The day started off with a bang -- I'm taking the dogs for a quick walk when one of our camper neighbor ladies approaches me. With her face looking downward she begins the conversation with an apology for coming to me. She then proceeds to explain that she and her husband had their car stolen just prior to the storm. At the time of the storm they were renters and lost everything, including their apartment. They purchased a very old and very small camper and relocated here so her husband could be closer to his work as a fisherman. He leaves every morning between 3 and 4 am and doesn't return until around 7pm each evening. All that time she is inside the camper, no transportation and no company. She asked about the free food give away at Pastor Bob's church each Friday morning and what she needed to do to qualify. I explained that it was totally free, no strings - but she would need transportation. I finally asked outright if they needed help and she broke down crying telling me they were down to their last jar of peanut butter and she didn't know what to do. I tried to reassure her things would be fine and I would see what I could do. She smiled and talked of helping us with rebuilding, of joining with a team if we could take her. I agreed and said I would get back with her later.
As I got back and told Monty we decided to make some things happen. We had a short meeting with our nearly 50 volunteers about Friday being clean up day and a reminder of the house blessing later in the day. All were excited and ready to get to their final day.
Monty and I then headed to Walmart and within the hour we were back to our neighbor with a truck bed full of food! When we pulled up she truly fell apart in shock and thanks. We had a few things that needed refrigerated and she then showed us that they had pawned the refrigerator in the camper so her husband could have money for gas to get back and forth to work. Monty took a trip to the local station, grabbed a bag of ice and she was able to put those things in a cooler. She is so excited about going to Pastor Bob's and helping hand out food and hopefully helping us out with volunteering.
There was another side note to her story. She told us she had read the only book she had - twice! Monty chose "The Shack" to replace that book. It's definitely one she can read over a few times and she was amazed.
The point -- you just never know when God is going to place someone literally directly in your path -- challenge you to help --and show you the exact way to help! We were honored to be the vessels He chose to work through!
All our teams were going full steam ahead, finishing what they could do and cleaning up at the end of the afternoon.
The house blessing for Mariano and Maria and family was a packed porch - you can see in the photo. Good thing we built is as big as we did!
It was great to see the Methodist team there in their new orange team shirts. The even gave one to Billie and Mel as you can see. The Presbytarian's were in their bright blue shirts and the Boat People came in their navy ones! All God's people coming together creating their own rainbow of colors!
The blessing was great as we thought about when we first met them and how we all had become family. Some joked that Monty and I would now have to learn to knock on the door before entering! Everyone enjoyed the tour of the home and all agreed that it is beautiful! Monty even managed to capture a rare moment with Mariano smiling! The children translated into Spanish for Maria and she held up well until one of the teams presented her with a prayer shawl from their church and that did it - the tears of joy came streaming down her face -- and the faces of many, many of those watching!
The day sped by -- and in the middle of it we welcomed a new team! They are painting the inside and outside of a home in Hitchcock. They will be here through tomorrow and hopefully I can have some photos of them. They are from the same church that was here a few weeks ago ---the team that gutted Ms Verlis home in Hitchcock! It's great to have them back again!
An amazing day! A day filled with joy, with love and also a bit of sadness as we said goodbye to so many teams, so many folks who did such amazing work -- all for the Lord -- all week long! Our sincere thanks to all of them! They changed hearts, homes and most of all lives!!!!
Until next time . . . be blessed and bless someone else! Susan and Monty