Wednesday, May 24, 2006

It's 90 degrees & they built a bonfire!

There are quite a few photos today because there were quite a few relief efforts going on at the same time.

The first 2 photos are taken at Gladys's house. The 2 smaller boys are from the neighborhood. They came by and stayed and worked the entire day! What an outreach this house has been and this is just one more new way! Here it was, a very hot day in southern Mississippi where everyone had already sweat clean through every stitch of clothing and these boys decided to clean up the sticks and branches that had fallen all over her yard and burn them! I asked them where the hot dogs and marshmallows were! The leader of this team told us this evening that both boys assured him they would be back tomorrow, and I have no doubt they will. The joy they got from serving another neighbor was priceless and no doubt had God with a huge smile on His face!

The next 2 photos are another team hanging sheetrock in Allan and Carolyn's house. They live north of town and also had water flood them. He lost his job and she has a serious heart condition. They had done as much of the work themselves as they could and within 2 days this team completely rocked the rooms needed! Allan and Carolyn served them lunch each day and what a blessing that was! This team is on a roll and will start rocking another house tomorrow! Thanks team, you're awesome!

The next 2 photos are at John's house. The team primed and painted the kitchen, dining room, bath, hallway and back room. When we started this house John's walls, ceiling and flooring had all caved in and now they are all completely rebuilt, he has running water, a kitchen for his boys to eat in and a bathroom for them to use! Praise the Lord and thanks to this team it is now a nice color and looks like a real home!

The final 4 photos are of the Spanish Village. The trailer park they are in was a FEMA trailer park back in the 70's from another hurricane. Anyone else coming into this place would have turned away and said that the place needed condemed! These trailers are the only home that these non-English speaking people know and they deserve to be livable! In the first 2 photos you can see the before, the black mold, the falling in floors, walls and all the destruction! This trailer will be condemed but doesn't look that much worse than the ones that have now been rebuilt. They have actual sheetrock walls, real floors and some donated furniture inside. They still don't have air conditioning as their window units were destroyed but they aren't complaining! The transformation has been incredible and most of this village came to church this past Sunday, even though they could not understand the language, Pastor was prepared and had printed his message out on paper - in Spanish! They all have been such a joy and have stepped in and worked right along with everyone else! They have even cooked some real mexican lunches which everyone truly enjoyed!

As you can see, today was an extremely busy day! This North Carolina team is wonderful and are having such a fun time serving the people and serving the Lord. They haven't complained about the intense heat, they just keep drinking water and sweating for the Lord! Their joy is contagious and something we should all take note of! True joy does not depend on our circumstances but comes from our hearts! In each of these photos you can see the joy on their sweaty faces and they are loving it!

Keeping up with these teams has kept us running for sure! But without them here nothing would be getting done and all these people would be the ones suffering! Coordinating the relief efforts, organizing the needs of the people with the volunteers coming to serve is such an awesome blessing! We thank God daily for the opportunity to be used by Him! Thank you for your prayers to keep us going in the right direction!

If you would like to take an active part in this effort but are unable to come and volunteer, you can send your tax deductible gifts to us through our home church: Vineyard Community Church at PO Box 3277 in Bloomington, Indiana 47402. Please note "Katrina" on your gift as all of it comes directly to us, the church keeps nothing! Without your gifts we would not be able to fulfill the calling God has placed on our lives. We thank you for your hearts of service and giving and the people of Mississippi thank you also!

Until tomorrow ... may God bless and keep you safe and sound in your own homes!
Susan and Monty

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