Friday, June 13, 2008

Three men and a miracle

A second day of people lining up for anything they can get to rebuild their lives.
As you can see, the State Police had their own kind of line up going, complete with their trailers. They loaded up things and went directly into the community passing out supplies while also patroling and protecting. As they started to pull out they all stopped, bowed their heads and prayed! It's not every day you see that! What a blessing they have been to the community! I would imagine they will return tomorrow morning first thing. We already have a suggestion as to a neighborhood we got word of that feels left out. No one has been in that area yet but be assured we will be there tomorrow!
The rest of the photos go with this amazing and miraculous story that came out of today.
The gentleman in the blue shirt came with a team to help distribute supplies. Upon arriving he realized there were plenty of people to do that so he came to me and asked if he could walk the neighborhood and see if anyone needed help with their house. I agreed and away he went. A couple of hours later he returned to ask if there would be any lunch served to those who were working. We told him most everyone took some time away and went and got themselves something to eat. He hadn't come with any money so Monty and I agreed to bring him something when we went. We brought him back 3 tacos shortly after. It was only later in the day that we learned this gentleman found himself homeless only a few short weeks ago and is currently living in a shelter.
When he returned we gave him the tacos and watched him give 2 of them away to the men who had also gone across the street to help him in the home he was working. He also started trying to tell me the story of this man he had found that needed help. He was talking so fast that even I had trouble understanding him! About that time the other men that had been helping him came back and offered to take him with them to get some "real" lunch. He was thrilled!
We have no idea when they returned but late in the afternoon the gentleman who started this whole thing came walking toward me. He wanted me to walk across the street with him to meet this amazing 80 year old man he had been spending his day with. I agreed and away we went.
Amazing is an understatement. It seems this "young" man and his mother (if he's 80 I wonder how old she is!!!) They had been inside their home trying to keep an eye on the weather. When he noticed the water rising near his garage in the back yard he told his mother he better go to the basement and cut off the electricity. You can see the outside entrance to their basement in the one photo. As he cut off the power he turned to find the water rushing inside the basement and in a matter of minutes he was in water up to his chin. As he made his way to the door and tried to open it the earth wall outside caved in and fell against the door----he was trapped and the water was still rising --- and fast. Somehow he made his way to one of the small upper windows in the basement, climbed up on "something" and worked his way out through the window. He literally swam back to the house door and found his mother doing all she could to keep her head above the water that was now neck deep inside their home. He rescued them both to the neighbors' roof until they were carried to safety!
And now, with the help of a couple of family members he has managed to completely gut and mud out his home. Nothing stands but the cement block outer shell and the framing inside. Every single thing is lost and stands in a pile of debris waiting the the dump trucks to take it away. All of his electricity will need redone, his plumbing also and he hadn't even been able to get into the basement. This is where our "angel" comes into the story.
Our volunteer went down into the basement, along with the others you see in the photo, and started pulling out everything that was down there. The mud is nearly a foot deep in some spots and if you click on any of the photos you can see what I mean, full screen. They were covered with mud from head to toe and continued working, never complaining but only blessing the homeowner and thanking God they could be there to help. One of the last things they carried out before starting to haul the mud out in 5 gallon buckets was his washer and dryer --- see for yourself what remained. And that photo was taken after they wiped it off enough to even be able to get ahold of it and carry it out and up those steps!
All the homeowner could do was continually thank us and tell us how his faith in God had carried both he and his mother through with their lives. She is living with relatives out of town and he is staying with others close by. When we told him we would continue to do what we could to help him he was speechless!
And he is only ONE story, ONE homeowner in thousands!! In a community that hasn't had a flood since 1913!!!
We are returning again tomorrow and will continue to show God's love in a practical way doing what small part we can in helping.
Our prayers also go out to the state of Iowa and Wisconsin who find themselves in the same "boat". May God touch and bless and love each one who has lost so much.
Until next time . . . Susan and Monty

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