Sometimes Saturdays actually slow down a bit. Today was one of those days, thankfully! They are nice to get every once in awhile.
This morning we visited our North Carolina team who are in Barbara's house working on the electrical issues along with putting in insulation and sheetrock. It seems the electrical inspector went ahead and got us power and the team was able to make significant progress inside the house. They headed back to Mobile to stay with friends there for the night and attend church services there in the morning before heading home. We thank them for making the long journey and for blessing us with the help in Barbara's.
This afternoon was spent with laundry and helping Chad (a member here) work on the air conditioning for the church. He has been working for a couple of days and seems it will take a couple more to get everything installed properly. On a day like today he was just thankful to be working inside! The temps are in the mid 90's and quite humid. They issued a heat advisory for today.
We have also been watching the first tropical depression of the season down along Cuba. I must admit I never paid much attention to anything until hearing the word hurricane but being this close and seeing the results of a storm, I am just a bit on edge myself at even the words "tropical depression". But the residents are more than just a bit on edge! Please keep them in your prayers.
We headed over to Pascagoula to help Dee Dee get ready for the dinner she had planned for the teachers and their families. One of the things she noticed on her last trip here was that the teachers talked about not purchasing "good" foods at the grocery like they did before the storm. Everyone is trying to conserve on money and buying less expensive foods is one of the ways they are conserving. Dee Dee decided to cook a home cooked meal for them. She brought it up at our home church and got members to make desserts that could be frozen for the 14 hour trip here. And make desserts is exactly what they did ---- enough to feed a small army!!! She also prepared chicken tortillas, a vegetable casserole, a watermelon fruit salad, a fruit and lettuce salad and grilled chicken and hamburgers. Like I said, enough to feed a quite large army now! It was fantastic and we all felt as though we should just roll home and take a nap! There was more than enough to send some home with everyone and have enough desserts to get both the teachers and the students all through next week! Hopefully none of them thought about starting a diet the last week of school as they will surely fail, but will surely enjoy every bite!!!
We are so thankful to everyone back at the Vineyard for all of the wonderful things they sent down and especially to Dee Dee for having the idea and following through with it. It was a great evening and fun to sit and talk and get to know everyone just a little bit better!
It seems strangely quiet in here this evening without any volunteers in the building. We just get so used to people being in here, moving around, talking and laughing. The quiet just doesn't seem normal! That will change tomorrow as our team from Illinois should arrive a bit after lunch. We pray for safe travel for them.
We got a call from our Iowa team and they arrived home safe and sound around noon today. They drove all night and the trip was uneventful, thankfully. We look forward to seeing them again and hope they will plan another trip soon!
Even though we are still reflecting on the blessings that remodeling Gladys's house brought to all involved it is now time to shift our focus and continue with the next project. Barbara's seems to be running smoothly thus far and this next week will put it to the test. The Illinois team will be working together in her house the entire week, at their request. They wanted a home where they could work together and really be a blessing. Barbara is planning a trip here during the week to meet each one of them and express her thanks and deep gratitude to all of them. It is always an extra blessing to be able to meet the owner of the houses the volunteers are working in. It's the personal touch, the relationships that God talks about, the rebuilding of lives that I have mentioned so often. Without the relationships we would all be lost!
Hopefully all of you will be attending your church tomorrow, or visiting one. This is where our relationship with the Lord is bolstered each week, where we are fed the bread of life, where we are energized for the upcoming week. This is where the relationships with others are established and built! This is where family is found! If you don't have a church, look in the paper and find one where you think you would like to visit. If you do have one, reach out to someone you don't know and love on them a bit and make them feel at home. You never know when that bit of loving might be just enough to change a life!
We thank you for your support of our relief mission here. As you know, we are only supported by your donations. We still have our home and a couple of bills back in Indiana and will someday be returning there, God willing. We thank those of you who have made it possible for us to follow this calling that God has placed on our lives. For those of you who would like to join us in this mission you can send your donations to us through our home church who will send you a tax statement for your donation. Please mark your donations with "Katrina" and send them to: Vineyard Community Church at PO Box 3277 in Bloomington, Indiana 47402. May God bless you as you reach out and bless others.
Until tomorrow ... Susan and Monty