I realize there has been a couple of days delay in blogging but as the title says, I just cannot seem to find enough hours in the day to get to everything!
After our more than full day on Sunday we started Monday with our weekly trip to Walmart to see what all they had saved up for us -- WOW!! This time we literally had to strap boxes on top of the toolbox on the truck to get everything back to Columbus! What amazing blessings we had in tow -- the food from Bedford and all the "etcs" from home! I learned to depend on my side mirrors even more since the rear view one was completely blocked.
We arrived in Columbus with our load and immediately started unloading. Thankfully we were in time for the church meeting and to also get some help from Pastor in unloading. The meeting went well, discussions on how to best rebuild the 2 other portions of the church buildings. Both of these buildings housed the childrens wings, teen wings and adult wings. The architect has his work cut out for him but rose to the cause with some great plans.
After that meeting Monty needed to head right back to Bloomington to be able to help his stepdad haul a trailer the next morning. With his mother just out of the hospital she wasn't able to help. Monty was happy to do so. He spent all of Tuesday escorting and setting up the trailer and arrived back late last night.
My day yesterday was one meeting after another. We started with the weekly case management meeting and all went well. The case managers are doing such a wonderful job! We had a few more who decided they were ready to take on some cases of their own. They are partnering with those who have been managing, going out in pairs and getting things done one homeowner at a time.
After that meeting came one with the new executive director of the Long Term Recovery. He has scheduled a city wide meeting for Friday night in hopes of giving the people direction in their recovery process.
From there I had the opportunity to meet with the chairman of the construction side of the Recovery team. I was glad to be able to sit down, one on one, and let him know the needs. He left with direction and purpose and will be able to be a great asset to this process. The construction side comes in to assess damages of the homes, obtain estimates for both the homeowner and the case manager and also supervise the volunteers who are coming in to help. His hope is to tap into some of the talented men who are now retired but not retired from their knowledge of construction.
After that meeting I had 2 more men in my office putting together information for the city wide meeting Friday evening. We were working on a power point presentation to hopefully get even more information to the people. Charlie had some great printouts with the outline of the process and from the "test" power point I got this morning it looks great. Pray that the people will come and they will gain the knowledge, and hope, they need to bring their houses back to homes.
As the day neared it's end my mother called to invite me to dinner. My neice and her 2 little boys were flying back to Florida this morning so it was nice to be able to say goodbye to them. I must admit I don't think I was very good company as I was so tired I could hardly be civil.
After a quick dinner it was off to church. Remember that I said service times had to change due to borrowing another church? The Bible Study night is now Tuesday. Once again Pastor brought in the names of those who have come through the Hope Outreach Center this week and we prayed over them individually. I have no doubt they felt the prayers!
When I finally got back to our trailer (home) Monty was there, just arrived. By now it's dark, we're both exhausted and yet wanted to go over our days to each other. It's such a blessing to work together and be able to share and know that the other one really does understand!
In between all the meetings I heard from 2 more teams who are in the process of scheduling trips. We are in such great need for teams who have some skills in construction. Those that come and only have a few with skills are able to teach the others on the team and then they become the skilled ones. It's a God-thing!
And also, in the meantime, the church is looking great! The walls are now painted a new color and it's looking better and better each time I come through the doors. For us it's difficult to come in after a storm or flood -- we have no concept of what everything looked like before! But I do know that the "after" is going to be beautiful and with all those who continue to come through the Outreach Center for help I hope to see the seats in the sanctuary full!!
Today Monty was blessed with the return of one of our favorite volunteers, Chip. He lives nearly 2 hours north of here and came all 3 days with the original parking lot outreach. He called and wanted to come back for the day so he and Monty went to Bruce's house and continued the process of mudding the sheetrock. It's looking better each day and will be ready when our home church, led by Rob, returns Saturday for more work!
I will be in a special information seminar all day tomorrow where many of the established relief efforts will come and share their knowledge with all of us here. It should be a great day -- if I can sit still for the whole day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
PS That man with the funny hairstyle --- he's the Youth Pastor here. He challenged the youth to raise money for Speed the Light and guess what -- they raised the money! He made a deal with them that if they succeeded he would allow them to shave his head -- their way!!!! And you see the results!!! Wonder if he learned anything about challenging youth to do anything??!! Great job to the youth for raising the money for such an amazing organization. Wonder what Speed the Light is? Check it out on the web!!! You'll be surprised!
Until next time . . . Susan and Monty