Friday, April 29, 2011

Going? Staying? Waiting!

Everyone has seen the damage from the the storms and tornadoes that have struck all through the south and lower midwest areas of our nation. The worst since the early 1970's! Our prayers MUST go out for everyone in these areas -- and continue to go out as this won't be "ok" as quickly as it will be out of the news.

Now comes the question we are already being asked and will no doubt be asked many more times -- "are you leaving to go and help?"

The answer is "not now." God calls us and He also releases us from things and right now we have not finished what He called us to do here.

When we started our satellite branch of our missions training school back in January we made a commitment to finish it -- and that will be the first week of July. God called us to do this and He has not released us from its completion.

We are also committed to the upcoming mission in Ecuador in July. He called us to be His hands and feet in the construction of the church and we said "yes, send us."

Where we go from there is up to God. He will release us from these two commitments and He will call us to another.

For some ---this is very difficult to understand. For others --- it's easy because they are also following His calling and His timing.

It's not always easy for us. Like I said, our hearts go out to anyone suffering from natural disasters! We WILL be praying for the survivors and all those that God does call into the service of helping them rebuild.

We thank you for your support, your love and your prayers.

Until next time . . . Susan and Monty

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Then . . . and . . . now

Remember last Friday night when we visited the household with 10 children? Remember that Cheryl was a friend in Monty's past?

I want you to know she keeps her own blog and she wrote about Monty -- get the tissues as it's heartfelt, amazing and hopefully inspirational!

She knew him "then" and has seen the "now" after God's miraculous touch!

Just thought you all might like to read it.

God is all about relationships and I can't wait to see what He has in store for this one!

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

Monday, April 25, 2011

Boots or Boat?

Easter --- what a glorious day! These are our grandchildren after finding all their hidden Easter eggs! The rains forced us to hide them all inside but they didn't care. Luke even told me last week that he was "practicing" finding eggs! Kids!!!!!

Speaking of rain !!!!!! I do believe we may need to trade in our boots and get a boat! Heavy storm after heavy storm has come through over the past days. Roads are flooded out and streets are holding water like never before. And more is in the forecast for tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday!

Monty is on his 8th straight day of working. He started a big project of removing and replacing the skirting on a mobile home along with seal coating the roof. The roof is done, the old skirting is off and I took it to the dump, the rails for the new skirting are on and he is hoping to get enough break tomorrow to finish up the job! He worked all day Saturday in the rain and hopefully will get that break tomorrow?!

I took on the job of mowing lawns here in our subdivision. And with all this rain -- I think I might need to replace the tires on the mower with skiis!

But on the bright side -- I don't think I've seen things this green in years! It's beautiful!

We do hope all of you enjoyed Easter yesterday! Our church service was fantastic and even "more better" since we closed with baptisms! I love it when we close that way -- what a celebration to go out on! Some of the children's church did an Easter skit for us that was awesome -- and as always -- brought cheers and joy to all of us watching! Those teachers do such a great job and should get alot more credit than they do! I think God has special crowns awaiting them in heaven. Jesus had such a love for children while He was here on earth and they are our future! The kids in our church make me believe our future will be just fine!

Tomorrow is my Bible Study and hopefully a bit more information on our trip to Ecuador. I have all the forms ready to begin our Volunteer meetings. Putting this together has alot more details than planning something here on US soil! I picked up our donated tent and sleeping bags this morning. A couple in our church gave them to us and we are so thankful as we don't have anything like that! What a blessing!

My next project is to put together a few pictures and make some calls to local churches to see if we can come and tell their congregations about this upcoming trip. We are hoping to raise awareness, volunteers and funding. Please keep us in your prayers!

Until next time . . . anyone know where I can find the plans Noah used to build the boat?????

Susan and Monty

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Past Relationship = "Floods" of Joy

MANY, MANY thanks to Cheryl for sending me this photo -- I am still kicking myself for not bringing our camera which meant Cheryl is the one taking this and not in the photo --- next time!!!

Quite a few weeks ago we got a comment on the blog from someone I didn't know -- someone from Monty's past. She had somehow found us and was interested in what we were doing. She told us all about her family, complete with 10 children! Through a series of emails Cheryl invited us to their home for some time with the children and dinner. They live about an hour from us and finding the time when both our schedules would permit wasn't easy but last night was that night.

We arrived late afternoon which allowed us some time with the children -- and with 10 of them it takes some time! :) We were also able to find out just how Cheryl did find out about us after, well --- let's just say it's been almost 30 years since she and Monty had seen one another. The puzzle pieces were filled in as the room filled with conversation, questions and laughter!

Watching that many children do what they do was incredible! The older girls preparing the meal, a German feast!!!! made me think they should be doing a cooking show on TV!

When Dad got home dinner was served and the joy and laughter around that table had to be a small taste of what it will be like when we get to heaven and are seated at God's big table!

After the meal the children took turns singing songs and playing their instruments for us! They told us how they travel to churches to sing and play and now I see why they are in such demand! It brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart hearing them! And what a way to celebrate Good Friday!

After dinner we showed them some of the videos we have of our disaster work. It was a great time to tell stories of how God shows up and shows out and that if you feel God has called you to do something -- no matter what the world says -- do what He called you to do!

Before we realized it the time was nearing midnight and we still had an hour to drive home. It was really difficult to leave -- that family spirit and closeness is contagious and it just felt really good to both of us. I know God knew just how much we needed that.

As soon as we started home so did the thunderstorms! Lightning like I haven't seen in awhile accompanied by heavy downpours. And upon walking in our front door nearing 1:00am the tornado sirens started blaring! All was fine, just ALOT of heavy rains and more of the same forecast for tonight!

What did we learn from last night? More things than I can possibly write here but the main thing is that God is truly all about relationships and sometimes when you least expect it, with whom you least expect, He will bring about a closeness and joy and blessing that will blow your socks off!

Thank you Cheryl and Terry and all the children for opening not only your home to us but more importantly -- your hearts!

Until next time . . . remember tomorrow is Easter and let's all go to church and celebrate our real Freedom! Susan and Monty

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Working and waiting

Well, we almost worked from sun up to sun down!

Monty is working on another mobile home. He's skirting and sealing the roof. Today I got to go along and learn how to remove old skirting -- I have a whole new appreciation of it, that's for sure! He also got the sealer on the roof -- an amazing feat to accomplish in one day. He said the sealer is like mixing glue and takes stirring for almost forever to get it to the right consistancy.

I had to leave him by early afternoon to come back to our subdivision and mow lawns. The gentleman who has been mowing for residents the past few years has a full time job now so I decided to try and earn some income by posting flyers on everyone's door offering my mowing services. In 2 days I had 4 lawns lined up for the summer! And with the rain we''ve had and more on the way everyone wanted theirs done today! I managed to get 3 of them done (one wants to wait till next week) and then our own.

By the time Monty and I both stopped the sun was going down -- and we were starving and filthy!

Now we are full and clean and exhausted!

But it was a good day, the sun was shining and it was such a blessing to be outside enjoying it all day long!

And now we wait for the storms forecast for tonight and possibly severe ones tomorrow!

Until next time . . . let's all take some time tomorrow -- Good Friday -- and remember what our Lord Jesus went through -- all for us! We will never be able to thank Him enough!

Susan and Monty

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

80 mph

Yep -- it's quite a bit after midnight and we are in the hospital parking garage riding out the severe thunderstorms!

The winds are nearing 80 miles per hour and we know well enough what high winds can do so we head to the concrete parking garage, park on the lowest floor which has us under ground level and wait it out. Yes, the dogs are with us -- they know the drill and expect to "go" as soon as the first clap of thunder hits!

It does seem it's nearly over so home we go and hopefully for some sleep.

What a way to spend the night after an amazing missions training class --- under the protection of God's arms!

Until next time . . . Susan and Monty

Monday, April 18, 2011

Hear it in her words . . .

These are just some of the people we will be meeting in Ecuador.

There is a You Tube video just released and for all of you who would like to know some of the background of this upcoming trip I encourage you to go to this video and hear it from Pastor Martie herself, hear her passion, hear her joy and hear how God works through those who take the phrase "send me, send me" literally!

Go to You Tube and do a search for "Pastor Martie Spaulding" and it should come right up. It was just released a couple of days ago. You'll be glad you did.

Blessings to all.

Until next time . . . Susan and Monty

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dealing with the government!!!!

I needed this picture -- taken in December of 2009 while Monty and I were in San Antonio. After spending literally hours working with taxes here and documents there and forms elsewhere . . .

We all know this is the week all our taxes have to be completed. We sent our off to the tax man the first part of February but I didn't receive anything until today -- the same day I also received our property tax statement that has a BIG mistake on it --- which caused the amount due to be 6 times higher than it should be! Guess who will receive my first phone call tomorrow morning!!!

Then I had a form that had to be completed and could only be done online. No problem, I did it on Monday afternoon and after all 8 pages were filled out and the payment being entered I was ready to push the "submit" button -- and away it went --- or I thought so. It then gave me a screen saying there was a problem on their end and gave me a phone number to call. Of course it was after hours by that time so today I made the call ----many calls!!! Turns out there's absolutely no record of my paperwork but the payment sure enough went through! And now I have to do the paperwork all over -- and pay the fee --- again --- and they can't even start the process of refunding the first payment until I fax over a bank statement showing the deduction.

Frustrated???? You bet!!!!!! But tomorrow is another day -- I pray it's a bit smoother!

Yesterday was more than a busy one! Bible study in the morning followed by a meeting about the Ecuador trip. We covered so many questions and I was able to provide Pastors with a list of information we hope they can bring back with us on their trip. They leave tomorrow. As soon as they return we will begin holding "general information" meetings for anyone here locally interested in the trip.

I had to make one more stop on the way home, which ended up taking nearly 2 hours so both Monty and I got home just in time to wash our hands, let the dogs out and head to our missions class. It was a great class teaching us in depth about ethics, character and integrity. Wow! It had our heads spinning and brought about some great conversation!

So the past couple of days have been pushed for enough time -- Monty is working on rebuilding a mobile home and has the skirting done, the deck done and another one jacked up and ready to be moved before starting on the remodel of the inside! Not enough hours!

But . . . standing on the promises of God to always be with us we know tomorrow is a new day, a day to praise our God with. Today I am praising Him for forgiveness! What about you?

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

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Another week forward . . .

Once again I find myself wondering where this past week went! And I refuse to believe it has anything to do with age!!!!! :) Thinking backwards . . . this morning's church service was awesome. Pastor Dave has been focusing on the last 7 words Jesus spoke while on the cross and each week I have had a new revelation on those words. Today's were "it is finished" and once again I came out with a new perspective and a renewed sense of thanks for all God has done for me! Last night we were blessed to be guests at the banquet honoring the homeless here locally. The Genesis Shelter opens tonight and the banquet was a fund raiser with a guest speaker that had some excellent points on poverty and homelessness and how we should all not only be aware but be involved. One statement he made has really stuck with me -- "what if every homeless person, every struggling mother, every addicted father, every person going through a tough time had a personal, one on one, mentor?" Think about that for a minute . . . it's life and world changing -- or could be! We have turned in our volunteer forms and are awaiting a schedule to see when and how often we will be volunteering. Yesterday was also our church work day -- mixed in with some pretty hefty thunderstorms! It was time to pull weeds, clean out leaves, trim shrubs and spread new mulch. Through perseverance through winds, rain, storms and then sunshine it got done. I left late afternoon to get cleaned up for the banquet but Rob obviously stayed until the job was done because this morning it was beautiful! Friday was the Hannahthon where everyone chipped in to raise funds for our Crisis Pregnancy Center and maternity home. I answered incoming calls for a couple of hours and then moved to the prayer room where we had prayer requests that were continually covered with prayer. The announcement was made today that the goal was reached, just barely, but my oh my the blessings that will come from every dollar pledged and given! Friday was also the day I got word back from my bloodwork and some re-adjusting was done with my thyroid medication -- and I am not liking the results so will be making a phone call tomorrow! Thursday Monty and I went to check on a request for mobile home repair work. We met a wonderful man and his wife who need some new skirting and roof work done. It was great to visit with them and Monty will be getting back with them tomorrow to see if we can get things worked out. Wednesday was my day with grandchildren and while Liv was napping I took the opportunity to go outside and do some yard work and clean up some flower beds for my daughter and son in law. I love working outside so this was an added joy for me. Tuesday was morning Bible study -- always uplifting and amazing -- and I came to the realization that God's "word" for me here recently has been "mountain." Whether in song or scripture that word is there -- I love how God speaks to us! Tuesday evening was our missions training class and the video for this week was an eye opener. It was the story of missionaries who went into Indonesia and by the end everyone in the class was thankful they had committed themselves to learning more about missions! They are all working on their research papers and must be doing well as no one had questions -- at this time anyway. They have until June 7th to get it completed! Pray for them. :) And now we look to this week. Severe thunderstorms with high winds forecast for tonight and into tomorrow -- always fun! Tomorrow Monty will be working on more mobile homes and I will hopefully get class homework graded after taking my grandson to preschool. Tuesday is back to Bible study with a meeting about the Ecuador trip following. And that brings me to the newest announcement about that --- we will START BUILDING ON MONDAY, JULY 11th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So either wipe the dust off your passport or go and get one if you don't have one, find a tent and sleeping bag, check airlines flying into the capital of Quito and let me know you are interested in joining us and not only changing the lives of thousands of Ecuadorians -- but also yours!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are only booking volunteers for 2 weeks ---the weeks of July 11th and 18th so don't let time get away from you! I have all the info you will need so just leave a comment here or email me if you have our email or call me if you have my cell phone! I did talk with Joe (Ms Faye's speed build - March 2007) and he is definitely interested in going along with some of his guys from the WV team, the NC team and the FL team! We are so excited and so anxious to see what God has in store! God gave us the "mandate" to "go to the nations" and this is exactly what we are planning! We would love to have you join us in building this church on the mountain (Guangaje) for Pastor Francisco so all those who currently walk for hours to come to a broken down "building" for church can come to a real church to praise and worship and thank our Lord! Same Lord - different culture = life giving and life changing! So our new week has already begun -- and I know it will be one filled with blessings from God! I plan on listening for what He has for me and then being ready to say "send me, send me" knowing He will do exactly that! "Today I choose life by choosing Your way!" Service = active helpfulness; simple assistance in trifling, external matters Take the step of faith into servanthood today! You'll be glad you did -- God promises you will! Until next time . . . be a blessing to someone every day! Susan and Monty

Monday, April 04, 2011

Looking Ahead

Monty and his "uniform" needed for skirting mobile homes -- and the end result! His perfectionism is a gift -- the folks in the mobile home park are very happy!

Our weekend just flew by -- probably because of the wonderful weather. Sunshine and warm temps always make the time go by quicker. We spent the entire two days outside cleaning up our storage barn and tool trailer and Monty's truck. Or I guess I should say we "tried" to get them all cleaned --- 1 out of 3 completions isn't too bad --- considering how messy each one was/is!

Our Monday started off with severe thunderstorm warnings that combined with tornado watches. Each of those is with us for the duration of the day! Atleast I was able to get my granddaughter to her sitter and my grandson to preschool before the skies opened up and the rain came in downpours! Such a day gives me the time I need to grade the homework of our missions training school students and put together a few more plans for our upcoming trip to Ecuador.

Our students are really doing well and continue to amaze me with their homework! In the beginning we told them that they would each get out of this class exactly what they put into it and they listened and took it to heart! Their homework is well thought out and very insightful! We are really enjoying facilitating this school and thank God for the opportunity to teach others about missions and God's mandate to tell the world of His amazing love and forgiveness!

Of course, on a fun note --- tonight is the NCAA basketball championship game and we are so thrilled that Butler is in the final two! We live less than an hour from this school and will be cheering for a win!

As I look ahead to this week this is a glimpse of what I see -- so far:

tomorrow morning is Bible study with our missions class in the evening. It's also the day my youngest daughter gets back home and the day I hopefully get to see that big diamond engagement ring adorning her left hand!!!!

Wednesday is taking the kids to babysitting and school, stopping off for some bloodwork and xrays to check a few things, then back to babysit my granddaughter for the day.

Thursday is set aside for school paperwork and to hopefully talk with our tax man!! Pray for us!

Friday is the telethon for our local Crisis Pregnancy Center and Hannah House. Hannah House is the home for unwed mothers and this is the big fundraiser for them both. I am volunteering to man the phones for as long as they need me! If you know me at all you know that putting me on the phone is a good spot for me! :) Let's all pray they bring in more than enough and that God showers them with more than abundance!

Saturday is our spring work day at church and that evening is the banquet for what's called Genesis Shelter. Genesis church, along with the help of many local churches (Vineyard included) opens a shelter for the homeless during the spring and summer. Monty and I have volunteered to help out and have been through our training so now we wait for them to open. They are shooting for April 10th. We were't able to help last year since we arrived home in the middle of it and were trying to settle ourselves but this year we are looking forward to joining in. Please pray for the homeless, no matter where they are -- they are everywhere and it's our responsibility to care for them -- without judging them!!!

So this week is a busy one! Nothing new, all awesome and hopefully all to the glory of God!

May God bless you this week and until next time . . . Susan and Monty

Friday, April 01, 2011

It's Official

Yes, it's official -- Lindsay and Zac are engaged!!!!!! God is so good! Zac actually called me on Tuesday to let me know his plans and ask for Monty and my blessings and we were more than happy to bless them! Every mother just wants her children to be happy! This mother knows that her youngest daughter is more than happy! Zac is an amazing blessing, not only in Lindsay's life but in mine! I still smile when I remember how they went to grade school together and it took all these years for God's plan to come to fulfillment! I couldn't ask or have dreamed for a better son in law to be! Please join Monty and I in prayers of thanksgiving for Lindsay and Zac! Until next time . . . "what God joins together . . ." Susan and Monty