The Mennonites singing at the grand opening of the house yesterday. It made the newspaper today (of course) AND the TV news last night!
Our day started off with a "meeting of the minds" with our Convoy of Hope leaders and two other coordinators who are stationed just to the northeast of us. We have a team of 150 -- yes, 150 volunteers coming from Illinois the last of March and we need to do some planning to prepare for their arrival. This team has been on mission trips in the past and consists of senior high students and leader adults. It takes some space to get everyone in housing, not to mention lining up the jobs for them. Lining up jobs ahead of time isn't the easiest thing in the world but all 3 of us coordinators have our heads together and plan to make it a wonderful week for all of them.
I need to mention something extremely important. To those of you who have said you are thinking about sending a team --- PLEASE --- let Convoy know asap! The weeks in February are full and March looks the same at this point. Some of you have been talking with Convoy and have said you are planning "sometime" in March. We need to know when that "sometime" is because we are getting full. Please email Convoy at firstname.lastname@example.org or call them directly if you have their phone number. March and April are spring break months for what seems to be the entire United States. There are some "unskilled" teams being routed to some areas in Louisianna because so many "tear outs" need done there and the work we have here takes some minimal skills. We just want to make sure everyone that wants to come and volunteer gets on our schedule! As I have said probably a thousand times, and will continue to say it, this effort is dependant on the volunteers! These lives and homes cannot be rebuilt without the volunteers. To those of you who are already scheduled, we are excited to meet you and work with you and have you become an extension of our family. You will come to be a blessing, which you will be, and you will be the ones to be blessed!
Yesterday we also welcomed Tony and Shirley from Wisconsin. They are here to volunteer for the next month -- yes --- month! We are really excited to get them started on Monday. They will be joining the teams coming over the next month. It's just amazing when people take that much time out of their own lives, families and schedules to come and be a blessing. Be sure and stay tuned as Tony and Shirley will be doing all sorts of rebuilding while they are here!
You ask why the title of today is telephone ear? Well, from time to time I make call backs to those who have signed up for help. We aren't able to get to all of them as quickly as we would like. It's great when I call them back to see how they are progressing and they tell me they are either in their home or close to it. The wonderful responses about the "church people" who have come in to help them are such energizers for us. One lady told me that she "would go through Katrina again if it meant she could have all the blessings from the volunteers again!" That is really saying alot! So after literally hours of calling I think my ear is numb but also still ringing with the thanks and praises that were spoken about all the volunteers! Wish you could've heard them!
PS For those of you "up north" and enduring some not so pleasant weather --- today it was sunshine and 73 degrees here! Does that help in tempting you to head south?! :)
Until tomorrow .... God's blessings to all. Susan and Monty