Thursday, February 28, 2008
Ms Mercy has 5 windows that need replaced in her home but the framing must be replaced before the windows get installed. She also has transition strips on her laminate flooring that need installed. What a lady! Not only does she have her own handicapped granddaughter, she cares for her 2 great-grandchildren who are both babies, only 9 months between them! And she waits patiently "for God's timing."
Mr Coleman will have volunteers back in his home next week. They will continue the sheetrock process.
Mr Chestang also patiently awaits people to work on the ceiling sheetrock in his home along with some soffit issues and a back door frame needing replaced.
Ms Hope continues working on her home, she's painting her bedrooms and we will be delivering her bed framing and putting it together for her before this day is over.
Mr Nash is also waiting for a couple of rooms in his home to be sheetrocked and completed.
I could go on and on and on but I think you get the picture. Person after person, family after family . . . they continue to call for help and we continue to do what we can to help them. The numbers on our board climb faster than we can get them moved to the "done" side of the board.
We are thrilled that our Iowa team will be arriving this Sunday evening! They will be divided into 2 teams and will each have a home that they will bring to completion. And as a special "surprise" to them (they won't know this unless they are reading the blog) we have planned dedications on both homes at the end of the week! Both homeowners will be thrilled! These dedications will be in both the newspapers and the television stations. News like this gives others hope that they just might be the next ones! News like this always sends out a huge thank you to God! ALL the praise and thanks MUST go back to Him! It's a couple more opportunities to see God in action! And once again, we are blessed to be here to see Him in all His glory!
Until tomorrow . . . give God some of your own praise! Susan and Monty
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Yes, this is (was) Stepfund's food pantry. It no longer exists thanks to the volunteers who at this very moment are just hours away from having his home completely gutted and ready for the rebuilding to begin!
Our next step will be for the electric and plumbing to be taken care of and then we can bring in the volunteers and miracles will happen! Make sure you stay tuned to see the progress and hear the stories of lives changed and a man who will finally be able to cook, sleep and live in his home!
Today was one of those days where I am convinced that something big and great must be about to happen! Whenever I have a time where satan is beating me up one side and down the other and then back up the same side -- I am certain I am on the right track and God is about to break the gates open to something big! It must really be big as today I know I have grill marks on my body along with bruises, scratches and anything else that comes with being beaten up!!
And then the crowning blow to bring me back to earth -- I finally did meet myself coming and going! Yes, as we were traveling across the miles to and from homes, estimates and a home dedication our GPS showed us meeting ourselves! The directional arrows ran into each other! It definitely brought laughter and amazement to the inside of the truck!!
Tomorrow is filled with more estimates, more visiting with homeowners trying to assess their needs and then see what can be done to fill them and in the meantime working on the details of our Speed Build 2 with Joe in WV. I need to keep an eye on the GPS as the arrows just might crash together once again!
Isn't God great!! Running around from place to place, people to people and miracle to miracle! Thanks to all of you who make it possible for Monty and I to live the dream of working for our Lord! We are truly blessed!!
Until next time . . . Susan and Monty
Monday, February 25, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
There will be no fires tonight. What we really need is an ark or feathers like a duck as this downpour has been going on since before light this morning and the flooding has begun! Even the umbrellas won't hold up as along with the rains come the winds!
Atleast it's not snow!! Sorry to all who live north, or even near the north! :)
The morning started with calls from teams who had planned on working outside today -- they need inside work! No problem --- they were inside homes immediately. I guess there are advantages to the rains.
The rest of this day has been spent with me on the phone attempting to return atleast a small portion of the messages from those calling to get some kind of help in getting back into their homes. Each time I think I have "heard it all" I find myself sadly mistaken. Men who are trying to get assistance for their mothers who won't live in the FEMA trailer sitting in the front yard because those mothers are elderly and "have lived in that home all their lives" to those who just don't even know what to do. I don't think I will ever stop being amazed at the elderly women who are so utterly helpless and still -- after all this time -- don't know where to go or what to do! This is where the Case Management is crucial!! These people who have lost so much, who are running out of anything to run on and anyplace to turn need someone to literally take them by the hand and lead them in the direction of help and hope! Even over the telephone I can hear the smiles come upon their faces, at just the slightest ray of help that leads to the slightest ray of hope!
My stack of calls is endless as they continue calling and I will continue working away at that stack and pray for everything to come into place for each family and each individual.
The morning also had its fair share of planning for the Speed Build for Ms Ollie. We will be making a visit to her next week and hopefully will have photos to share with all of you so you can get to know her better.
The work also stays in progress for Mr Stepfund to get moved out of his home so we can gut it both inside and out next week.
As I sit and look across the room at the dry erase board on the wall with all the people listed who need help, who are in different stages of being helped, I see the number standing at 184 active cases! Now THAT is alot of homes to try and keep track of!!! And like I said, the listing grows daily. There are those that have been done and are closed and those are the ones who give us hope that someday this will all get done! And we pray that someday will come before !!! the next storm comes!
We thank all those who have a heart for this mission, for the people and for our country. All of this is happening in our own back yards and we have to wonder when it will happen again and who will be effected -- and then who will be helping?
Blessings to all and a special blessing to our dear friend Joe who buried his mother this afternoon. Joe -- we love you and miss you and Stacey more than you know!! We pray God's peace rests over you, under you and all around you!
Until next time . . . Susan and Monty
PS To "some guy named Dave" --- THANK YOU!!!!!!! We love you!!!!
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
We are preparing for our Iowa team to arrive in a couple of weeks. They will be working in 2 homes and hopefully bringing them to completion and ready to be turned over to the homeowner. What a glorious day that will be -- for everyone involved.
We started at Virgil's house this morning checking to make sure everything needed is on site. It looks good to go and ready for the team to get alot of work done.
Next stop was supposed to be Sam's house but we were diverted to Gordon's as he was getting a delivery of sheetrock and supplies. He was prepared for us with a group of friends to do the stacking and covering to keep dry. He has no room inside due to the construction process so he'll make sure things are secure outside. He had been busy cleaning and getting ready to hang sheetrock. His house was raised high in the air so transferring this sheetrock is quite a job in itself.
We did make it to Sam's after the delivery. He also looks nearly ready to be named "home" in the next couple of weeks. The materials are there and ready for the volunteers to come in and work their magic. He also has some outside structural things needing done but the things are there and ready to go.
After a couple more stops we finally made it back to the shop to find out we will be handling all teams coming into another local church. They have had team after team but are operating with no construction coordinators so Monty and I will gladly take care of them. I will need to contact each team leader and get things lined up for them. It is such a blessing for us as we will be able to get that much more work done and that many more people back in their homes.
And then we have Mr Stepfund whose home will need to be completely gutted, inside and out, and started with the rebuilding process. We visited with him the other day and there is so much mold and water that there is no salvaging anything! His electricity is already shorting out, the kitchen sink drains through a leak and lands in the laundry room, the bathroom is beyond description and he has nowhere to go for help. He had to live in the home with no idea what he was going to do. We have managed to have him move in with a family member for the next few months and will begin with the tear out next week. I doubt it can even be done in a week but we take things one day at a time. Pray for Mr Stepfund as he also came down with the flu yesterday.
As you can see, we have been meeting ourselves coming and going and so far we atleast recognize ourselves!! And I haven't even mentioned all the details going on with preparing for the 2nd Speed Build!!!! Be sure and stay tuned . . .
Until next time. . . Susan and Monty
Monday, February 18, 2008
Thought some of you might like to see Dane's house, all done, FEMA trailers gone and once again he has a real home! His wife is in the specially designed bedroom and no doubt enjoying the sunlight coming in those windows!
MANY thanks to ALL of you who spent your time, effort, sweat and love on this house!! Seeing it all done warms the heart.
We have been in and out of houses today. A team from California is working on one here locally. Once they get the sheetrock done they will be very close to getting it done. We were talking with this team this morning and they are a team of 42 with 30 of them returning for atleast the 4th time! Amazing how some people just keep coming back and coming back!
We were also in a couple more homes to see what it will take to get them done. The first one will be a challenge, either way we go. The decision must be weighed as to gut and rebuild it or take it down and build a new one. These decisions are difficult and not made without checking all resources available. As we stood in that small area we realized that nearly every home looked like this one! Makes us stop and think at just how much still needs done!
Another home has the sheetrock hung but there are questions with the electric. The homeowner had over 6 feet of water in the home and even though she has the newer wiring it still must be inspected by an electrician for safety. Once that is done we can make further decisions and hopefully have her in her home before too long. She has been staying with her mother and says after this long a few more months won't matter; they are "making it work."
Thousands are still in the same situation, or worse!
On another note, please pray for our dear friend at home, Joe. His mother passed away this morning. Joe has dedicated over half his life caring for his mother and this loss will leave an enormous hole in his heart! Once again, times like this make it difficult to be so far from home and family!
Until next time; don't forget to count your blessings!! Susan and Monty
Friday, February 15, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
My first conversation this morning was with Esther who was returning my call from yesterday. Her phone died on us as she was out of minutes.
Esther is 42 years old. She has a daughter who is 21 years and another one 13 years. The 21 year old has 3 children ages 5, 2 and 9 months. All of these people are living in one FEMA trailer. Esther told me that sometimes it gets so crowded that she just goes and sits inside her home just to get some privacy, even though the house is nearly destroyed.
The 21 year old mother of 3 has been in and out of hospitals as she is HIV positive. This was just one of the results of being raped while she was pregnant with this last baby -- by 2 men! Her mental state hangs in the balance and suicide has been thought about repeatedly.
How does Esther hold this family together AND repair her home? I don't know how she keeps any sanity let alone try and repair a home to keep everyone in!
Needless to say we are doing what we can, as quickly as we can, to get some sort of help to this family!
The needs just never cease to amaze me! They are everywhere!
As we drive through the areas and see improvements, see homes being rebuilt, seeing FEMA trailers leave the cities, we still see this!
This is just one of the reasons God has called us back to this area! Please pray for this family, and that we will be able to help them as God directs us!
Until next time . . . Susan and Monty