Friday, January 12, 2007

Deepest sorrow to highest joy

On November 27th Mr. Leroy and his wife and family's world seem to come to an end. Not only had their house been nearly destroyed by Katrina, now it caught fire and their 2 young sons ages 2 and 3 years died in that fire! That kind of sorrow is something unimaginable, something so deep that it seems there is no bottom to hit!

Then came a man with a dream and a calling from God. Craig started the organization known as "Hope has a face". He brought much more than hope to this family. He "took the bull by the horns" and in 13 days he, along with countless volunteers and organizations and businesses, built this family a brand new home!!!!!!!! The highest joy, again beyond our imagination!

The photos tell the story. We have been watching the progress on a daily basis and have been moved and inspired also beyond our imagination. The first photos show the banner of appreciation and the completed house, with the neighboring house looking like sooooo many we see in Pascagoula = destroyed!

The following two photos show Craig on their porch, with Mr.Leroy and his wife, having the keys to their home presented to them. On that porch with him is the Mennonite disaster relief organizations volunteers. These people were sent directly from God! The women were outside, in their dresses, bent down painting the entire outside of the home. It made no difference to them that those dresses were being soaked in the mud, they were there to serve and nothing was going to stop them. They had been there the entire build and today they joined together on the porch to sing and praise God for all He had done! What an example for all of us. It brought many a spectator to tears. And you can see that the street was lined, on both sides, with those spectators! The local TV station based out of Biloxi was there along with more reporters than I could count. This brings hope to the entire Gulf Coast. This brings God and His miracles to the entire Gulf Coast!

In the next couple of photos you can see Mr. Leroy and his wife holding up the keys to the house. They tried to fight off the tears when it came to thanking everyone but it was a loosing battle. The tears won but they were such tears of joy! The photo to the right of that one is what you see when you first enter the home. This was a surprise to the family. It is a wall of family photos in beautiful frames. Parents, grandparents and the children. Amazing!

The last 2 photos are taken inside, the bathroom and the kitchen. The home is around 900 square feet with 2 bedrooms and 1 bath. It's a modest home and every square inch is built with love.

Today was one of those days where you just know God is looking down and saying, "Look at them. They finally got it! WOW!" There were no denominations, no colors, no economics, just one body serving one God with one heart and that heart filled with love! THIS is what it should be. THIS is what everyone should be doing! THIS is why we are here. This may not have been a direct result of the storm but that didn't matter today. That hasn't mattered for the last 13 days. What mattered is that this family needed help! The rest was a given!

To all those involved, we thank you and honor you for your sacrifical service, for your boundless love and most of all for your obedience to the Lord! You all have jewels in your crowns waiting for you in heaven!

To everyone else, I just wish you could have been here, standing on the street with us, feeling the love, feeling the hope, feeling God! PRICELESS!!

Until tomorrow ..... God bless Mr. Leroy and his family .... Susan and Monty

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