Thursday, June 15, 2006

She's 98 and going for 100

So sorry for the delay on this blog. "Mr. Blogger" himself must have been doing his own construction last night as I entered the blog 5 times, and lost it each time! Frustrating to say the least but we are back up this afternoon, trying to make up for lost time.

Allow me to introduce our newest family member, Margaret. She is truly 98 years old, completely self sufficient and has already "claimed" her 100th birthday and certain she will make it! She says 99 1/2 is not good enough! Her grandson called us to see if we could help her out. She was flooded, layed in her bed and watched the waters rise to the bottom of the mattress and receed just about as fast as it came in, and surprisingly enough, the only thing she needs is new kitchen cabinets and flooring in the kitchen! It was such a blessing for us to go and visit her yesterday. The history she has in her heart and mind is priceless! We hope to be able to get new cabinets, flooring and check her electrical in a couple of weeks. Just about the time we thought we needed to leave Monty reached for her hand to thank her for allowing us to come into her home. This lady started in praying and shook the foundation we were standing on! Talk about a direct connection with God, she prayed for things for us that we hadn't even thought about and had me in a bucket of tears! We ended up sitting down on the floor in front of her and listened to her preach and witness to us for the next hour! Just one more on the listing of God-things! Thank you Margaret, we look forward to coming back! For the rest of you, please pray that the funding comes in so we can do what is needed for her.

The top left photo is Leon's bathroom ceiling above his shower, thanks to Katrina. The floor and wall at the bottom near the floor look the same. We also visited him yesterday and since he has all of the materials needed right there waiting for us we also hope to get in there in a couple of weeks and get him taken care of. Leon is having some real heavy personal struggles and can also use the prayers of all of you!

The next photo is Delores's house (same name as my mother and spelled the same). She also had quite a bit of storm damage and also has all of the materials needed to get the repairs done. The God-thing with Delores is that when we called (we only have our cell phones) she didn't recognize the phone number and normally would not have answered the phone. She said for some unknown reason she did answer and there we were, just what she had been praying for! It's always nice to be greeted at the door by someone telling you that you are an answer to their prayers! Sort of puts a smile on your face and re-engerizes you for whatever else comes along! We will be sending our next group of volunteers to her on Monday morning and she will be right there working along side of them! Having the homeowner there is always an added blessing, for us and the volunteers!

The last photo is Dane's "high and lifted up" house. I have already told his story and we just wanted to get a real "before" photo to let volunteers see just what they are in for. Dane will also be working right along side the volunteers. He is taking a week of vacation! Not what we would describe as a vacation but for him it means the world and IS a vacation from trying to do all the work by himself. He has been putting the siding back on the outside of the house and constructing the front deck so there is a way inside the house to work. He will also have a team on his doorstep Monday morning.

We hope you will enjoy seeing the "preview" photos that we have shown you. We thought this might also be a way for you to see the before and realize just how great the need still is here. Whenever someone calls us for help we put them on our list and try to do the best we can to prioritize their needs. This is not an easy task to do as our hearts go out to everyone and we must realize that we cannot get help to all of them immediately. The people we went to see yesterday had been on the list since mid March and we were just now able to get to see them. We do not send volunteers out to work in a house unless we have been there first and know exactly what they are going in to. This takes alot of time, alot of open ears and most of all - gasoline! But the blessings that come from those visits are priceless and are what starts the relationships that God talks about and what He put us all on earth to create!

As all of that was going on our team from Illinois was still busy blessing Barbara and her house beyond measure! Barbara's original plan was to come here (remember, she relocated with family nearly 3 hours away) on Sunday for her doctor appointment on Monday, meet with the team and head back north. Well, she is still here! She has gotten so excited at watching everything that is happening, visiting and getting to know the team that she now says she is not going home until they do! They are scheduled to leave Sat morning but that remains to be seen! This morning we had the pleasure of going shopping with them at Lowes. You see, they made preparations ahead of their trip to come here and bless someone with appliances. They knew they would be working in Barbara's house and thus had a plan. But as always, God steps in and says "I have a much better plan, follow me!" As they got to know Barbara their hearts were opened more and more and the next thing you know they are phoning home and today not only purchased her refrigerator, range and dishwasher, they also purchased ALL of her kitchen cabiinets and hope to have everything installed before leaving!!!!! Now is this a blessing or is this a blessing --- for all of them! Just as we finished unloading everything Barbara returned and if only you could see the joy in her face, hear it in her voice and feel it in her heart you all would be dripping tears onto the keyboards of your computers! THIS is exactly what our relief mission is about! THIS is exactly why we need your support to enable us to continue to follow the calling God has placed on our lives! For us to have to pull out of here due to lack of financial support would not only break our hearts, it would break God's! Be sure and watch tomorrow's blog for photos of Barbara with her new kitchen! I just have a feeling that this team will not leave until she has her kitchen! Bless you Illinois team, you are God's angels, and ours!

This same team also stayed up until way past their bedtime last night working on some doors here in the church for the daycare. After working all day in unbearable heat and sweating until you can wring the water from your clothes, they showered, at dinner and worked here! Now that's service to the Lord!

We would like to ask for prayers for all of the families that are presented in these photos. Time and space would not allow me to completely tell their stories. Just know that each one has been hurt by the storm and needs help. The rest is just details. We need the volunteers to continue to come to bless these, and so many other, families! Remember, this is not in another country, this is right here in the good ole' US of A, in our back yards! Don't turn your backs on our own, just when they need us the most! God tells us that when we help the least of these we help Him and I, for one, would feel honored to help God!

God's hands are moving down here like never before. There are angels all over the place. Miracles are happening everyday and people are being saved and reserving their place in heaven because of people like you, supporting people like us who just get up each morning and ask God to use our hands, our feet, our feeble minds, whatever He needs just to get His work accomplished.

We ask for you, yes you, to come and join us in this relief mission. The "fields are ripe and the harvest is waiting" so don't let the opportunity pass you by. We need your financial support, there is no "around the bush" way to let you know. Bills are bills and needs are needs, you all live in the real world and know these things. All we ask is that we are able to pay our bills and eat, nothing fancy, just the necessaties. We thank those of you who have, and are continuing, supported us. Without you we would be forced to pack up and head home, leaving these needs unmet. For those of you who have not sent your donation, please take it to prayer and listen for the still small voice of God's direction. Please mark your donation "Katrina" and send it to our home church, Vineyard Community Church at PO Box 3277 in Bloomington, Indiana 47402.

This blog is a combination of yesterday and today. We thank you for reading, for keeping us in your prayers and for helping bless our own. May God return the blessings to you in multiples as we know He promises to do!

Until tomorrow....Susan and Monty

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