Christmas time brings thoughts of family and I would like for you to meet one of my daughters, her husband and our grandson! It's an amazing thing when your own children start having children of their own! What awesome blessings!!!
I had a question asked last night that made me think that you all just might be wondering what a typical day is like in the relief work. If you have been with us volunteering you already know and so I apologize if this isn't something that is of more interest to you. To those of you who have not been there, maybe this will answer some questions or spark more interest.
Each one of our work days (Monday through Saturday) start bright and early with devotions at 8am. This is a special time where the devotion hopefully gives all of us some "food for thought" for the day. It's such a blessing to begin each day with devotions and reflection on why we are doing what we are doing. At the end of devotions we all make a circle, hold hands in prayer and turn the day over to the Lord and His plan for each of us.
From there the team/teams make sure they have the tools and/or supplies they need for their work for that day. We have a couple of tool rooms where we store things and have quite an assortment of tools but it always seems there is something else we need. That might require starting the day with a trip to Lowes, or ending the day with one.
After all necessary things are loaded into vehicles the teams head to their worksite. On Mondays they are following Monty and I to the sites. If there is a team of 6 or less they are all working on the same site. If more, there are more sites going at the same time. From Tuesday on the teams know where they are going and off they head.
Once they head out it's time for us to take care of things "behind the scenes". There are emails to be checked and answered, things to be cleaned up, phone calls to be made and/or received and just general duties to try and get either started or done. We might need to go to the warehouse for who knows what. Sheetrock to be delivered and/or given to those in need. Furniture for the same. Doors and on and on and on. This is where no 2 days are the same.
Someplace in that morning time Monty and I try and catch a meal on the fly. From there we are headed to the worksites. We go to each site each and every day. I have photos to take to keep posted on the blog. After all, their public awaits! Many times they are working away so hard that they don't even realize I am there until the flash goes off! :)
The day continues with the teams working away, making phone calls with questions and then the calls come requesting materials or special tools that are needed and not realized that they would be needed when loading things that morning. When you get into rebuilding like this, you just never know what needs might come up. There is just no way to be fully prepared. Every home is different!
The teams usually continue working through the day. They pack lunches that morning so there isn't the delay that comes with trying to do the "fast"?? food thing. It also gives them time to take a rest and usually visit with the homeowner. Back to that relationship thing again! :)
Most of the time the teams will work until around 5 or so and then clean up the site, pack the tools and head off to the showers. We do not have shower facilities at the church where they are staying but the community college just across the street have kept their aquatic center open since just after the storm for the volunteers to come and use. There are stalls or open showers for the women and the men's are open style.
From there the teams are beginning to realize just how hard they have worked and how hungry they are. We keep a listing of some of our favorite local places and sometimes they will choose one of those or they might get adventurous and strike out on their own to see what they can find. They are almost always looking for some local cuisine to try and with most all restaurants now open that's not difficult to find! Just remember that it is the south and nearly everything is fried! Delicious but fried!
After they have cleaned themselves up and filled themselves up the tired muscles begin showing up. This brings them back to the church where they might sit around playing music (some bring their guitars) or just visiting and getting to know each other better. There are card games and/or board games that will get started too. But it doesn't take long before all is quiet and the only sounds you might hear is the snoring!!
The next morning they are all up, bright eyed and ready for a new day! It's amazing how God refills us for the next day!
I hope this gives you some idea as to how the days are spent. There are alot of the behind the scenes things that Monty and I get involved with (checking out more jobs, etcs) but this is about what the days are like for the volunteers.
As long as these volunteers continue to come Monty and I will be there to work with them, to help them bless the residents and help them see how God is blessing them in return. There are still so many homes and homeowners that need help! As long as the volunteers continue to come....
PS. Remember ... the 4 minute Convoy of Hope DVD is available to ANYONE and is absolutely FREE. Just email to: firstname.lastname@example.org and request your copy today! You'll be glad you did!
Until our next entry .... God bless! Susan and Monty