Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Outreach, Rebuild, Expand, Gut

It's been quite the 2 days!!
Yesterday started out with another outreach of goods to the Galveston community. You can see by the photos that it was awesome! We took gallons of drinking water, cases of vitamin water, granola bars and french fried onions ( we never know what's coming with the truckload of donations) and within 40 minutes of opening the doors on the trailers we were empty! The entire team went along and everyone was amazed -- and blessed. They found out just how much need still remains and so we are returning again tomorrow morning with pet foods, perfume products and more water!
The teams divided up again and headed back to Marie's to continue the gutting and structural repairs along with the beginnings of electrical. With the forecast of really cold temps for last night we all were worried about her keeping warm with no electric and no water. We tried to bring in a generator and keep it going all night but were warned that her neighbors would surely complain and so we couldn't do so. This morning we realized that something!!! had to be done! When the team returned she was cold to the bone and her arthritis was causing her alot of pain. After working all day they pooled together funds at this evenings dinner and headed to Lowes to purchase a small propane heater, return back to her house tonight and hook it up for her! She has stolen their hearts and God is working miracles!
The rest of the team headed into a new home to gut. This home was a bit of a challenge for them as it seemed that the homeowner wasn't all that thankful to have them there. As they returned today they found out otherwise. She called this evening to thank them all and express her appreciation. Sometimes teams wonder how we "find" the homeowners and still are confused when we tell them that God places them in front of us. We are here to offer mercy for mercys sake, no judgments, no opinions. God is always right and He is the ultimate judge. He Himself came to those who most people wouldn't go near -- and we are extensions of His hands and feet. The team even had 2 devotions on the subject and made us all stop and think and realize!
Diane, Monty and I spent our day with our director, Phil. He spends way more time in the offices in Houston than he would like and enjoyed going to different homes, seeing what is going on and where we may be headed with rebuilding. We stopped by quite a few homes and ended up with Marie. We then headed off to the city of San Leon, about 30 minutes to the east of us. This small city was hit extremely hard with the east side of the storm and we found out that almost zero volunteers are in that area. At yesterdays Long Term Recovery meeting we met up with Pastor Bob who has a church in that area. It seems his church is the central point for everyone in the city, even though it was severely damaged and they are meeting with FEMA tarps as their walls! We offered to come along side them and help them with those people who are coming to him for help. Today we met him for lunch, toured the city, made alot of connections with those needing help and will return tomorrow to gut one home. Hai is a vietnamese single mother of 5 children whose home has not been touched since the storm. She is living in a FEMA trailer on her property and just needs help of any kind. When I called her to tell her we could be there in the morning she was thankful beyond words! We hope to make more connections and be able to do more and more work in the city. We will return there tomorrow to check on the team and get further info on Hai. Please keep her, and the entire city, in your prayers.
Speaking of prayers --- my daughter phoned me to tell me about her 36 year old boss who started the new year with the discovery of 3rd stage breast cancer and a double mastectomy! Please keep her in your prayers as she has a long, difficult road ahead of her.
Secondly, that same daughter phoned me this morning to tell me she has a bad case of the stomach flu! Also could use prayers.
We thank you (as always) for your prayers and for continuing to come along with us on our missions!
Until next time . . . Be blessed. Susan and Monty

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