Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Painting Princesses

Here they are, the painting princesses! These two women stood outside, under a "shade"? tree and painted trim for Marguarette's house. And once again you can see by their faces that the heat wasn't the thing on their minds! The smiles, that joy that comes from inside and isn't based on outward circumstances!
And then there were those who spent the day scraping and scraping and scraping windows! Some of you might think "how dull, how boring" but their faces say the opposite.
And then we have Jansen and Pastor Tony. Smiling through the sweat band and looking as though they have known each other their entire lives, not just a few days.
The final two photos are another part of the team who went and wacked away weeds taller than their heads to keep the homeowner from having his home dozed over. Yes, for those who have not been able to keep their yards taken care of there is now the danger that the city will come in and push over their homes. They do receive written notices and then we get the call and away we go. Be careful not to judge them and think that "the least they could do is mow their yards", remember that alot of them have had to relocate to places far away and others are not physically able to care for their places without the help of people who used to be their neighbors who would come and lend them a hand. Alot more than the homes themselves were lost. Those who have come back and are trying to rebuild say the thing they really miss is their neighbor. They might be the only family on the block who came back!
The third part of the team was still working on hanging the sheetrock. Once again they made wonderful progress and the house is starting to look like a home.
The entire team had planned to have dinner early and drive over to Mississippi to visit with Ms Faye and Mr Mike. That plan had to be delayed until tomorrow. Mr Mike went into the hospital for what was to be an outpatient surgery. The doctors were going to remove the stent in his chest that has been used for his dialysis. In and out was the plan, and it was that way -- until they took him directly to dialysis and tried to use the existing stent in his arm. It had closed too much from not being used that the dialysis was not possible. Since he cannot miss a single appointment they took him straight back to surgery to place another stent in the other side of his chest. He entered the hospital at 6:30 this morning and got home that same time this evening. He is exhausted!!! So the team will be making the trip tomorrow. Please keep both Ms Faye and Mr Mike in your prayers. All of these health problems have a tendency to wear on them and today was one of those days!
So . . . the team took a drive into the lower 9th ward where some of the houses are being dozed over. As I write this I have not talked with any of them to hear any news. I plan on getting there tomorrow and see for myself. It's not someplace I get to very often.
Thanks to your prayers Monty was back working today. His chest discomfort is gone and he spent most of the day with the team at Margauritte's house. Later in the afternoon he went back to the church and hung a few more of the decor going in.
I have been working on some Power Point presentations as we will be doing some speaking engagements in churches over the next weeks. Putting those together is not easy. It's nearly impossible to show the complete picture of what it looks like here. No matter how many photos I use it just doesn't relay the real story, the real pain, the real need for volunteers. We will put the pictures together, we will tell the stories and we will pray that God touches the hearts of those who are listening and they will get the real story by feeling instead of seeing. As I have said many times and will continue to say, WE cannot do this alone. The keys are the volunteers who continue to come to help, who continue to take a week or a few days from their own lives to help others who have lost so much. THIS is showing God's love in one of the most practical ways we can think of. THIS is following in Jesus' footsteps! I don't know about you but I choose to follow His steps instead of anyone elses!
Until tomorrow . . . Susan and Monty

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