Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"Winter" in Texas

Yes, Texas does have winter! We are finding out today!

Last night the winds started howling and blowing quite strong, the rain was pounding -- our camper trailer was rocking and rolling all through the night! It's at those times when you pray it was well built and will stay standing on its legs!

This morning we awoke to temps in the mid 30's and a community who has stayed home and waiting for the warmer temps to return! With the rain falling it makes the cold a "wet" cold and not easy to bundle up for! Funny how we all get used to our own weather!

Yesterday we had a wonderful visit with our friends from Convoy of Hope, Paul and Nick. They came down from Springfield, Missouri to see our camp and offer their assistance. It's always nice to see them as Monty and I have worked with them over the past 3 years and when they stop in it's like family coming to visit!

They had a list of things they will be shipping to us next week, all things needed, either for the camp directly or the people in Galveston. They will also be sending any volunteer teams who contact them asking for a place to serve. They already have a team of 35 who are highly skilled and want to come in February. We are more than happy to welcome them and use their expertise!

After a meeting with our own director, Phil we started the process of diving into case management. I got busy copying all the forms needed and Diane and I worked on compiling the names of those we have already helped, making notations and preparing to call them and see where they are and how they are doing.

Monty set out on a mission of getting materials to hook up a 50 amp service for incoming RVers, not an easy task but an educational one. We have the water hook ups and electrical service but not for the 50 amp --- give him a day and we'll be all set.

Very early this morning Diane, Phil and Phil's son all headed back to New Orleans to continue dismantling that camp and deciding what to bring here and what to leave there with the church. I can't imagine how difficult that trip must have been, driving a 1 ton van and pulling an empty trailer behind in the strong winds and rain! "No news is good news" so I am sure they made it fine.

I have started the phone calls, the "long" phone calls, checking to see how homeowners are doing, where they are with their recovery and listening to their stories. It takes quite a bit of time for each one but it's where we must start. It seems a couple of them have received their FEMA or insurance funds and have a contractor on board. Then there are those who are stuck in "no mans land" waiting and waiting and wondering and wondering and hoping and hoping for some kind of help. Two of them were nearly in tears when I called, said they had been trying to reach us for quite some time!

The next step in the process is making a home visit. Both Monty and I go, no one should ever make a home visit alone. He is an extra set of eyes and ears and can assess the structure of the home and damage while I am getting info from the homeowner. It also takes quite a bit of time but we come out with priceless information and hopefully are one step closer to getting them some help.

I also just received a phone call from 2 gentlemen who are flying in from Nevada tomorrow. They are also coming to see the area, to see the camp, to get an idea what to expect when they send a team in January. We will be taking them on a tour of the Galveston area and letting the city speak for itself.

This is one of those times of year when I have to make myself realize its a holiday season. I see those who are suffering so much, those who are hurting, those who are taking baby steps forward into progress and those who themselves don't even realize its the holidays! Disasters don't stop for the holidays on the calendars but sometimes they can bring a small sense of "normal" into our world --- if we take the time to look! I thank God for that --- for always being here for us --- for sending His Son to keep us focused on what is really important!

I pray all of you are keeping your focus on the Son at this time of year and all through the year!

Until next time . . . be blessed. Susan and Monty
PS A side note prayer request, my youngest brother, John, is having surgery today and could really use some extra healing prayers! Thank you! Love you Johnny!

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