Friday, July 28, 2006
Here are the photos I talked about last night. The cross standing alone is an amazing testimony of faith. In case you can't see it well, it says "Power from God". You can click on it to enlarge it, or any of the photos. The striped tent is the kitchen where all of the meals are served. You can also see the area reserved for those who are volunteering longer than a week, the place where they park their RVs of all shapes and sizes.
The red banner hangs in the back of the kitchen, just behind the serving line. It says it all!
The little buildings that look like storage barns are exactly that, only they have 6 beds inside and house volunteers. They are built by the Amish and donated to the effort. After they are used all the Amish asked in return is that they be donated to those who need them. Just another example of this entire effort being one church body with many members with hearts of service.
I am still amazed at how many different relief efforts are going on here along the coast. All of them have their special part and are what make the entire effort a success. We tell people over and over again that whatever label is over the door of your home church isn't what matters, we are all one body in Christ and that is what matters. You can drop your label when you come over the state line and pick it back up again when you leave, if you need to.
Today Diane and Teresa reached out in to another avenue of rebuilding. Instead of focusing on the structural rebuilding they helped one of our church families pack away some of their things in order to prepare for rebuilding. Both husband and wife have had more than their share of health problems and just don't have the strength to pack and move boxes. Teresa and Diane were able to make wonderful progress and minister to this couple at the same time. When we went to preview their home the other day trying to get a smile from either of them was next to impossible. Today when we returned to pick up the girls, both David and Cindy were smiling from ear to ear and had a renewed sense of enthusiasm that had replaced their feelings of being overwhelmed. It's like I have said so many times, there is no such thing as unskilled labor here and there is something for everyone to do!
As Teresa and Diane were helping Cindy found some clothing she wanted to donate to the cause, just another way she could turn around and bless others. THAT is something that will put a smile on our faces for sure! :)
Monty and I had an opportunity to talk with the Pastor of the church in Pascagoula where we had been located before moving to Gautier. We were thrilled to learn that Pastor Tim is really rolling along in getting their church building rebuilt and returning to a real church! He had a huge task ahead of him as this is a large church with many rooms and he has "taken the bull by the horns" as some would say, set his goals and is heading full steam ahead and getting things done. Good job Pastor Tim, you are always in our prayers and we are blessed to call you and Sheri our friends!
We heard from our team from Mt. Vernon, Indiana this evening and they are only about 4 hours away. They have stopped for the night and should be here early tomorrow afternoon. They will then have time to get settled in and get things prepared for church on Sunday morning, traveling the coastline on Sunday afternoon and ready to work hard come Monday morning. Keep them in your prayers for continued safe travel.
I have put a link to Convoy of Hope on this blog entry. I guess I just assumed that you all had located and seen their site but then realized the true meaning of "assume" and thought I should put the site on so you could easily find it. www.convoyofhope.org is a wonderful site and I encourage you to go to it and read about all of the fantastic things this organization is involved in. You will be shocked and hopefully moved to keep them in your prayers!
Until tomorrow....enjoy the first day of the weekend and count your blessings...we all have more than we could possibly count....no matter what our circumstances.
We love and thank all of you for joining us in this miraculous journey....Susan and Monty