Saturday, July 08, 2006

Free indeed


Our Saturday morning started with an "emergency" voice mail from Ms. Alma Sue, again! The only thing we got was that her front door would not close, it was off the hinges and she lived where frogs, lizards and snakes would come in. Diane hopped in with us and away we went to see what the problem really was. Ms. Alma wasn't kidding when she said it was off the hinges AND that critters would come in. As the real story came out she told us she had "run into" the door with her electric wheelchair cart this morning. As for the critters, the fiddler crabs were having their own party, inside her house! She lives near a bayou and the little things have no problem navigating their way up to and inside of her house. They are quick little creatures who aren't happy when someone like me comes along side of them and tries to get them to run out of the house! One in particular stood up on his back legs and snapped his little claws at me(as if that would help?). We got her door back on it's hinges and with the 4" nails Monty used I doubt if she will be able to knock it off again! It is truly a sad case as she is unable to drive due to cataracts and is so very lonely living alone. She asked us today if we knew of anyone who would come and share her house with her as she has an extra bedroom. If only we did!

This afternoon was quite a treat for us. We had the pleasure of meeting Jim, the gentleman who orchestrates a fantastic relief effort sort of behind the scenes for us. His efforts make it possible for us to do some of the things we do and we are so thankful for the opportunity to finally meet him. He brought along his daughter and sister. His sister, Jean lived in Bay St. Louis and she and her husband lost everything, including their house. They had absolutely nothing to come home to. They went to a hotel 2 miles inland, thinking they would be perfectly safe as no storm had ever come inland that far. Wrong! They ended up stranded in their second floor room for the next 5 days with no food or water or power. Jean was telling us that the water surge was over 30 foot high and the wave itself was over 15 foot high, combined with winds of over 140 mph thus the reason they lost everything! It was so interesting to hear her speak of what happened then and what has been happening ever since. She praised the Lord for His hand in everything, taking what surely the devil meant for harm and has turned it into blessings. She praised the volunteers for everything they have done and continue to do. She affirmed what we have been saying for a long time, this will take years to rebuild and that no government is set up to handle this type of disaster - and that it's about time people stepped up and did what God has called us to do, help others! She also made a statement that I found profound --- she said that when she realized that every single thing they had, including their house, was gone - she felt a sense of "freedom"! She felt free of the "things" that everyone feels they must have, especially in our society today. We all are pressured into thinking we must have the lastest, greatest and newest "thing" out there; that what we do have isn't good enough or we have to have more and more and more until the definition between need and want is gone. I just found that thought, of freedom, to be wonderful! It is one I will be thinking about for quite some time! I hope it will provoke some thought in you also....want verses need....we really do need so little!

We enjoyed a wonderful lunch, thank you Jean, and then returned to the church here so they could all see how the relief operation runs from this location. Time just seemed to fly by and before you know it hours had passed and they needed to head on down the road.

Jean and her husband have since moved and purchased a house in Pass Christian, very close by her brother and his family. He (John) had alot of damage to their home but are in the process of rebuilding and getting close to completion. Jean and her husband are beginning to feel "at home" again and she wanted to know if there was anything she could do for us?! God bless her heart! Monty and I will be making a trip to visit them as soon as time allows and realize that our family just grew ---- again! God and His relationships ---- isn't He awesome!!!

We want to thank Jim and Camp Hope for the help they are sending to the coast. It takes all kinds of relief efforts to do this rebuilding of homes and lives and Camp Hope is making that alot more possible for us --- THANK YOU to all of you! God will reward your giving hearts!

Tomorrow is our opportunity to attend our church and thank and praise the Lord for all He has done for all of us. It is our prayer that you have a home church and will be there tomorrow. If you do not have one, find one! Find one NOW! God has big plans for all of us, one of the most important is to be in relationship with Him and with other Christians. Don't miss out on what He has planned for you and yours!

Until tomorrow ... we thank God for calling us into this relief effort and we thank you for keeping us in your prayers. Susan and Monty

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