Tuesday, August 29, 2006

We ALL remember ...

Today we ALL remembered.

All you had to do was turn on the television and you remembered. The stories ... the lives changed forever ... you couldn't forget about it today! Hurricane Katrina changed the country one year ago today.

This evening, as the sun set in the west and the lightning struck in the north, Monty and I sat at a local memorial service here in Gautier. Ordinary people, just doing their jobs, were honored as heroes. Everyone remembered that day, everyone had their own story, but everyone that was there lived through it and knew that that was the most important thing.

Not one memorial went without mentioning the volunteers and how "we couldn't have done it without them". It's the common theme down here. Names aren't important, what they did is! How they loved, served, came from far and wide, and how they brought hope and life! "They" is YOU! YOU were honored today, even if you weren't here! "They" thanked YOU! And so do we! YOU made a difference, YOU made history, YOU changed lives ... forever!


I have been pleased with all of the media coverage I have been able to see today. They have told the truth. They have shown the facts. They acknowleged how far we have come AND how far we have to go. I was afraid the latter wouldn't be shown to the degree it should be.

Monty and I were in a neighborhood in Pascagoula this afternoon, one we have not been in before. We both were shocked at the number of FEMA trailers still standing there. Nearly every single house has one. Most of the homes have not been touched. You might ask why? Many reasons. The first is the homeowner has no funds to do anything! They might be waiting on insurance, knowing it probably won't happen. They might be waiting to see if their loan application has been approved. They might be elderly and unable to do anything. They might be so devastated emotionally they can't reach out and ask for help. There are any number of reasons. It's not up to us to question "why" they haven't done anything! It IS up to us to get in there and do something! It's not a choice we have, it's a command given to us by God! God doesn't take kindly to being answered "no"!

We are so thankful that we are here, on the ground, able to do what God has called us to do. We thank YOU for making it possible for us to be here. We pray you will continue to do so. There is SO very much work to be done. We are commited and need your help to fulfill that commitment.

For those of you who have been here, in the trenches, and know first hand what it's like --- THANK YOU! For those of you who have thought about it and just haven't made the commitment, you've been thinking long enough, it's time to DO something! As I have said over and over again, there is something here for everyone! There is no such thing as unskilled labor! YOU are in the business of changing lives and this is a wonderful place to DO what we are commanded to do!

Please continue to pray for the coast. It will take years, but we ARE getting there, one day at a time, one team of volunteers at a time! We are rebuilding homes but most importantly --- we are rebuilding lives!

May God bless everyone, especially those along the coast! Susan and Monty

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