Tuesday, September 28, 2010

One Hundred Sixty Nine !!!

Tissues, bars of soap, body wash (mens and womens), shampoo, razors, toothbrushes with toothpaste, wet wipes --- and so much more!
Sunday School Missions Day was a HUGE success with a total of 169 toiletry bags packed full for Monty and I to take with us on our next journey! What a blessing these will be for those who have lost it all! Not only the things inside but the love that was packed right along side everything else! Priceless!
The items came pouring in with a donation from a local store that sent it over the top! The kids took everything and sorted like with like before starting an assembly line that many of them made repeated trips through. Some were still working long past the time for Sunday School to end. And a few parents even got in the act and caught the contagiousness of the love and laughter. One little boy even brought his own greeting cards and wanted to make sure that I knew that one family would get the most special bag of all -- his! A mission mind packed inside such a small package!
After seeing the huge outpouring of love from our little church Monty said he wants to have the next project be a fund raiser for a semi truck so we can haul everything!!! It brought quite the laugh but somehow I wonder . . . the little church that could?! No one told them they were too small, that there weren't enough members to make a difference, that they didn't have the money, etc. They believed God for a miracle and as always -- God came through and they will ALL be blessed!
We are so grateful, so overwhelmed and so loved! Amazing!
Until next time . . . what can you do to make a difference? Susan and Monty

Friday, September 24, 2010

He wants to shout it to the world!

Pastor Gerald Martinez of Joshua's Vineyard Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico gave
us permission to use his full name and to tell his story -- as far as we know it!

A few days ago we received an email that really touched our hearts -- especially Monty's. Pastor Gerald is going through treatments for hepatitis C. Monty has been there and in fact, was one of the first in the nation pronounced "cured." Yes -- cured! Not in the sense of being in remission. The disease is gone -- never to return!

Pastor Gerald is going through this same treatment. It's an 11 month treatment that combines oral medication and shots that one must learn to give themselves. Not an easy treatment and the doctors told us it's equally as rough as chemotherapy! They weren't kidding!

Pastor Gerald started out with his viral load (the amount of virus in his bloodstream and thus his liver) at 25 million -- it should be zero!

When Monty spoke with him the other day they were awaiting the results of testing that is done at the 12 week period. At this point in the treatment you are experiencing some really severe and difficult side effects. Pastor Gerald was a bit "down" and needed the lifting up that Monty was able to give him. It always helps us when we can speak with someone who has been through what we are going through! God works that way and it's amazing!

This morning Pastor Gerald called to give Monty the results of that test. His viral load is 24!!!!!! He was thrilled and so thankful for all the prayers that have been prayed for him. Monty spoke with him at length and told him about this blog. Pastor Gerald said he wanted to shout it to the world and needed ALL the prayers he could get!

So here we are --- let's all get in prayer for this Pastor and for anyone else going through a disease of any kind. We don't need to know the details of the disease -- we know God who is our Almighty healer! He knows the needs and all we need to do is pray!

We thank our own Pastor Dave for sending us the email about Pastor Gerald and we thank God for the healing that has already taken place and we thank Him ahead of time for the healing we know will take place in the future!

In the meantime -- Monty has another life long friend that he hasn't even met in person!

What an awesome God we serve!

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

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

God's Plan

We've had alot of questions as to where we are going next and when. Our answer remains the same "where and when God calls us."

When we originally planned our sabbatical we were thinking in terms of the summer home. But God . . .

Here we are mid way through September and I have been wondering why God isn't calling? As I was having a conversation with Pastor Dave last week I felt God was telling us (and showing us) that we were to focus on families during the month of September and that is why He wasn't calling us out just yet. God really sent that message home with me over this past weekend! My, oh my did He ever! And I am so thankful!

As we all know, relationships with family "should" be all loving, supporting, understanding and forgiving! NOT!! We live in the real world filled with sin and sometimes -- just sometimes -- that isn't the case.

Leaving families behind as we do can add to that list above! This month of September has brought healing like never before! I chose to not go into detail as detail isn't the important thing. Healing is! Love is! Supporting is! Understanding is! Forgiving is!

I thank God with all my heart that His plan is the plan we have chosen to follow -- even though we can't see what is ahead we have committed ourselves to whatever His plan is!

And my, oh my are we blessed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Until next time . . . how's your family? Susan and Monty

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Give, Share, Prepare

The photo might be a bit difficult to read but you can atleast see the title and the pictures.

Today was the announcement that Sunday School Mission Sunday will be next week. We decided to get the entire congregation involved!

Monty and I received a donation of quite a few (lots) of toiletry bags from our local Crisis Pregnancy Center. They weren't able to use them and of course, we'll use anything. God had His own special plan for those bags!

During this week the kids and adults will be collecting trial/travel size toiletries to bring into church with them next Sunday. The Sunday School kids will then stuff all the bags with those items. This might include toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, combs, brushes, deoderants, etc.

Imagine if you woke up tomorrow and had nothing from your bathroom -- NOTHING! That is what happens in a disaster and we hope to not only bring some relief with us on our next journey but also teach the kids (and adults?) about preparing, about missions and about the love of Jesus being packed away in each bag.

Be sure and stay tuned as we will have photos with the kids packing and it should be a fantastic and blessed Sunday School Missions Sunday.

How about your church? Is there something small like this that they could do?

Until next time . . . blessings and love to all. Susan and Monty

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Not as old as he thought!

Monty awoke this morning singing Happy Birthday to himself and was thrilled when he realized he was a year younger than he thought!!!!

Yes, he's only 46 and thought he was 47! Born in 1964 -- you do the math!

Anyway, he had a great day. We had breakfast with his parents and were able to spend some time just sitting on our back deck, enjoying the perfect weather and nice breeze. He decided to spend some time with his best friends during the afternoon while I headed to church to work on a service project for the Sunday School kids, and the entire congregation over the next couple of weeks. It was also nice for me to get to spend some time talking with Pastor Dave (face to face instead of over the phone) which made me nearly late in getting home!

I was able to get home just in time for my mom to arrive. She had called, knowing it was Monty's birthday, and wanted to come and spend the evening with us. I got ahold of my daughter and her kids (photo) and they joined us for dinner. Luke opened our meal with his prayer from preschool using both the one for lunch and the one for snacks! A double blessing! We spent most of the time laughing with the kids and when Luke decided to sing Happy Birthday solo style to Monty it brought a combination of tears and laughter! He was so sincere I know it was the best birthday song Monty has ever had!

After dinner they decided to come back to our house and play for a short time. The kids are amazed with our dogs since they are small and their dog is a gigantically huge chocolate lab! When our dogs start running the kids crack up! The photo above was priceless as they all decided to give a thumbs up as a happy birthday sign!

Days that make us so very happy to be home with family! Days of priceless blessings that come from our most loving Father in heaven! One very blessed birthday -- number 46!!!!!

Until next time . . . cherish your own family! God gave them to you! Susan and Monty

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Remembering . . . Family

You might not be able to make out the printing in this -- never mind. I want you to see the photo --- this man died 9 years ago in the towers in New York. Can you believe it's been that long? No doubt you can remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when you heard the terrible news!

After the attack one of the ways that funds were earned for the families was the selling of bracelets with the name of a victim on it. I bought one and will have it for as long as I live. After an extended period of time the names were listed online and with some research I located his family. I wrote a letter to that family -- had no other information than his name. To my shock and awe I received a letter of response from his wife! He was the father of 3 boys and worked in one of the financial offices where every single employee died! She also included the pamphlet from his funeral service, complete with his photo! Over the years this has been priceless to me. She thanked me for honoring him by wearing the bracelet with his name on it. HE is the one who deserves to be honored! I hope everyone took a moment to reflect, to remember and to pray! James DeBlase -- I never met you but I have loved you!

We spent yesterday evening with my parents and had a blast at the last summer park concert in Columbus. We somehow managed to miss every one here at home but made theirs! The most fun was just spending time with my parents and atleast one brother!

The night before we spent the evening with friends who are interested in going into missions. They have been thinking about doing so for a long time and just recently he lost his job so . . God has closed one door but opened another! I also found out what it's like to be bitten by a very large wolf spider at their home! Nailed me on the leg, left some pretty nasty teeth marks and a surrounding bruise! Think satan had something to do with that? No doubt!

And now to today --- for the first time in 5 years we were able to go to our home church picnic! It was awesome! Our neighbor, Shelley, who has been going to church with us made sure she had today off work and Monty's mother came bringing some of the best cake I've ever seen. We all had a blast visiting with so many folks and eating way too much good food! The weather was picture perfect and it felt so good to be home!

We hope all of you are enjoying your families --- remember that God divinely chose each of our families and although we all have our "issues" -- families are the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Until next time . . . be blessed and bless someone else. Susan and Monty

Friday, September 10, 2010

Thoughts and facts, updated

Our newly painted deck with green shutters replacing the old black ones! Finally!

Last night was another of those nights where random thoughts pounded my brain. For some reason God had me remembering every square inch of all the houses I have lived in over the years? Why? Only He knows!

Anyway, we are getting quite a few things done here at home while watching the weather and wondering how much longer we have and where God will send us next.

In the meantime . . .

It sure was nice to get a phone call from Cherie in Texas saying she and Hank missed seeing us drive through the city! We miss them too! Some folks just become family and will always be missed!

Monty is scheduled for foot surgery in a couple of weeks. Seems he must have dropped something on his big toe and broken it. When? Who knows! But a bone spur developed and then broke off leaving it very painful to bend forward. The doc says he can "clean it out" and within a couple of days he should be much better.

My youngest daughter had all of her wisdom teeth pulled yesterday and is having a couple of rough days. Wisdom isn't all its cracked up to be!

My other daughter is having some tough times at work but also learning alot in the "process." I am going to be blessed to do some babysitting for her in the meantime.

My son is doing fine. This time of year is extremely busy for the heating and cooling people.

We are going to see my parents tomorrow -- it's been awhile and too long! My dad and brother are harvesting in the fields -- about 6 weeks early due to the drought.

We have been working on cleaning out both our tool trailer and storage barn, organizing and making sense of tools and such. Not an easy job but atleast we have like items with like items and can go from there.

Our church picnic is this Sunday -- and we'll be able to attend for the first time in 5 years! The weather is forecast to be perfect -- thanks Lord! Our neighbor Shelley has been going to church with us and even took the day off to go to the picnic!

Our neighbors are awaiting some very critical health news -- they've been waiting for over a week and none of us wait well! Not with that sort of news hanging in the balance.

The summer is nearly done here -- where did it go?

Thank you Lord -- for all our blessings and for having us home for all of these things (and so many more). What an awesome God we serve!

Until next time . . . still wondering why I had to go over all the past homes? Susan and Monty

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Nearly 5 years later

This morning we had the pleasure of returning to Genesis church! Pastor Dave and his congregation were instrumental in getting us started in this ministry nearly 5 years ago and it was great to return and see some old faces and also new.

When we committed to this disaster mission work we initially committed to one year! We had borrowed one of my brothers campers and were concerned as to how we would get it to Mississippi as we did not have a vehicle to pull it. Pastor Dave had volunteered their church van if someone from the congregation would volunteer to take us - and it - down south.

As I was looking for Monty after the service I was excited because I had quite a few people interested in making that drive.

Little did either of us know that God had the ultimate plan -- as always!

Monty was standing with a gentleman who was pulling a key from his key ring -- the key to a '95 Ford truck that was built to pull. In my narrow mindedness I was wondering how we would get the truck back to the gentleman after we dropped the camper! :)

He was giving the truck to us -- not wanting it to return!!! Isn't God awesome!

And here we are nearly 5 years later, still with the truck and back to Genesis with the ability to properly thank all of them for their prayers and their love and their support!

What an awesome God we serve and what a blessing that church has been to us!

Until next time . . . how will God amaze you? Susan and Monty

Thursday, September 02, 2010


Yes -- we wait! And we pray!!!!

As I write this the winds are just starting to hit the North Carolina coast and still no one knows what the results will be.

We have received many questions as to if we are going, when we are going, where we are going?

Believe me -- as soon as we know --- YOU will know!

If there is extensive damage and our assistance is needed we will be off and running -- but -- the areas must be safe -- the first responders need to be able to work and do their jobs and the entire area has to be able to accomodate volunteers. This all takes time and like I said -- when we know you WILL know.

In the meantime we all need to be praying as this isn't the only storm out there! At this point in time there are 3 more lined up and we are in the heart of the hurricane season! And Earl hasn't even decided where and how many places he will land.

We wait -- and we see where God is calling us. As we have said before and will continue to say; we have dedicated our lives to this work and in doing so we fully surrender and trust in the guidance of our Lord!

Thank you for your support, for your prayers and for those of you interested -- make sure you stay in touch because volunteers ARE going to be needed! And that means YOU!

Until next time we continue rebuilding the front door of our daughter and son in laws home and doing what we do -- helping others.

PS Monty could use some extra prayers as he fell from the ladder while we were working today and has quite a few scrapes and bruises -- the main one seems to be on one of his kidneys. God is the Almighty healer and please pray a special touch for him right now.

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