our home church who came to volunteer a few weeks ago, Dee Dee and Meow. Dee Dee is returning for the summer to teach in the school here but her mother passed away on Monday evening and we would really appreciate it if you would keep her and her family in your prayers. We all know her mother is rejoicing in heaven with Jesus at her side but the pain of the loss is still there. Thank you for all your prayers.

Yesterday we had an awesome meeting with Project Recovery. As I have said before, this organization goes out on foot and walks through neighborhoods knocking on doors and checking in with people and seeing how they are doing. What they are finding will knock your socks off! They are finding the elderly and lost who have nearly given up on getting help or thought they could do it all themselves and are finding it impossible to get it all done! We have teamed up with them and they are completing our paperwork on the spot and getting the names and info to us. This is another example of everyone combining their efforts to make this relief effort a success. We all MUST drop our religious labels at the state line and act as one body, working for Christ to accomplish His will. Division will only destroy all of us, disaster or no disaster! Project Recovery and their teams have been such a blessing to us and we want to thank them for the work they are doing! May God bless all of you and give you His strength and wisdom as you follow His call on your lives!

Both Monty and I are in the final stages of doing what it takes to be the one and only Convoy of Hope station on the coast of Mississippi. There were 4 stations but 2 have already shut down and the 3rd will be closed by the first of June. They are not closing due to lack of work, they are closing because the volunteers who have been heading up the efforts are tired! They have been here for months and are ready to go home. This means that our location will be where everything is funneled through! What a blessing and what an outreach this can become for Bethel, or any church who would be fortunate to have Convoy backing their relief efforts. God told us directly to "go and make disciples" and what better way than to reach those who are hurting! This is exactly what He did while He was on the earth. He didn't go to the rich and famous, he went to the hurting and lost! We are so excited at the opportunity layed before us and pray God will continue to bless our efforts and give us the strength and wisdom to continue to follow His calling on our lives.

If you would like to invest in this mission and become a real part of it, you can send your tax deductible gifts to us through Vineyard Community Church at PO Box 3277 in Bloomington, Indiana 47402. Please be sure and mark "Katrina" on your investment as 100% is used right here. We thank you for supporting us and this ministry. God has promised to return your blessings ten fold!

For any of you who might be thinking you would like to organize a group of volunteers to come here and spend a few days please just let us know with a comment on this blog and we will get back with you asap.

If you would like for us to come and speak at your church or organization, do the same. We would be happy to come and share some of our experiences and the miracles that are happening every day!

Until tomorrow....or until they either get our phone lines corrected or I get back to the coffee house to write...count your blessings and praise God for all He has done and will continue to do not only on the coast, but all over the world!

We love you all and miss you! Susan and Monty

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