Friday, May 05, 2006

We're back up and running!

These are just some of the doors that went into Ms. Joyce's house yesterday and today. Part of the Kansas team spent nearly 10 hours today working in her house getting these doors installed and her trim put up. What a blessing this team was to her this week!

With today being Friday the teams begin to show how tired they are but they also show their amazing spirit of servanthood in continuing to give their all to accomplish their goals before leaving. The Kansas team left for home this evening and we will miss them. What a great team of men who love the Lord and want to use what they have to bless others and allow those they bless to see Jesus in them! We pray for a safe trip home as they are making the nearly 22 hour drive in one shot!

Monty spent the day working in the electrical field and as accidents happen he nearly cut off one of his fingers. The construction field is one of the most dangerous fields and we are thankful that more people don't get hurt while they are here. He was installing can lights and cut it on the sheet metal. It looks as though it will close up without stitches and we are thankful for that. He did learn alot about can lighting! He also loaded 100 sheets of sheetrock for a family who is in the rebuilding phase. The two men who came and picked it up were extremely thankful and we thank Convoy of Hope for the connections they make to get it here. One of the men was telling me that he lived here at the time of the storm but after loosing everything he packed up and left. He had had enough! The other is rebuilding and trying to stay positive about the whole thing. Not an easy task down here. He also said what others here have said, if it wasn't for the churches this state would not be able to rebuild as those are the ones who have selflessly given of themselves and no one in the state knows how to properly thank them!

The rest of our Kansas team continued in John's house and got the flooring installed and the walls are ready for Monty to texture on Monday. They transformed John's house from a place with absolutely no bathroom or kitchen into a real, livable home for he and his boys. They truly put their heart into what they were doing and John will never forget them. Thanks guys, you're awesome!

Once again my phone continued to ring off the hook with people calling for requests for help. It amazes me that after 8 months there are still so many people in need! They are calling from cities fairly far away and it hurts to have to tell them that we just cannot travel that far. One lady asked, in desperation, where she could get help. The only thing I could tell her was to go to a local church and ask them. We try as best we can to establish priorities in the rebuilding but that isn't nearly as easy as it sounds. We would love to be able to tell everyone, yes we'll have a volunteer out there tomorrow or next week but it just can't be that way and they have to go on the list and we take it from there. What one person feels is a priority and what actually is can be totally different. We ask for God's direction each day and pray the people understand that we are just doing the best we can.

Like I said, we had to say goodbye to the Kansas team just before dinner this evening. Saying goodbye doesn't get easier with each group. When you practically live and work with a group, under these circumstances and conditions ,you get really attached to them and they become family. If God would have told me just how many awesome people we would be meeting and how our family would grow and grow it would have been hard to imagine. The blessings each team brings are all different yet the same. Monty and I are so blessed to be a part of the whole thing and even more blessed that we are the ones who get to stay here and continue working. And the amazing thing is that most teams tell us they are envious of us because we do get to stay and they have to return home to their normal lives! That is a statement of a true servant of the Lord!

Tim and Sheri joined us for dinner this evening and it was really nice to have some time for the four of us to talk and laugh and just relax, for a change. Although we are all working for the same goal and are all living on the premises, getting to spend time together is difficult. Everyone is always running in different directions and we cherish the time we do get to spend together. Tim and Sheri have been here since the first of December devoting their lives to the relief effort and have been through some really tough times. But they have not lost their focus on helping the people and bringing people to Christ and we are blessed to be working with them and to number them as our dear friends.

Yes, the telephone man came and fixed the phone and internet lines today. It seems as though the lightning really did a number on the system and even though it is fixed for now, at some point in time the church and school will need to invest in a new phone system. But atleast we are able to be up and running, along with the school. This school only has one laptop computer in the office. None of the children have them as well as none of the teachers. There is only one working telephone in the school and it's in the secretary's office. The director doesn't even have a phone! There is only one phone in the school and it's in the make-shift office we set up to work out of. Salt water does really nasty things to telephones and telephone lines! We pray for the funds to come through so these things can be taken care of the both the school and the church can one day function again as they should.

Tomorrow morning, quite early, we will say goodbye to our New York team. These men have also given their all this week and we are so thankful for them. They will be flying out of New Orleans and we pray for safe travel and thank not only them, but their families, for supporting this mission to rebuild lives here in Pascagoula.

If you would like to invest in this mission please send your tax deductible gifts to us through Vineyard Community Church at PO Box 3277 in Bloomington, Indiana 47402. Please be sure and note "Katrina" on your gift as 100% will be sent here.

Also, if you would like to know more about this relief effort and would like for Monty and I to come and speak to your church or a group considering sending a team here please comment at the end of this blog and we will be happy to get back with you. We have a presentation put together, complete with photos and video. Volunteers are what make this effort a success and without them the people of Mississippi would not get rebuilt and would not be able to see Jesus through the actions of others.

We thank you for your support and generosity. May God bless and keep you.

Until tomorrow....we love you all...Susan and Monty

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