Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Closer and closer

They marched onward -- and the sun shone -- literally!
You can see by the photos that the 2 "men down under" are working away under Mariano's house getting the plumbing taken care of. The one photo shows how NOT to do plumbing! You just have to smile! They are working away, just the two of them, enjoying everything they are doing, no matter the circumstances. Bless you David and Harold!
Paul and Linda's house is 90% complete (wait for the photos tomorrow) and looks beautiful! They are even going back and touching up the part of the house that was already done! Each has their task and goes at it at a pace that amazes me. They literally went from working in clouds with threatening rain to sunshine this afternoon. Linda kept an eye on the radar and gave them steady reports so if they did need to pack it up they had enough time. We thank God that He once again answered our prayers and saved the day!
A surprise came mid afternoon. Seems as though the Presbytarians are receiving a team of 14 from Houston on Monday and we are the blessed ones to receive that team! The team will consist of some of those in leadership within the organization who want to come and see - and experience - the reality of what is still going on. Our plan is to have them begin the painting on the exterior of Walter's home.
Also this afternoon Maria met me at Lowes and picked out her new stove/range. She was thrilled to see the result and is very excited to see it arrive this Thursday. The men are working on the gas line and with any luck we might get it working before too long.
Mariano is working on rebuilding some of the unique trim that was above their windows on the exterior of their home. I admit that he's getting pretty creative and doing a great job! I don't know when the man sleeps as he is always working on that home!
I also had a home visit with Ms Martha this afternoon and it was one of those true heart breakers. She and her husband, both disabled, are living in conditions that would, and should, make us all cry. They have no hot water, no kitchen, no flooring, no furniture and only a mattress on the floor with a quilt to sleep with! It's a very small house and they have done what they could do to clean up the mess left after the 6 feet of water left. No money left to work with and no money coming in to work with. They barely have enough for food, which they only purchase at the beginning of the month when her check comes in! We are starting the case management process and ask that all of you pray for Martha and Steven -- any and all prayers that you can pray are desperately needed!
We will be finishing up at Paul and Linda's tomorrow and that team will be joining the down under men at Mariano's where they will once again be painting the exterior of the home! They will be professionals before they leave at the end of the week!
What a joy they are to work with and we are so thankful to Ohio for sharing them with us.
Until next time . . . be blessed. Susan and Monty

Monday, September 28, 2009

Welcome Cincinnati, Ohio Presbytarians

Welcome to the "blue shirts." The Presbytarians have always been known and recognized for their blue shirts! Today was no different -- except those shirts got a bit wet at the end of the day when the thunderstorms surprised us all.
This team of 10 is from Cincinnati, Ohio and came ready to work all week. It's nice to have a team from the midwest. They don't have to be from Indiana to make us feel like a bit of home is here with us.
Two of the men are working at Mariano and Maria's. They are both very skilled in electric and plumbing so today was an "organizational" day for them. They put together their list of supplies and a plan for the rest of the week. Once again God has provided us who we need just when we need them!
The rest of the team is at Paul and Linda's where they finished up the caulking and not only touch up painting inside but also repainting their entire family room! What a blessing to Paul and Linda, especially since Paul was home sick today and had planned on doing it himself. It was also so good to see the work that had been done over the weekend by one of their boys! He did a fantastic job building a frame for their large mirror in the family room. If he wasn't in school we would "draft" him into our teams! :)
The team just got started with the last of the priming for the exterior siding when a quite large thunderstorm built from seemingly nowhere and that was the end of that! They did manage to get everything covered and will be ready to go full steam ahead tomorrow morning as these storms are supposed to be bringing a cool front with them and make tomorrow look good -- and a bit cooler than the mid to upper 90s we had today!
It's going to be a fantastic week -- I can already tell. This team came prepared for their tasks, have done this type of disaster recovery work before and have a heart for what they are doing. Be sure and stay tuned with each days blessings!
Until next time . . . be blessed. Susan and Monty
PS. You might wonder why I am dressed in long sleeves and long pants with the temps as they are --- the mosquitos are . . . I don't know if I can find the words other than TERRIBLE!!! I covered myself in spray on Friday and it only made me sick so today I decided to try covering up --it "sort of" worked . . . if only I could cover my head! The locals say they only last about a month --- I know I'm not supposed to pray for time to pass quickly but . . .

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Another GREAT Saturday team comes to town

Linda will probably shoot me for publishing these photos, she had no idea Monty was going to take them!! But -- we want to show you the "after" photos of their kitchen! It's beautiful! You can see Pinkie is quite pleased also. The family painted the dining table and chairs and Linda recovered them with fabric.

Today we have another awesome team from northern Texas who came to see what they could do to help. They were 15 strong and worked between Paul and Linda's and Mariano and Maria's. The team at Paul and Linda's caulked and primed the entire outside and also the interior trim. The entire house is transforming before our eyes and our team coming Monday will be able to paint. You can see by the photos that there were enough of the team to cover the entire back wall of the house! Many hands . . .

The rest of the team worked on the air conditioning unit and electrical at Mariano and Maria's. They cleaned and organized things inside along with installing ceiling fans and a bit more touch up work for the air conditioning. That's why Monty is up on the ladder sticking his head through the outer vent!

Pastor Kay says they would like to schedule to return in the spring for another day of being God's hands and feet! We're ready!!! There will be more homeowners, more homes and more work to be done. Those homeowners will be more than ready for the smiles, the warm hearts and willing hands.

Someone was asking me the other day how many homes we have "in progress." We are working on 12 different ones in 12 different stages but we have 4 to 5 that are just days away from being completed and stamped "done." But don't worry -- there are more coming right behind them -- folks on the waiting list who are just as excited to see us complete these as the owners themselves. They just keep on coming and we will keep on helping.

It would be nice though if we could just find something !! anything !! that would keep these nasty mosquitos from nearly chewing us up!!! I guess they come back when the temps cool a bit -- but temps are to reach 90 again the first of the week. Maybe it's a trade-off??
Until next time . . . be blessed. Susan and Monty

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It's 79 degrees -- the HIGH temp for the day!

WOW - they weren't kidding when they said we would get a nice cool breeze to break the heat! We actually are able to open the windows (the ones not sealed with insulation) and let some fresh air inside. But -- we must be careful as the mosquitos are out by the millions, and that's just in our front yard area!

It's been a very busy couple of days. Yesterday we all met in Galveston to try out the new estimating form. Alan has been working on it for quite some time and it really is going to be an enormous help when we go into homes to do estimates. He covered exterior, interior and everything in between. We did some practicing and my job was to estimate the sheetrock and trim. Monty got to do the flooring. We got done just in time as the skies opened and it poured rain. That makes it quite difficult to see while inside a home that has been partially gutted and has no power.

From there we headed off to the Long Term Recovery meeting where we learned some rather disturbing news about funding that was to come our way. Without going into alot of details that you wouldn't fully comprehend we found out there were "changes" made and we went from being the county to receive the most funding to the county to receive the least! And yet we are the county with the most damage! Go figure! It's alot of this and that but we are doing what we can to make our voices heard that this is WRONG! If they follow through with this new plans there will be entire cities that will not get rebuilt! Please pray that this will turn around and go back to the original plan.

Today we headed off to Lowes to purchase the final materials needed for Hank and Cherie and Garaldeen. Cherie made her final punch list with everything needed to complete their home. This will all be delivered with their new front door on Friday. All we need to do there is install the skirting around the outside of their home and we will officially pronounce it "complete" - something they have been awaiting and working toward for a long time!

Garaldeen will be getting her new decks built in a couple of weeks. We will build a new one for the back of their mobile home and add to the existing one on the front. It will be quite the job but we have a team coming in that will master the challenge with no problem.

Speaking of teams, Monty and I made a trip to the Presbytarian camp this afternoon to make final arrangements for their incoming team on Monday. We will be able to use them as our volunteers here in San Leon and are thrilled. They will house and feed them and we get to use their skills -- it's all about working together.

And our last stop of the day was to the local health clinic where we tried to complete the necessary paperwork to have Monty see a doctor for a check up. Many of you may not know that back in the summer of 2004 he had a heart attack. It took shocking him twice to bring him back. He now needs a checkup and since we cannot be checked at his doctor at home we must find one here. Not an easy task. Most everyone I called won't even see us since we carry no health insurance. No insurance, you gasp! With that kind of health history! Well, believe me, if we had it in our "budget" we would have it. Anyway -- we were referred to the local clinic where we will return tomorrow for a "short" appointment and have a "lengthy" one in 2 weeks. Pray for him!

Tomorrow begins a new day, another day God gives us to go out and follow His will. We thank Him for this calling and try to do our best each day!

Until next time . . . be blessed. Susan and Monty

Monday, September 21, 2009

In her own words . . .

We enjoyed our womens team so much, thanks girls! Not only for the breakfast yesterday morning, the fellowship with the church service and the beautiful quilt you left with us -- but allow Linda to tell you all in her own words just how much your hearts of service meant to her!

Go to the blog entry before this one, Saturday. Scroll down to the comment and click on it. Be sure you have a tissue with you before you click!

We don't often get to "show" the hearts of our homeowners. This is exceptional and Monty and I are so thankful to Linda for sharing her thoughts and heart with us via the blog.

For all of you scheduled to volunteer with us sometime this fall -- THIS is the heart of a recovery mission! THIS is life-changing! THIS is showing Jesus in a very practical way!

Until next time . . . be blessed and share that blessing! Susan and Monty

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Amazing Women

I don't think I've seen as many women in two places as I did today! Amazing!
Well, most thought it was awesome -- but -- if you asked Paul and Linda's dog Pinkie -- her face says it all, "ok people, I'd love to have my house back again!" Priceless!
Paul and Linda did get their full kitchen back today. The pots and pans are in the cabinets, the stove is hooked up, the air conditioning unit is in the window, the family room is cleared out and looks like a family room again and the bath is not only completely painted but it's also clean! The women knocked themselves out and got it all done. My hope is that the family is actually sitting in their family room and enjoying being a family again. Although I imagine Linda is busy either cooking or baking in her new kitchen. After Daryl finished leveling her new stove today she told us she hadn't had a level oven for nearly 9 years! Now she does!
The rest of the women were back at Maria's and all the children got into the act. You can see that they all learned to paint, some on the floor and some on the ladder. They also learned to clean up the drops of paint from the tile floors and why they will, from now on, put down a cloth and be more careful! The women had the patience of Job in teaching and did fantastic! The kitchen is now "Fabulous Red", the family room and dining room beautiful along with 3 of the 4 bedrooms, bathroom, hall and back entry. They were scraping the windows, priming and then painting it all white. Little Maria always asks if we will send women with each volunteer team and after this team she will never be satisfied with anyone else again!
It's not often that we have a team come in for only 2 days and bless 3 homeowners! The impact they have left on the lives of these families will last a lifetime! Walter will remember them forever -- and they will remember him. Linda will think of them each time she enters her kitchen and Maria will have a piece of them in each room of her house. I know God is smiling and so happy that these women came and allowed Him to be seen through them!
Tomorrow we will be joining them for breakfast at the church that has so graciously been housing them, then attend worship and have to then say goodbye as they head back to 300 miles north of here! It is our prayer that they will decide to return again soon.
Thanks to each of you "girls" (hey -- I've been referring to you as guys for the past 2 days!) you have changed lives and we are forever grateful! May God return the blessings 10 fold to you.
Until next time . . . be blessed. Susan and Monty

Friday, September 18, 2009

All Women = All Work

Yes indeed -- for the first time in our 4 years plus of coordinating volunteers with homeowners we now have a team of ALL WOMEN!!!! They arrived for orientation early this morning and were raring to go!
We have them working in 2 homes, Mariano's and Walter's.
You can see that all of them are painting! Walter had 3 women (was more than thrilled to have women working -- at age 92! ) They managed to paint the entire interior of his home. The kitchen is a beautiful yellow and the rest a soft tan. They even learned how to paint the ceilings!
The rest of the women were at Mariano's doing the same thing. You can see the very bright and happy colors the children selected for their rooms! Both Mariana and Sylvia will be sharing the room you see, hot pink with purple walls and a wall shelf in bright lime green! Absolutely beautiful! The kitchen is now "Fabulous Red" , Maria's favorite color. The family room is primed and ready for tomorrow and the bathroom is a wonderful tan that matches the incredible tile work Mariano did. They will be returning tomorrow to see just how far they can get.
Walter's group will be going to Paul and Linda's to help them get things organized and in order since their official "construction" was completed today! What an amazing kitchen and bath! Now they need help getting everything out of their family room and bedroom so they can get back to living life! These women are more than ready!
It's awesome to have teams again! The month of August was nearly blank -- the heat just too much. Now that fall is nearly here and we have temps holding in the mid to high 80s it's once again perfect timing for teams to return and the blessings to continue pouring all along this little community of San Leon.
Be sure and stay tuned as things are happening, God is at work and the blessings are growing and growing!
Until next time . . . be blessed. Susan and Monty

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Monty

This is just one of the beautiful flowers in bloom here along the waters.

Today started off quite early with our weekly UMCOR meeting. It's a time when we can all get together and share ideas and keep everyone as up to date as possible with all that is going on. Not an easy job, even meeting once a week!

From there Monty and I headed off to get some shopping done. Today is his birthday and he needed some new work shoes. Not a very exciting present but he needed them. It didn't take long to get that done before we headed to Texas City for a meeting with the Presbyterian Recovery Leaders. They had taken the summer off and are just getting back to camp and getting things restarted. Chester and Pat are from Minnesota and volunteered for a couple of weeks after Katrina. They decided to come here and dedicate 6 months of their lives to running the volunteer camp. Their volunteers will be doing some work with us. In fact, we have our first team in just a week. It was good to meet them both and we look forward to working with them and getting even more work done with even more volunteers. It's all about working together!

From there we headed back to San Leon to check on the progress at Paul and Linda's. Their ceramic tile flooring is completely done and they are started on the kitchen cabinets. What beautiful cabinets they are too! Tomorrow they should have them all installed and Linda will have even more space than she had before the storm! She is so excited I think she might burst before they all get done! She praises Miguel to the hilt and is so thankful for all the work all the folks have put into rebuilding their home!

It was evening before we finally made it back home, just in time for a birthday dinner of Monty's choice, Vietnamese fish soup! I'm telling you -- it's his favorite meal! Homemade with all hand ground spices and all sorts of fish -- just what he wanted. Oh yes -- his "other" birthday "gift" was a flu shot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hey --- it's what he wanted !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "You know you're old when . . .???"

Until next time . . . be blessed. Susan and Monty

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Linda gets closer

These photos show just how close Paul and Linda are getting to having their brand new kitchen and bathroom completely done and ready to use. The tile floors are in and the bath is already grouted and ready for sealer. The kitchen will be the same by the end of the day. You can see by Linda's face that she is more than ready and so excited to see the progress day by day. She's already planning on a huge gumbo feast for all who have been involved! Monty is ready!! :)

We also stopped and checked on Walter. Looks as though his neighbors will indeed have his interior walls ready for our volunteers this weekend. All they need to do is get the supplies and the women will be ready to paint and bring it to life.

Hai is also nearly moved in. She finds herself living in both the FEMA trailer and her house -- just needs to get things moved and some window blinds up and she will be in. She's been a bit busy with getting kids in school and such and with her husband getting ready to be deployed to Afghanistan she has her hands full.

I had the pleasure of attending the weekly staff meeting for "Boat People" this morning. They are preparing cases to bring to the Long Term Recovery for assistance and wanting to make sure they have their paperwork all lined up. It was nice to meet all of them. As I have said many times before -- it takes all of us working together to make this recovery work!

Just a side note to everyone out there --- tomorrow is MONTY'S BIRTHDAY!!! I won't tell his age, especially since he's nearly 11 years younger than me!!!!!

Until then . . . be blessed. Susan and Monty

Sunday, September 13, 2009

One Year

You most likely have forgotten but one year ago Ike crashed onto the shores of southeast Texas. It came in with winds of a category 2 storm but the surge of water was a category 4. Galveston County will never be the same.

Yes, alot of progress has been made over the past year. The photo shows how we used to work in the homes when we arrived. Thankfully nearly all the homes have been gutted, not all but nearly all. We are in the rebuilding stage with most.

As I think back over the past year alot of thoughts and emotions come into my mind.

I remember when the remains of Ike hit Indiana. We were there still working in the recovery of the June 2008 floods. First Assembly of God had planned their church picnic for that Sunday afternoon. The day started out beautiful, perfect for a picnic. But . . . the weatherman had been warning all of us that Ike had actually restructured himself and was headed our way by about 5pm. And oh how right they were. The picnic started at 3pm with the cookout to begin at 5. It did begin, along with the rain and winds that nearly blew us all from our seats. By 6 we all but gave up and headed home. Power lines were down and clear up north in Indiana we felt the effects of this storm!

By the time Monty and I arrived here in Texas by mid October we realized Indiana was blessed! But . . . this time we knew exactly what needed to be done, how to get it done and how it would look when it was done. God had taught us so many lessons after Katrina and those Indiana floods! Once again He called us to take that knowledge, combine it with more compassion and love and get to work!

One year later we have rebuilt some, blessed homeowners as they moved back "home" and continue working on more. We've seen thousands of volunteers and have them scheduled nearly to Christmas. We've watched God change both their lives and the lives of the homeowners. And He has changed ours . . . even more.

I am still waiting for the day when I physically see His Hands. I see them working through so many others but the day will come!

As you say your prayers this evening please include all those here along the coast who are still rebuilding; physically and emotionally. It will take more time, more money and more volunteers. But most of all it will take prayers!!

To those of you who have donated money, volunteered your own time and have prayed numerous prayers -- we thank you and the homeowners thank you! YOU are God's hands and heart and we are forever grateful!

Until next time . . . be blessed. Susan and Monty

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tropical ?? coming?

Paul and Linda's kitchen -- just after it was completely gutted -- and now "during" the rebuilding stage. Along with the electrical "issues" that were discovered they are also working on some plumbing things that popped up. No fear -- all will be taken care of and this house will be safe, sanitary, secure and beautiful when it is completed.
Tomorrow they hope to be installing the ceramic tile flooring in both the kitchen and bath. Linda is thrilled with the handicapped accessible shower. She no longer needs to try and climb in and over the bathtub walls. As soon as the water pressure is regulated she will be able to truly enjoy a shower.
We also have some good news, Vicky's house will also be rebuilt by this same organization. They will be starting week after next and feel they will have her home within a couple of weeks! She is truly excited and more than ready to come home. FEMA has been "encouraging" her to move forward with her house so she can get out of the trailer. As long as FEMA can see a homeowner "pursuing permanent housing" they will leave the trailers. But if they see a home sitting with no progress being made they will use some deadlines to get things moving. We are thrilled Vicky's house was chosen for this special rebuild program and know she will be thrilled when things are all done.
Right now we are watching the weather quite closely. Seems there is a disturbance stirring around along the west side of the gulf and although it doesn't have the ability to evolve into a hurricane it does look like it could be a tropical storm which means ALOT of rain coming our way over the weekend. Yes, we are in a severe drought and need the rain -- but -- not in the way of tropical! As they say, "be careful what you wish for . . ." Please keep all of the west side of the gulf in your prayers.
I would also ask for some prayers. All the time I was home with my family I don't think the reality of loosing my grandmother really sunk in. It seems to be doing so now. I know in my mind that she was 96 years old and more than ready to see Jesus but . . . my heart has other things going on and even I don't fully understand it. I suppose it's all part of the grieving process?!
Anyway . . . until next time . . . be blessed. Susan and Monty

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Rebuilds in record time

The first photo made me laugh -- this is what happens when your home is being carpeted and you are in the way!!! The cats weren't nearly as upset as the dog but Hank and Cherie weren't concerned about any of them -- they have been waiting nearly a year to get to this point and after today they should be completely carpeted and 95% done with everything!
The next couple of shots are of Paul and Linda's. They and Walter are in the group of homes being rebuilt in record time. Paul and Linda are getting an entirely new kitchen and bath and the outside completed. A surprise awaited everyone, bare electrical wires laying underneath the house in water -- live wiring!!! Only God kept this home from burning to the ground long ago! This group is rewiring everything and it will definitely be safe when all is done. They have the outside siding complete and the sheetrock hung in the bath and kitchen. By tomorrow they will be laying the ceramic tile and ready to start installing cabinets --- and they just started this home on Saturday!
We also made a drive by at An and Tot's this afternoon and the work is getting done there. Hopefully they also will get to move home soon.
Art made it back from the hospital and is doing well. He also has sheetrock all hung and nearly finished and will be painting soon. It sure was good to see him back!
It also seems as though our summer long extreme drought is coming to a wonderful end. The clouds have been leaking off and on for a couple of days and thus lowering the extremely hot temps also. What a blessed relief! I don't know about all of you but we are ready for fall!
Thanks to all of you who are keeping up with what is going on and also keeping us in your prayers.
Until next time . . . be blessed. Susan and Monty

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Neighborly Love

My flight back to Texas went just fine yesterday -- I admit I felt a bit jet lagged and worn out but today was one of those days where God showed me why I came back (other than the fact that Monty and I missed one another so very much)

The day began with the United Way Annual fundraising kickoff campaign combined with the one year anniversary of hurricane Ike (on the 13th) I was asked to be the voice for the homeowners, expressing thanks and the immense blessings the volunteers bring to the homeowners. There were way more people there than I had thought, complete with the Mayor. It was a great time and hopefully everyone has a better understanding of the bond that is built between homeowner and volunteer.

From there it was time to get back into the swing of things and see how our "families" have been doing over the past weeks. WOW -- what amazing changes!

You can see by the above photos that Walter's house has been transformed! The siding is amazing and he now has a set of steps with a landing that will enable him to get upstairs! But the most amazing thing is that the team that did the siding and steps is done -- but we met another team working inside hanging all his sheetrock and has plans for so much more! They were his neighbors! Yes, they stepped in right behind our own volunteers and really started pouring out the blessings! They will finish the sheetrock, we will come in and paint and they will continue with the installation of kitchen cabinets and complete his bathroom! Now THIS is what America should be about -- neighbor helping neighbor -- in the literal sense!

We also checked up on the work being done at Paul and Linda's -- I was double amazed! They have the kitchen completely torn out and walls back up. The handicapped accessible shower is installed and they are now working on the electrical issues they uncovered. The outside siding is up and will only need caulked and painted. What a blessing that is being poured out there!

We also stopped by Hank and Cherie's to see the installation of their carpeting happening. It's beautiful and they are beaming with joy! (And to think that someone had the nerve to tell me their mobile home couldn't be rebuilt)!!!!! Never !!!!! limit God!!!

Our last stop took us to Maria's just in time to see the children getting off the bus. Maria has outdone herself. She taught herself to not only finish sheetrock, she textured all the walls and then primed them! I told her I always knew women were amazing in construction --- she just smiled from ear to ear and continued showing us her work! We will also be painting the inside of their home next weekend with our incoming team of 20 women! Monty is still working on plumbing issues but has the entire plan in his head. That's all I need to know because once it's in his head it will come to pass - and it will be done to perfection!

An amazing day -- a day God showed me that He is at work -- even if we need to take some time to attend to other things He sends our way! I am so thankful that He took me in His arms today and warmed my heart and made me smile!

Until next time . . . be blessed and be a neighbor to someone! Susan and Monty

Saturday, September 05, 2009

One More Day

Yes, after over 2 weeks I am down to my final day here in Indiana. Doesn't seem possible!

Today was a special day for me, I got to see my son and daughter in law who live a little over an hour from us. My parents and I went to see them and were treated to a fantastic dinner. It hurts my heart to not be able to see them more often! Love you Ryan and Dedra!

Tomorrow I will be returning to Bloomington to our home church to say yet another goodbye. I imagine some will not be there with it being a holiday weekend. Saying goodbye just doesn't get any easier, no matter how many times we do so.

From there I will visit with my daughter, son in law and grandchildren. That will also require another goodbye for now -- an even tougher job. Each one had grown so much over the past year and who knows when we will see them again.

I will then travel back to my parents and get a very! short night of sleep before hopping a plane in the wee hours of Monday morning to head south to my husband that I have missed so much.

Monty does report that the rebuilding of Paul and Linda's house and the siding and roofing at Walter's house are both coming along fantastic. He took some pictures and I hope to get them to you as soon as I return. When it's all complete Paul and Linda will have a brand new kitchen and bath along with a roof, soffit and siding. This is all being done with them living in their home so I know quite a few "challenges" are happening but Monty says they are all doing well.

As Monty keeps me up to date with all the happenings there and I am in the middle of all the happenings here it can feel like being torn in two. Part of me wants to be there and part here. I just haven't mastered the art of being in two places at once! It's been an awesome trip, many highs along with a low -- but God has reigned supreme and I am so thankful for the ability to have been here and once again seen His Almighty hand at work all around me.

Until next time . . . be blessed. Susan and Monty
PS An update on Monty's step brother -- he is out of the hospital and healing well at home. Thanks for the prayers -- once again they were just what he needed!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Putting things in order

These past few days have been quite busy. I am still in Indiana and trying to do the best I can to help Monty keep things going in San Leon.

He has been spending all his time at Mariano and Maria's working on both electrical and plumbing issues. Since we have another couple of weeks before volunteers start coming he is doing all the hands on work. The electrical inspection cannot be completed until all is done, including the gas line for the stove and the water connections. Each day Monty is getting things done but also finding other things that need done. Mariano is back on the fishing boat for another week and once he returns home we'll have him back helping us.

I have been back at our house in Bloomington the past 3 days. My mother and I headed back to prepare our home for our daughter to return home to. She has been working and living in both Florida and Boston over the past years and is ready to return home to be closer to family. We welcome her home and wanted to get things organized for her to move in and be comfortable. It was quite the job but we got things boxed and unboxed, things to the donation center and things arranged furniture wise. I wouldn't have gotten it all done in that amount of time without my mother! We did manage to have fun and laughed last night as never before. We found ourselves faced with hooking up the DVD player and the stereo system with it! This is an area I do not get into, leaving it all to Monty. It did take us nearly 2 hours to get it done but we got it done! God is a miracle worker! :)

Today we returned to Columbus where I will be for a couple of days. On Sunday I will return to Bloomington to attend church and say goodbye to my grandchildren, daughter and family. That won't be easy! Those grandchildren are adorable and I realize just how much I have missed already. It's one of the tough things about what we are called to do! In the wee hours of Monday morning I will be boarding a plane and heading back to Texas.

We did have a scare yesterday as Monty's step brother was injured in a 4 wheeler accident and although things didn't look good in the beginning he is now out of intensive care and will be fine. Aren't we blessed to have such an Almighty Healer.

I also had the pleasure of attending the final closing party for the case management team of the Long Term Recovery here in Columbus on Tuesday morning. They are down to 24 open cases which is nothing short of a miracle! The floods were around 15 months ago and this organization has been amazing, jumping in and getting the job done, getting people back in their homes! It was great to see so many friends! Great job Bartholomew County!

We are praying for those in Mexico who seem to be in the oncoming path of this current hurricane. Please join us in these prayers -- God CAN calm the storm!

Until next time . . . be blessed. Susan and Monty