Sunday, August 29, 2010

Open House

Very first thing -- today is the 5 year anniversary of hurricane Katrina so let's be sure and keep all those who are still working to rebuild in our prayers! Can you believe it's been 5 years?

The photo above shows you the completed work on the front of our home! The deck is now completely repainted, the shutters are up and the front door area also has a new coat of new color paint! This has been my summer project and I can now say that it is done! And from the looks of all the action in the tropics --- not a minute too soon!

Yesterday we opened our home to all our friends and family. So many folks have said they would like to get together with us while we are home and with only a limited amount of time (and not knowing when that limit is ended) we decided to host our own open house where they could stop by, eat some good food and spend some time with us and the rest of the crowd. And crowd it was! We were thrilled that so many came by! They have no idea how much it means to us! No idea! We packed the house from mid afternoon till nearly midnight and it was awesome!

The other picture is our dogs -- the morning after! They were so exhausted after trying to keep up with everyone yesterday that this morning they didn't move! And yes -- they sleep with all those blankets -- no matter what the temperature outside! Kids!!!!

And now we wait -- we watch the tropics -- and see where God will lead us next. We continue to get the questions of where we will go next and when? Watch the weather and you will know as soon as we do! God has a plan and we stay in prayer waiting to hear where and when. He is our perfect guide and we will wait . . .

Until next time . . . thanks for your prayers! Susan and Monty

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thanks Camping World

Yesterday was quite the busy day!

First of all, congrats to Tim and Jenn in Texas! It's a girl! 8 lbs. 13 ounces! And what a beauty she is -- they sent us pics and made me wish we were there!

The day started with us meeting with a group of local Pastors to share what has been going on over the past years. This is the same group that we met with before we ever started on this venture and it was good to see them again. We were asked to speak at one of them in a couple of weeks and it will be great to see everyone there again. They all played such a big part in giving us the encouragement to enter this field of disaster ministry!

From there it was off to Greenwood to meet up with my Mom and go to Camping World to use the gift certificate they gave us for being RVers of the Year. I cannot tell you how much fun we had and yet how difficult it was! Monty and I are used to doing everything we can to stretch the dollars for homeowners and "making due" in every situation possible. As I was sitting with Melinda who was helping me select new chairs for the camper it was extremely tough to realize that we could select what we wanted and not be concerned about the price!

We shopped and shopped and had 2 carts filled with things we see all the time but do without. We would pick up an item and before we knew it we had talked ourselves out of it! If it hadn't been for my Mom and her encouragement we might still be there!

By the time we finished we had literally been there all day long and laughed until we nearly cried. Camping World had no idea how much we appreciate their gift! Priceless! We now have the things that will make our lives so much easier when we are traveling and in the field! I don't know how we're going to be able to really thank them!!!!!

The first thing to start with is to thank all of YOU who voted for us to win that award! YOU started the process and we are so very grateful! As we have said before --- it is YOU who keeps us going -- through donations, through supportive calls now and then, and with your prayers! We thank you and we love you!

Until next time . . . thanks Mom! We had a blast and really needed you to be there with us!!
Susan and Monty

Sunday, August 22, 2010

12 Years

Has it been 12 years?

On one hand it seems like yesterday and on the other hand it seems like a life time -- both feel good!

Yes, today is our anniversary! As I think back over these past 12 years and how they have evolved, how God has changed both of us (for the better) and how amazing this journey has been I stand in awe of His almighty plans!

We had NO idea! God did! All we knew was that we were supposed to be together. Most of the rest of the world did not agree. We went "against the grain" and trusted what God was telling us both.

I don't know of another couple who came from such opposite backgrounds, who are so different in their "paces" of life, who know each other as well and who love each other as much!

We have been through things in these past 12 years that most couples don't go through in a life time. God has taken us "through the valley of the shadow of death" when Monty had his heart attack and sustained us and brought us out on the other side of real life!

We have lived in our home, more space than the two of us need. We have lived in "144 square feet of marital bliss" and then graduated to "244 square feet of marital bliss" with our newer camper -- and survived -- thrived in all the spaces!

God has directed us in this journey of life together and our prayer? That He will continue to do so, that He will continue to bless us beyond imagination and that life will continue to be an adventure with Him at the helm!

I love you Monty and thank you for being my husband, my partner and my bestest friend in the whole wide world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Until next time . . . bless you all. Susan and Monty

Friday, August 20, 2010

Those priceless phone calls

Over the years we have orientated who knows how many teams of volunteers and met who knows how many folks who ask us "what do you need?" Our answer is -- and always will be -- the most important thing you can do is pray for us! "And when you feel that little tug to give us a call -- make the call!" It's always a God thing!

Just the other night one very special man did just that -- he made the call!

Big Joe from West Virginia was looking for someone elses phone number when he found the sheet of paper had a fold in it. When he opened the fold he found my number and decided to call and check in. It was such a blessing to hear from him and to know he still thought of us.

We haven't seen Big Joe since March of 2008 when we did the Speed Build for Ms Ollie (you can go back into the blog archives and read about it). We talked about both the Speed Builds we have done and how much we all learned with each one.

Even while Monty and I were in Texas his team built a 3rd build in March of 2009. Joe was sad as he told me that the gentleman they built that home for had passed away. We talked about all the fun and challenges of building that first one for Ms Faye.

It's amazing how God plans everything out -- to the detail -- and all we have to do is be obedient to listen and follow.

Thanks Big Joe -- for being obedient and making that call and making my day!

Until next time . . . who should you call? Susan and Monty

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Down and Back -- Quickly

Sorry for the delay in letting you know what's happening here. Time once again got away from me.

We have been swamped with "things" going on. This past week we took 3 days and went to Alabama to check in with our missions training school which is also our sending agency. Thanks to my parents we were able to rent a car (can't rent if you don't own a credit card and we don't) so the trip was a bit easier. We drove the 12 hours down, stayed for a few hours and made the 12 hour trip back. The weather was less than cooperative, we hit the remnants of the tropical depression moving north through Alabama and drove through rain that made it nearly impossible to see the front of your own car! Then we hit another terrific storm in Louisville, Kentucky but were able to wait it out in one of the local truck stops.

In between time we were able to have dinner at my parents' house with one of our UMCOR superivsors, Alan, and his family. They were visiting in a city near my parents so we all got together and had a wonderful evening of stories and catching up. It was so good to see them again and difficult to once again say goodbye. Thanks to my amazing Mom who cooked dinner for all of us so we didn't have to sit in a restaurant and be looked at by the waitress wondering just how much longer we would be sitting there!

During our time at my parents we also dropped off my truck -- we have it up for sale! Ouch! I have found myself very emotionally attached to that truck and have to put being practical over being emotional! I have always kidded teams that someday my truck would grow up into a full size one -- and it did! Now it has to go and sitting at my parents house which is right in the heart of an industrial area will hopefully get that job done. (It still hurts though) :)

Today we were thrilled to attend church and have 4 generations with us -- Monty's mother, his sister, her daughter and her baby daughter! It was the first time we got to meet the new baby who is now 14 months old -- what a cutie! It was so good to have the family sitting together and thanking God for all our blessings! Hopefully they will come back sometime soon?!

This afternoon I got to spend time with my daughter and grandchildren. I hadn't seen them in a couple of weeks and it's amazing to see how quickly they change! Seeing their smiles when they realize I am there and feeling their hugs and kisses is absolutely priceless!

This week promises to be a busy one. We have trucks that need repairs and will be working on that. We have a couple of doctor appointments that are long overdue. One of my daughters has a birthday. Monty's dad has a birthday. We have an anniversary! Has it really been 12 years? I still have a front deck to paint along with shutters to put on the house. We have a dinner invite to some of our church friends house with all their family. We also have an invite to go with a group from church to some famous auction house one evening.

All that keeps the clock ticking way too fast. Time is moving way too quickly. And all the while we keep our eyes peeled to the weather -- watching the tropics, the winds and the depressions wondering which one will change into a storm?

God holds the time table and all we can do is wait for His calling, His direction and His path.

In the meantime I think we need to look up the definition for "sabbatical" as I know we aren't doing what it says we should be doing! Ha! Ha!

Until next time . . . our days are numbered and they sure do fly by too fast! Susan and Monty

Monday, August 09, 2010


Just got a few photos from the Sams Club Rally! This was one of the better ones.

Yesterday was our day to speak to all the Sunday School kids at our home Vineyard Church! What a blast! Opening up the session for questions was amazing! They were great!

We started out asking them what a disaster was and to our delight they had a good handle on the word and described different types of disasters. From there we led into how we live while in the field, what we do and what it takes to get it done and how everything is possible because of God's help and their prayers for us. We had a poster of photos and a couple of videos that really seemed to touch their hearts. It's always fun for us to share our mission and to be able to share it with children is extra special! Hopefully some of them will think more about missions and have a bit of a different thought when the term "missionary" is used.

Today we were blessed to babysit for a very special little boy. Over 7 years ago we met Rhonda at our church and it was more than obvious that if she didn't give birth soon she just might explode. The following week she did just that -- gave birth that is -- to a beautiful little boy. She was struggling to make ends meet and her job had her scheduled for quite a few Saturdays. Jordan became our "Saturday baby" and we loved it. Over the years we have always stayed in touch and see them whenever we can. Today we got the opportunity to have him spend the day with us. We took him to the local pool and watched him show us all he had learned about swimming. We all 3 "raced" from side to side and laughed so much we all had trouble getting our breath! It's just amazing to watch him grow up and it's such a blessing for us in doing so! Alot of single moms out there have trouble making ends meet, having enough time to spend on their kids and themselves and need a shoulder, a smile or just a hug. We thank God for placing them in our lives and can't wait to see what the future holds for all of us!

Until next time . . . some Mom out there could use your help! Susan and Monty

Saturday, August 07, 2010

She felt as though she "won the lottery"

In her own words Trisha said she felt like she had "won the lottery" today!

Trisha is one of our next door neighbors who is unable to be outside for any period of time due to a medical condition. Her yard, shrubs, trees and things had gotten so overgrown that it was nearly impossible to even see her house. Last week Monty had stopped by to visit her and volunteered our services in getting her yard back in shape.

Amy and Rodney heard the story and wanted to get involved. Amy has a heart for missions and this is something that she feels called to do. Why not start with Trisha's house? And then they knew of another friend, Tiana, who would also like to help. And before the day was over we had the other neighbors, Jim and son Josh, who jumped in to help! The more the merrier!

We trimmed, we cut, we shaped, we dug, we pulled, we poured, we raked . . . on and on the entire day until it was transformed and a big smile was all across Trisha's face as she posed for the photo with Amy and Rodney!

During the day she was inside looking out windows as we worked and even said she felt like the queen watching us work! God's will for sure!

We all enjoyed doing this small thing for her. Amy and Rodney along with Tiana got their first experience in helping others -- just for the sake of helping -- no agenda. Tiana even got a blister -- through her gloves! Now that's some hard working!

Monty even let Josh use the blower to clean out the back of the truck when we were done and he was excited beyond words!

All just to help! All to the glory of God! And all had smiles and felt the blessing that comes from being helped and from helping!

Until next time . . . try it for yourself! You'll smile too! Susan and Monty

Monday, August 02, 2010

Rest??? Maybe August???

Can't believe it's August already!!!!!

As you can see by the pics we are doing everything we can to get ourselves ready to go back into the field when needed. I spent the entire afternoon priming our back deck--what a job! I had already used a belt sander and sanded it down to the original wood. It had never been primed and each time we painted it just peeled off -- so this time I wanted to do it right! What a thought! After this deck is completed I will move to the front one, which includes the shutters and trim around the front door. This is my "summer" project and it's going to take me all summer just to get it done! :)

Monty has been under the hood of both trucks for days now. First the old white Ford needed front end work done and now it's headed to the shop this week for transmission work! Ouch! Then the old red Ford took a dive and he's been able to do that work himself -- and work it is! He made some good progress today and it might be "done" in another day! It's part of the package when you have older vehicles!

Yesterday we spent the day in Columbus where we attended church with my parents and got to greet everyone coming in. It was great to see everyone and even greater to join them in their church picnic at the city park in the afternoon! They are all so good about keeping us in their prayers and those prayers are what keep us going!

This week we will preparing for being in our own Vineyard church Sunday. We have been asked to speak to all the Sunday School kids, the elementary age ones. We have been putting together pictures to show them a bit more about disaster ministry and all that is involved with it. It's always fun to speak to kids and open the floor for their questions! "Out of the mouths of babes."

We did receive a thank you from Janey this weekend. She thanked everyone who had worked on the rebuilding of their home. She said Logan left this world knowing their home had been restored and that Janey would be fine. The flowers from the Canadian team were beautiful and warmed her heart! Thanks team!

Rebuilding lives by rebuilding homes . . . what an awesome God we serve!

Until next time . . . remember your prayers! Susan and Monty