If there are typos in this entry it's because I am a bit over tired but just had to write and let you all know what an amazing day it has been.
Our day began with checking on the team working on Mariano's deck. They had already exchanged some materials they wouldn't need for those they would and were underway. Not only were they working on the deck they were also putting the final coat of paint on the exterior siding and doing some scraping of windows in preparation for primer and paint. By the end of the day they had it all done and it looks fabulous. I hope to get photos tomorrow.
Then it was off to the doctor for Monty. He's been having alot of joint problems and breaking out in rashes and red spots. The pain has really been intense during the evenings, during the night and into the morning. The doctor was just what we had been looking for. It's extremely difficult to know who to go to when you do what we do. This doctor has diagnosed Monty with rheumatoid arthritis -- which makes perfect sense. He decided the best form of treatment and confirmation of the diagnosis was a cortizone shot. He told us that if Monty felt relief within the next couple of hours we could rest assured that was the correct diagnosis. Lo and behold -- he's been feeling better as the day goes on. Tonight will be the real test but we pray we are now on the right track! It's tough to have something wrong and not know what it is. We can always deal with a "known."
Back again to check on the team. They had taken Mariano and Maria to the park to treat them to lunch. We had a load of deck boards strapped to the top rack of my truck and when they returned we got them unloaded. It was a bit more weight than we should have had on that rack but the angels rode with us and we were successful.
We had about an hour to take care of a couple of other client issues before returning to Mariano's for a goodbye to the team. They will be heading home tomorrow and we will surely miss them. We had no idea until today but for quite a few of them -- this was their first mission trip! They were all smiling and we know God has touched each of their hearts with His special love.
The team had a small ceremony planned for the family. We all gathered on the new deck floor (the rails will be put on by another team another week) where they presented Mariano and Maria with a Bible written in Spanish and one in English for the children. We all prayed over the family and they packed up their tool trailer and were on their way! It was an awesome time of extended family and we were blessed to be a part of it.
As we were leaving little Maria came up to me and said she didn't want us to leave. I told her we would be back with another team on Saturday but she said that wasn't what she meant. She said that when they move into their home we won't be coming back anymore and that made her sad! I think that's the nicest compliment I've had in a long time -- and one that touched my core. I promised her we would be back -- and often -- to see her new bedroom and even come in and sit and watch some TV. "Out of the mouths of babes" . . .
About that time I received a phone call from Martha. If you remember I wrote about she and Steven about a week or so ago. They are probably the saddest situation I've seen in a long time and my heart is breaking. Their house is only 2 rooms, no furniture, no hot water, no kitchen, no cabinets, only a mattress on the floor covered with a couple of quilts I dropped off earlier in the week -- and the window air conditioner they had in their bedroom had stopped running. Martha had just gotten home from another visit to the hospital and it was burning up inside the house. I immediately called Alan with UMCOR and in the next hour we had a new air window unit in the bed of our truck and ready to drop off to them. Steven assured us he could install it. Just as we were pulling out of Lowes -- we didn't pull out of Lowes. My truck was dead -- and I mean dead! Not even a click when I turned the key!
One hour later Monty had taken out the now dead battery, walked to Walmart and brought back a new battery to install. We were a little later than planned but now we were on our way.
Martha and Steven were waiting for us, front door wide open trying to get some air inside -- not to mention the million mosquitos that were happy about that open door! This gave Monty the opportunity to see the home -- and break his heart also. While we were at Lowes we also picked up some cleaning supplies and the smile on Martha's face was priceless!
How are we going to help them? Right now I have NO idea. The main problem? When Martha got sick a few years ago she signed the house over to her sister. In order for them to qualify for funding for us to rebuild she must be listed as the homeowner!! How do we get around this? With a miracle! God will provide that miracle -- it will be in His perfect timing! But it WILL take His miracle! In the meantime -- we will do what we can to help them. We are gathering supplies and food as they have neither. How do people get this way? Take a poor couple, add some disease and sickness, add a big hurricane, take away everything they own, then expect them to rebuild everything AND live on $777 per month!!!
Like I said -- we need a miracle!
What a day! Ups and downs, highs and lows, hearts full of immense joy and deep sorrow -- all at the same time! That's one of the reasons I write this blog -- it's a release for me and hopefully it brings the reality of life to you!
Until next time . . . pray for that miracle, and more! Susan and Monty