Yes, very early this morning we bid a sad farewell to our team from Kings Academy in California. They were headed to New Orleans to see where we will be relocating and then to the airport to fly home. It was such a joy to have them all here and we will miss them! We pray for safe travel and a blessed Easter back with their families tomorrow.
Today was the local park outreach planned by Diane's church from Wisconsin. You can see from the photos there was quite a crowd who enjoyed a taste of the north, for a change, brats! They even learned that the proper way to eat them was with mustard only, not ketchup! :) The weather took a turn toward the very cool last night but that didn't bother those from up north who are used to much colder temps than we even like to think about. We were so pleased to see Susan and her entire family come and spend the time with us. She is the one whose house had to be gutted over the past couple of days by this team. Her granddaughter also got her moment in the sun when she took over the microphone and sang "Jesus loves me" as though she was a professional already!
The music was provided by a group from "Life Promotions" who travel all around the states singing and playing upbeat Christian music. Everyone really enjoyed them and some even got up and were dancing and jumping and singing along. You can also see in one of the photos one of our own Refuge members, Leroy, with his new found friends. He brought his own guitar and played a couple of tunes of his own.
It was so great to see the smiles on the faces of the kids who realized that the food was really free, even the chocolate chip cookies! The parents came pulling them in wagons or the kids came riding their bikes when they heard the word.
The mayor of Gautier even came by and spoke a word of thanks to everyone! He said that if it hadn't been for the Christian organizations and their volunteers coming to this city it would not have been rebuilt! He spent time walking and talking to the folks who have traveled so far to come and be such an incredible blessing.
After the outreach the kids in the group joined in with the city of Gautier in their annual clean up the city day. They donned the bright yellow shirts given out by the city, took their trash bags and cleaned the entire park! And laughed and had a blast doing so! Another of those "joy of the Lord" things!
Once they cooked, sang, danced and picked up trash they headed to the beach! Yes, even though the temps are in the 40s and the clouds over-ruled the sunshine they didn't care. Remember -- they live way up north! The temps will be completely forgotten once the feet hit the sand and they see the water.
The final project for the day will be the cleaning of the church once they return after dinner. This week has also been spring break here and thus the lady who takes care of keeping the church and daycare clean has also had a break. And with a total of 84 volunteers in and out this week you can imagine that some cleaning might be in order before our Easter celebration service tomorrow morning! No doubt it will be looking awesome by the time they are done!
We pray all of you will be celebrating our risen Lord tomorrow. Easter is such a refreshing time of the year. We all realize just what Jesus did for each of, the lengths He went to make sure we are forgiven and that we have a place reserved for us in heaven! Join in that celebration tomorrow, sing and praise and give thanks like you have never done before! Look at it as a new day, a new chance, a new life!!! Jesus wouldn't want it any other way!
Want to hear an early Easter blessing, a true miracle ... the 2 year old who drowned in the septic tank (Beniah) .... he is sitting up in bed, eating, smiling and only needs to have one more bowel movement and he will be able to GO HOME!!! Now there's another reason to go to church tomorrow and thank our Lord for continuing to do miracles! Thanks to ALL of you who have been praying. The doctors are saying that this truly is a MIRACLE!!!!
Until then . . . Blessed Easter to each and every one of you! Susan and Monty