This is a Katrina doll. She was made to be handed out to children who lost everything in the storm. This one sits atop a cabinet, always smiling and reminding me of God's love, no matter how tough things appear.
You might be wondering about the title of todays blog. Well, last night Diane ventured out on her own, heading to Walmart. Now considering that the nearest one to us is 31 miles from here and completely across town she thought driving to Slidell, which is just east of us across the lake, would be closer. She was right, BUT only if she would've taken the proper exit. When she realized she missed the exit she thought she would just go to the next one, turn around and be back on track = NOT! It took miles to get turned around and then she found herself deadlocked on the interstate due to a fatal accident. As if that wasn't bad enough, the "low fuel" light came on in her van! With miles to go yet she sat patiently in the van, waiting . . . with the engine turned off.
When the road finally started to clear she was on her way . . . maybe! She did get to the right exit but after travelig for miles the Walmart was still nowhere in site and the fuel gauge wasn't refiling itself. It was time to stop and ask for directions (one of those female things)! Yes, she was headed in the right direction, just go about 5 more miles. When she finally got there she breathed a sigh of relief; but a bit too soon. She had gone to cash a money order and when she reached the counter there was a sign that said they could not cash money orders because they were out of cash!!?? (Remember, she is traveling alone!) This prompted her to hunt down a clerk to whom she could plead her case. Not only did the clerk feel horrible, so did the other patrons in line. Finally the clerk agreed to nearly empty the drawer and cash her check. This allowed her to finish her business and finally fill the fuel tank on her van. To say that her nerves were a bit on the frazzled side is an understatement. Diane is a VERY health minded lady and after going through all of this she "broke down" and just had to buy a Coke! She admitted it was probably the first one in a year! So what should have been, at the most, a one hour trip not so quickly turned into a 3 hour trip! And believe it or not the old saying that "patience is a virtue" was of no comfort to her!!!! The rest of us got quite a laugh out of the story!!!
This morning we all packed up in the church van and headed into town to help another church clear out a couple of rooms where they were going to get carpeting installed. It was an awesome experience as this Pastor had a short video of what he saw when he first returned to town and saw not only his church but his house. Even though we work in it every day seeing it is still hard to take. Not only did he loose his house, completely lost it as it cannot be rebuilt, his uncle lived across the street and died in the flood. This pastor and his wife are living in a trailer and are determined to completely rebuild their church before even thinking about finding a home for themselves! He said they have no money to purchase a home but know God will provide when the time is right! Quite an inspiration to all of us! Two of our team returned to help install the carpeting this afternoon!
It's these kind of experiences that make up our days here. God gives us the gift of laughter and the gift of compassion at the same time. Sometimes it can be tough bouncing between the two as they are extremes. But . . . it is such a blessing to be here, experiencing all God has for us, working together to rebuild lives! There is nothing like it, there is nothing to compare it to, it is God all the way and all we need is the strength and obedience to follow Him!
Thank you for your prayers for both!
Until tomorrow . . . Susan and Monty