The first photo is quite a site, when you know what it is. The "cloud" you see isn't a cloud at all but the smoke from a forest fire somewhere west of us. We aren't sure of the location but have watched it build larger and larger throughout the afternoon and saw trucks from the local fire stations headed in that direction this evening. We will try and catch the local late news and see what is happening.
The next photo is our new "home" away from home. You can catch a glimpse of our trailer behind the Convoy banner, Monty is headed toward the door and our vehicles are parked in our front "yard". We had been moving some pallets around and those are what is sitting in front of the tent. Hopefully we will get them relocated this week.
The last photo is of Steve and Carol, the couple who had been coordinating teams from this location since last October. They headed for their Wisconsin home a couple of weeks ago and are hopefully enjoying some of that lovely less humid weather by now! We miss you both and pray God's blessings on your next venture! You were such wonderful examples for all of us to follow and we thank you for your friendship!
Church services this morning were awesome, Pastor Rick had special guest speakers who spoke on the covenant of marriage. They are a couple who has been married for 53 years, are both certified counselors and practice right here at the church. Their message was wonderful and something all of us needed to hear, ponder and put into practice!
From there we took Dee Dee, her sister in law, Cheryl and her son Alex for a tour of the area. Going to the highway 90 bridge collapse is always a must and from there we took the scenic route along the coastline all the way to Pass Christian where the road once again ended due to the storm. The devastation still amazes us and it's hard to believe there was once anything at all along the coast. To imagine that there were businesses and "life" along there seems impossible! It will take years and years to rebuild, if ever. There is so much land for sale that it makes one wonder just how many people will stay gone? Will it ever look like a thriving area again, and if so, how many volunteers will it take to get it done? We still hope to make it all the way to New Orleans some day but as usual, we ran out of time this afternoon. Even though it's only 93 miles from here you need an entire day to do it and we just never seem to have an entire day!
We are also really excited this evening as we have heard that our dear friends Elmer, Kim and Rose will be coming down to see us later this month! Having someone from home here is priceless and such an emotional boost for both of us! I can see it now, Monty and Elmer sitting out on our front "parking lot" playing the guitars, pickin's some real bluegrass!
Dee Dee will start her substitute teaching job tomorrow and is really excited. She teaches special education children at home and this change of pace will be alot of fun for her. Her sister in law and nephew will be going to the Spanish village to wrap things up with cabinet installs and flooring installs. Be sure and watch for photos as this project will probably only last a couple more days.
Our Iowa crew will also be up and ready for work come tomorrow morning. We promise to keep them more than busy! With 2 days rest under their belts they will be in good shape! All anyone has to do is remember to drink water --- all day long!!!! With the temps in the mid 90's you cannot drink enough water!
Tomorrow is our first real day of working from our new location with our teams. We will be starting the day with devotions and from there the teams will go out and bless the communities. We are ready for a "new beginning", a new "season" and feel refreshed and ready to get going. God has us here at this location for a reason and we are seeing His hand move more and more each day! We thank Him for this opportunity and the privilege of using us as His servants. It is such a blessing to be here.
For those of you who would like to invest in this relief mission you can send your tax deductible donations to us through our home church; Vineyard Community Church at PO Box 3277 in Bloomington, Indiana 47402. Please be sure and note "Katrina" on your donation as every dime comes directly to us, the church keeps nothing! Thank you, Vineyard family, for everything you are doing! We love you and miss you more than you could know!
Until tomorrow... hug your husband/wife and thank God for them!
Susan and Monty