Saturday, September 29, 2007

Weather "shock"??!!

Once again I have no photos because I am borrowing a computer from friends who have internet!

Yes, we have managed to travel from one of the farthest southern locations to "up north" in Wisconsin! And yes, the weather is a shock! It was around 95 degrees when we left New Orleans about a week ago and I saw 55 degrees on a thermometer here yesterday morning??!! But the skies were so clear with the sunshine that it almost didn't look real! We also were blessed to take a pontoon boat ride around on the lakes. Yes, the breeze was "crisp" but it was like a dream day! There is a group of us here together, all of us have been on the coast working and the reunion is something none of us ever thought would happen! We have been sharing stories and stories and more stories and laughing and laughing and realizing just how awesome God is to have brought a group of strangers together and made them family!

We will be attending meetings here and putting together plans and more plans. Those meetings start today and we are excited to see and hear what God has planned. We all have been sharing that after being on the coast helping to rebuild lives life changes. We don't look at anything the same as we used to. Our lives have changed also. We aren't the same people. God has touched us all and we are all praying for His ultimate direction. Please pray for us in these meetings. Pray that God will guide and direct us and that we will be open to hearing from Him and seeing His plan.

Until next time I find a connection . . . Diane, Greg and Pam, Steve and Carol and Tony and Shirley send their love to all! Susan and Monty

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

At my Parents

Yes, we are visiting with my parents this evening so therefore I have access to internet.

The preparations are nearly complete for our trip to Wisconsin in a couple of days. We are so excited to meet with people who share our vision and passion. We know our first response ministry is about to "take off" and that God has big plans. We have learned that when He calls us into something He has all the details and will let us know each one as we needd.

There is a special prayer request. Our friend, Joe, cares for his invalid mother full time. She lives with him and he is responsible for her care. She cannot move or communicate and thus caring for her is a bit more than difficult and a full time job. Joe has injured his back due to the lifting and caring for her. He has been in alot of pain and Monty and I have been making more than one trip per day to go and help them. We would ask for prayers of healing for Joe. Without the strength of his back this job will be next to impossible.

We are continuing to hear from some of our teams (families) who have worked with us in the past and we are encouraged to know you are also excited about our venture. Thank you for your contact and support and prayers.

Until next time, which might be early next week . . . Susan and Monty

Monday, September 24, 2007

We made it home!!

Sorry for the long delay but thank you for all your prayers for our safe travel home!

I apologize for no photos on this entry but I am using a friend's computer until we can get the internet at home. That should happen within a week or so.

Yes, it was a long two days of traveling but we made it without incident! We drove and pulled trailers for 8 1/2 hours the first day and 7 1/2 the next. Traffic was okay the first day but more than challenging the next. It felt so very good to pull into our subdivision and see home again! Even the dogs realized that we were home! It never ceases to amaze me how dogs know where they are and how they really do remember! Must be a God thing even in the dogs!

We are now in the midst of preparing for this next venture God has for us. We have been verbally spreading the word as much as possible and plan on sending letters out to our contacts with even further information. If any of you would like to receive a letter and aren't sure if you are in our list of contacts please leave a comment at the end of the blog and I will make sure you get one. Remember that we do not publish any comment that contain personal information.

We will be heading up to the northern part of the country for this weekend. There will be some meeting sessions where we will be sharing our plans and sharing thoughts about first reponse disaster ministry. Diane will be joining us along with a couple who also worked with Convoy of Hope. Please keep us in your prayers that God will show us further direction and make our paths clear. It will be good to be away from "heat" although we might need to pack our long underwear! Our bodies have climatized to the heat and anything below 85 might feel like winter!

Please bear with me during this time of having internet and not having internet. Also realize that the blog will be taking a bit different look as we build this ministry. Don't worry, I have enough disaster photos to last a very long time! We do want to keep you all informed as to where God is taking us. We are still working with and sending any teams that might be interested in going to the coast to help in the rebuilding. Our phones are still the same and we would be happy to answer any and all questions and do the best we can to facilitate rebuilding. The need for volunteers has not decreased, especially in the southern New Orleans area. Continue to keep the entire Gulf Coast in your prayers.

Bless all of you for continuing to bless us and hold us up in prayers!

Until next time . . . Susan and Monty

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Category 1 sunset

Yes, todays weather came as quite the surprise to all of us here. To awaken to the news that the state is under a "state of emergency" caught most of us off guard. We kept ourselves alert and watching the weather by television and computer. The forecast was for flooding and possibly 8" of rain but when the day came to end our total was near 2" instead and without the high winds predicted. A sigh of relief is an understatement!

What we did manage to capture was the beauty in todays sunset! The sky was so bright it nearly hurt your eyes to look at it. The shadow of the setting sun created the dark colored "funnel". Just prior to the sunset we watched a rainbow over the lake. I will miss the beauty of sunrises and sunsets over the waters of the coast.

Monty did manage to get the tires of both vehicles and the camper trailer ready to roll. And I think I have the last boxes filled. The dogs are quite stressed and follow our every step thinking they just might be left behind! NEVER!!!!

I would ask that once again you would please bear with us as we make this trip home. We may be off line for the next week.

Our first stop will be to spend a couple of days saying goodbye to our friends in Mississippi. Don't ask me how I will be able to speak those words to Ms Faye and Mike??!!

From there we will be heading to our school where we will receive our ordination papers and wrap up the final details.

Once again, please keep us in your prayers for safe and uneventful travel. As I said, we each will be driving our vehicles and each pulling a trailer! We will need all of your prayers!

God's blessings on all of you and we will be back in touch within a week.

Until then . . . Susan and Monty

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Photos from home visit

Thought you might like to see some photos from our trip home. The first one is me with my youngest daughter. I know --- we don't look alike at all! Amazing how our children grow up isn't it!

The top right is the home I grew up in, the home my grandparents also grew up in and where my parents still live. The home was built in 1868 and has been the family farm forever!

The bottom right is what we went home to! The bald faced hornets built quite the home on the side of our house! It took Monty about 3 days to kill them all and we figure there were around 500 hornets living inside!

The bottom right is a photo of our 5 generations; my grandmother, my mother, myself, my daughter and her son. It's these photos that we cherish! I plan on printing one out for my grandmother. She will be able to hang it in her room in the nursing home. Her health is awesome except for a couple of knees that will no longer work! She is 94 years old!

Just a taste of my family to share with all of you.

Today we spent the day packing and getting things ready for our move. It's all ready except for pulling the camper trailer off site, airing up tires and hitching up.

Yes, we are moving! God has called us into another dimension of disaster relief. I will try and describe it as much as possible. God has a way of calling, waiting for our obedience and then giving us just a bit of detail at a time.

At this time we are being called home to take this disaster relief to another level. We have felt this calling for quite some time. We will be operating from home and building a ministry to respond as first responders to ANY and ALL disasters in the United States. Yes, we will be building as we go and it will be an incredible journey!

We plan to start by visiting as many churches and teams as possible. It is our goal to share the calling God has placed on our lives with you. So many of you know the needs that come with a disaster because you yourselves answered the calling God placed on your life and came to the coast to help out since Katrina. Christians everywhere realized that it isn't just up to the government to take care of others. We all realized that it is up to US, you and me, to respond. We also realized the blessing we can be and the blessings that are returned back to us.

Well -- guess what! Every single time there is a disaster (storm, tornado, flood, etc) there are people who need help. People who have lost everything, people who at their lowest and are open like never before to seeing Jesus in each of us who come to help.

Monty and I will be working on this calling and mission and would appreciate your prayers.

If any of you would like to hear more about this mission just let us know. We would be happy to talk with you or come to your church or organization and speak. You can post a comment at the end of the blog. Feel free to leave contact information as it will not be published for everyone else to see.

It's going to be exciting, it's going to be amazing, it's going to be God in action!

Until tomorrow . . . Susan and Monty

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

God does it again

Remember thinking, "I wonder how I will know I found the right person?"

How about "it would be great to marry my best friend."

And then we had our parents telling us "make sure you really know the person first!"

We dreamed of finding just that "right" person, the one who really was our best friend, the one we thought knew us better than we knew ourselves, the one we knew God had placed right there in front of our faces.

Well, this relief effort has done all of those for two VERY special people here. I only wish I was using my computer and could show you a photo of them. If you look back through the past months you will see them.

Mark (from Minnesota) and Jessica (Joel's daughter) are just those two people. They both felt God called them here for this past summer and they followed that call. What they didn't realize was that God had THE ultimate plan for the both of them.

Those of us who have been here with them all summer could see "things" that I don't think they even saw. They were (and are) the best of friends. They have laughed together, shed a few tears together, worked right along side each other in circumstances that only the people who have come here to volunteer could understand and in all that they grew to love each other.

And come January they will be married! It might be a first among volunteers!

We send our love to the both of them and will be the ones with the very large smiles, mixed with tears of joy, come January! We pray God's blessings on the both of you now and for the rest of your lives!

Isn't God amazing! His perfect timing once again!

Be sure and stay tuned for tomorrow when I will let you know more details on the plan God has laid out for Monty and I.

Until then . . . Susan and Monty

Monday, September 10, 2007

We are BACK!!!!

WOW -- time sure flies doesn't it!

We are now back in New Orleans, as of this evening. We have been on the road for 2 days and I must admit I am very tired of driving! But we are so thankful to God for our safe, uneventful traveling over the past 3 weeks!

Most of you probably figured out that we went home for a VERY long overdue visit. We had not seen our families since last Christmas and it had been much too long! I cannot tell you how good it was to be back in our home church, seeing all of our families and friends!! Seeing how our grandson had grown, 2 1/2 years old now and talking in full sentences! It was so much fun to spend some time with him playing cars!! And we even had the opportunity to attend Monty's family reunion while there. Our families are doing well and we are thankful for that.

We also returned with some really big and exciting news!!! God has been calling us, opening doors (and windows) and showing us that we need to take our disaster ministry to another level. We are so excited and are eager to see what He has lined out for us. It isn't all completely clear to us at the moment but we know from past experiences over the past 20 months that as long as God has the clarity we don't need to be concerned.

I am literally too tired to go into details tonight but encourage you to get back to reading our blog on a daily basis. Tomorrow I promise to go into more details and know you will also be excited! In the meantime, please continue to keep us in your prayers!

Thank you for continuing to come along with us on our mission. And thank you for understanding when we take "breaks" along the way!

Until tomorrow . . . Susan and Monty