Take one church, place it directly in the path of two of six levee breaks allowing it to be completely covered, let sit in standing water for nearly one month and here is the result. And these photos are only a few and such a small peek at what it really looks like.
The sign on the outside of the building now sits next to the markings made by the officials that came in and checked for survivors. When we arrived to begin this process there was still nearly 4 inches of water inside the entire building!!!!
The results are plain to see, mold everywhere, water everywhere and everywhere nothing left, not even the framed walls! Every single thing must be torn out, the carpeting that has turned to mush, the sheetrock walls that will only come off in small, wet chunks, the ceilings, even the framed walls. All of the furniture has to go, the church pews, the desks, the filing cabinets, all the paperwork, all the records, all the life inside the building.
And yet, no matter how bad things are, God always manages to shine through with some sort of "beauty among the devastation" -- the flowers in the vase sitting next to a wall covered in black mold! How they got there, landing upright, looking almost untouched? A God-thing!!!
The team doing this mud out must not only wear rubber boots and rubber gloves they must wear special masks to protect them from the mold. And I haven't even mentioned how it is to wear all that gear, working inside the building and have the temps in the mid 90s outside! Most of them have to literally throw away their clothing after they finish the day!
Another miracle of the whole thing? All those working are smiling behind those masks! During the testimony time this evening the team spoke of the joy inside their hearts while working. Joy is very different than happiness. Happiness comes from what you are doing, joy comes from the heart, from working for the Lord! Each one of the team working here today, and those working elsewhere, felt that joy!
Sue and her daughter, Liz, worked all day with Monty. He was rebuilding facia on the outside of the house and the women were inside cleaning. I'm certain that when the homeowner came home from work (he lives alone) he smiled in unbelief! They cleaned his entire kitchen and want to go back tomorrow to clean things even more! It's things like that, the unplanned things, that show the joy of working for the Lord!
This team had originally planned on only working half a day tomorrow and then heading home. Their plans have changed. No one wants to go home. They all want to get in as much work as possible before leaving so they are working the full day and leaving around 7pm instead! Please pray for their safe travel.
Speaking of prayer, Monty received a phone call from a dear friend today. Armando is a man without a country and caught in the system. His mother is in Mexico and dying of cancer. He is unable to be with her and called Monty asking for prayer. We know you will join with us in praying for him.
Pray for everyone on the coast, all those who have suffered so much loss and those whose loss continues. We all should praise the Lord for the many blessings we take for granted!
Until tomorrow . . . Susan and Monty