Yes, we made it back to Texas around midnight last night. Quite the long drive too! We made the return trip pulling yet another shower trailer! This one is smaller than the first one but quite awkward to pull --- built on top of a flatbed trailer which puts it rather tall -- but Monty did an excellent job of driving and we all made it safe and sound! Praise the Lord!
When we arrived in New Orleans on Wednesday afternoon we were just in time to make a run to the airport and pick up John, a gentleman from Colorado who has made numerous trips to the camp and knows his way around town quite well. He will be there for the next 2 weeks doing what he can to help dismantle the camp and bring things over here.
On Thursday Monty and I headed out for Wally's house. Mercy Response has built him a new home and I spent the day trimming out everything, base around the floors, casing around the doors and some window trim. It felt good to get back to "hands-on" work and especially trim work as that is what I really enjoy. Monty was busy helping both me and anyone else who needed a hand in whatever they were doing.
Diane and John headed to Mable's house to do electrical and numerous "punch list" jobs. They got everything done, and then some. John did return for half of Friday to clean up trash.
Diane went with us on a return trip to Wally's to finish the trim and do some fire caulking in the lower garage level.
We were complete with everything by early afternoon and headed back to camp to pack up and hitch up the shower trailer. Hitching up took some time as rear lights on the trailer needed replaced and it needed strapped down to the trailer it is sitting on.
Our main prayer for yesterday was that the high winds calm down before we headed out on the interstate. The night before the temps took a real nose dive leaving us with wind chills in the mid 20s ---- not something New Orleans is used to! Our prayers were answered and the winds were nearly non existant by the time we were on the road. Even though Monty couldn't drive over 60 mph and the trip was nearly 8 and 1/2 hours, we are home safe and sound.
Today we loaded up more vitamin water and headed back to Galveston for another outreach. As we expected, within 15 minutes of our arrival our water was gone! One gentleman came just to help hand it out, putting it in pick up truck beds and the back of SUVs for parents and local workers. We hope to do another run or two next week.
From there we headed to what is called "the Strand" in Galveston. There was a special "Dickenson on the Strand" weekend planned and although we had no idea what is consisted of we needed some recreation and thought we would sample the local culture. It was amazing -- people all dressed in Dickenson era clothing just walking the streets, certain reinactments of that era and plenty of foods. The photos you see were taken at the parade -- quite the event and we all agreed it was great to see the community involved in something that took their minds off the devastation -- even if just for the day! Something "normal" -- priceless!
As I said and you can see by this -- we are constantly busy -- and things going on in all directions! We are praying that the volunteers are busy back home scheduling their trips to come here and help out. The new year is just around the corner and people will be planning their time off and mission trips. PLEASE consider coming to Galveston and lending a hand! No special skills are needed -- we can teach you and we have the tools to do so! I hold fast to the one and only guarantee that I have given out since day one --- volunteering in a disaster zone WILL change your life!
When you attend your home church (or any other church) tomorrow remember to thank God for all your blessings and remember those who are suffering loss and devastation at this time of year. Just because it notes a holiday on the calendar doesn't mean that everyone is celebrating!
Until next time . . . be blessed! Susan and Monty