Please note the link web address!
Where oh where have the days gone? I've always heard that the older we get the quicker time goes by -- I think that is doubled when you are working disaster response!
First off -- Diane made it to Texas safe and sound. She is a bit diverted from her original plan but we were able to connect her with the Vineyard Church Disaster Relief being set up in Webster, Texas. Thus the link listed here with Mercy Response! This camp is just in the beginning stages of being set up. They are currently located in New Orleans, where they will be closing soon, and in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. We visited their location in New Orleans many times and attended church there on Saturday nights while we were there. They run an amazing operation and are so blessed that Diane was welcomed with open arms. I just spoke with her and she was headed out with a team to gut a home -- one of thousands needing done!
Back here at the ranch we are continuing the work -- repairs, repairs, repairs. In between are meetings, meetings, meetings. We are in the process of trying to get help into a mobile home community where mainly Mexican families are living. They suffered quite a bit of damage and we are working through the language and trust barriers at the same time. We need to get their mobile homes insulated with the cooler weather approaching and hopefully this will be accomplished within the next couple of weeks. We are blessed to have Spanish speaking case managers who can get the rest of us through that barrier.
I am still working on the Spiritual and Emotional Subcommittee also. We are working on a "Flooded Neighborhood Reunion" day in the local city park. We have the location and the basic idea of how the afternoon will go. Tonights meeting will iron out a few more details. It should be a great day where neighbors who haven't seen each other in quite some time can reunite and have some food and fun at the same time.
Last night there was a Youth Gathering at Columbus First Assembly. Monty and I could hear the music coming through the walls of the church and into our trailer parked out back! We popped in to see the church filled with teens and leaders and all praising the Lord! Sure did warm our hearts!
We also visited with another church that was flooded out here, only a couple blocks away from where we are. They had nearly 11 feet of flood water in some parts of the building and are still working on the sanctuary part. The Pastor was not there but a few of the members were working away trying to rebuild the stage area and the steps leading up to it. We hope to use part of our incoming Attica, Indiana team to come along side and offer even more help. They have been holding their services in a temporary location as we did -- only they are meeting in my parents' church. I love seeing the bodies and denominations come together!
I am teased quite often about living in "my own little world" where everyone is nice, no one is nasty and all is well! I know all about the "reality" thing --- but --- I like it in my little world! I am now being forced to "remove my head from the sand" and face the reality that my nurses from the local hospital are being called back to work! Yes -- the hospital is still closed but they plan on reopening by the end of next month! These nurses have been absolutely priceless and I can't stand the thought of loosing them! I know they have to return to work as the hospital needs them but . . .
There was an agreement made with long term recovery and the hospital -- we will be able to keep one of the nurses right here indefinitely!!! Praise the Lord! Sharon has been here since day 1 and will be able to continue her work here and continue to assist all of the case managers! Thanks to the hospital for seeing the need and for sharing her with us!
I also want to thank the other 27 case managers who work tirelessly every single day! What an amazing group of people who have hearts of gold! They all go above and beyond and won't accept no for an answer! God bless them all as they are the heart of the disaster recovery!!!
As many of you might know, John Mellencamp did a concert here on Tuesday night. It was amazing and long term recovery gave away a pair of tickets for that concert. It was a total surprise -- we put names in a hat and Karen and her husband were the ones sitting in the balcony having a blast the entire night! It was quite a nice gift but can't compare to what they all deserve! I think God has some special "gifts" awaiting them when they arrive!
An update on Monty's step father: he came through his surgery fine -- a bit rougher than planned but is home resting comfortably. We hope to visit him this weekend. Thank you for all the prayers!!!
Angie's sister is getting along fine, also resting comfortably at home! Thank you for those prayers also!
We love you all and thank you for your support of our disaster ministry!
Until next time . . . Susan and Monty