Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Monday, May 30, 2011
Friday, May 27, 2011
This morning I attended the weekly employee meeting at Walmart and was able to thank them for their donations for our last trip to Alabama. They were finally able to reopen and their power was back on mid morning today. The manager said the damages will easily go into 6 figures dollar wise! Sam's Club is still closed as the roof is being repaired.
This evening I spent a short time at my grandson's baseball game. It's such fun to watch them learning what to do with the ball! He's having a great time and the most fun thing for him is sliding into home plate -- whether it's needed or not! Those white pants will never be white again!
Later I headed to our local AmVets to show pictures of some of the damage in Alabama and thank them for their donations to help cover our fuel costs. They had a packed house and were truly touched by the pictures. Many, many thanks to my mother in law, Judy, for getting the word out and being the fuel behind the whole thing! After thanking everyone and on my way out a gentleman came up to me with tears streaming down his face and had much trouble even getting his words out. He wanted to thank us for helping and said "I'm not a rich man but . . ." and reached into his wallet for a monetary donation! God had touched his heart and he "got it." Priceless!
And now we look forward to tomorrow when Cheryl and Terry and 9 of their 10 children will be coming to our house for dinner! You may remember me writing about our visit to their home and we are so excited they are coming to visit with us! My table has enough leaves to open up to seat all 13 of us but I had to borrow some chairs from church! It will be a great evening filled with plenty of laughter and never a dull moment!
On a more serious note -- a very serious note -- I got word today that the construction coordinator for the long term recovery we worked with during the Columbus, Indiana flood in the summer of 2008 committed suicide yesterday morning! I was shocked to my core! It's one of those things that carries only unanswered questions and bucket loads of pain! I pray for God's grace and mercy -- tons of it!
We all are looking at a 3 day weekend and it is our prayer that it's a safe and blessed one for all of you. It's the weekend of the Indy 500 and so many other activities -- enjoy your families and thank God for each one of them.
Until next time . . . love to all of you. Susan and Monty
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Yesterday was my 57th birthday -- and what a day it ended up being!
The forecast was for storms with a "moderate" risk for strong storms! Moderate???? We spent the entire evening until nearly midnight hunkered down in the hospital parking garage with tornadoes hitting all around.
First was the call from my Mom saying a tornado had hit 2 farms about 100 yards from them! Homes with extensive damage, barns destroyed and farm land ripped from the earth!
The sirens were blaring more than not and the storms came minute by minute, blowing up from no place. While we were in the parking garage the local police came inside and told us not to leave as a touch down had happened 1 block behind us and trees were flying right and left and falling to the ground.
Next came the report that a mobile home park just west of us had been hit and people were injured in the homes and in vehicles on the road. The road was closed.
The main street through town closed down due to trees being down.
The city just to the south of us was hit, homes and barns taken out and once again farm land obliterated.
It went on and on and on for what seemed to be endless hours. Text messages flying back and forth.
The Walmart that is less than one mile from our home is closed -- damage and semi trucks strewn in the parking lot.
The stories keep coming in -- none good -- but no deaths to report thus far.
Reality can really bite sometimes --- and this was a taste of disaster reality that was way too close to home!
We all live with the attitude that "it won't happen to me" and "those kinds of things happen elsewhere" but last night changed those thoughts for everyone around here and nearly all over the entire state of Indiana!
We are thankful that it wasn't worse. We are thankful for the Lord's protection. We are thankful for life itself -- a bit more today than yesterday.
And I am thankful that I have added another year to my life! I won't look at my birthday quite the same ever again!!!!
Until next time . . . it's a new day -- one the Lord made. Let's rejoice! Really rejoice!
Susan and Monty
Monday, May 23, 2011
Yes, we are once again making plans to take emergency relief supplies into Alabama (with Joplin not too far behind) and want to let you know the details.
Thanks to the Orphan Grain Train and their generosity we are able to borrow their 18 ft trailer and this time for a couple of extra days! We will start collecting supplies on Sunday, June 5th and be leaving for Alabama the morning of Thursday, June 9th.
Our list of supplies we will be collecting is:
first aid items
batteries of all sizes
baby diapers and wipes
non perishable foods
On Sunday, June 5th and Monday, June 6th we will be parked at the local Kroger South parking lot from morning until evening.
On Tuesday, June 7th we will be parked back at Richland Plaza in Ellettsville from morning until evening.
On Wednesday we will be parked in our own church parking lot, Vineyard Community Church.
That week is also Vacation Bible School at our church so the kids will be given flyers on Monday and be able to take their donations into the trailer and put them in the proper boxes themselves on Wednesday. What an amazing lesson for all of them -- and the parents too!
And just like last time ---- ****** we are also asking for monetary donations to help cover the cost of fuel and the expenses incurred in traveling. ******
This season of storms is already a record breaker! We ALL can do SOMETHING! Every little bit, every small bag or box adds up to big things and lives changed!
We encourage you to get involved and to stay involved. This is the time for all churches to come together with one goal -- to be the hands and feet of Jesus and help the people by showing His love to each and every one of them!
Blessings to all of you and if you have any questions either call me or leave a comment on this blog with your info for me to contact you.
On a side note -- we have a new "member" in our household! Seems a bird nest got knocked out of its tree this morning with a couple new babies inside. One did not survive the fall but the other one, complete with it's nest, is now snuggled safely in a little bird cage in our home and I spent the afternoon digging earth worms for food! The little thing looked so terrible when I picked it up but after a few feedings he literally will not stop singing!
Remember the scripture about God caring for the birds ---- He knew just who to send to find this little one!
Until next time . . . keep special prayers going for one of our missions school students, Del. He has been very ill and was to have some tests today. Healing Lord, miraculous healing for this dear friend of ours!!! Susan and Monty
Friday, May 20, 2011
Monty and I have been working on making another trip to Alabama with emergency relief supplies. We are getting the word out that we need a box truck for our ministry. We are talking with people, emailing, facebooking and anyway and every way we can think of.
We have the week set -- we will be gathering more supplies the first of the week of June 6th. I even have the locations thought out and am in the process of getting the approval. We plan on leaving to drive south on Thursday, June 9th.
The location? That has been one of our top questions. The warehouse was a great place last trip and this time we thought we would like to go into another area and possibly hand out the supplies ourselves, directly to the survivors.
Last night my phone rang and it was a couple who are attending International Gospel Outreach's missions training school at the Mobile, Alabama headquarters. They are interested in disaster relief! They have already been in the Tuscaloosa area to check things out and made some connections there. They want to gather supplies on their end and meet up with us to do the same thing -- get the help to the people.
It was a wonderful conversation and such a blessing for me! Sometimes (alot of times) we feel rather alone in this mission. Unless you have experienced disaster relief it's difficult to have an understanding of what God has called us to do and what all is involved with it. Talking with Pastors Charles and Mia was an incredible "boost" as I could hear the excitement in their voices and feel the love of God in their hearts!
So . . . over the next couple of weeks we will be doing alot of talking, alot of connecting, alot of planning and with God's help we will be able to meet face to face on June 9th and all of us show the love of Jesus in a very practical way -- with emergency supplies of food, cleaning supplies, hygiene supplies, laundry supplies, baby diapers and wipes --- and most of all --- love from the state of Indiana all the way to Alabama!
Lord, thank you for the divine connnections. And Pastors Charles and Mia -- thank you for your obedience in listening to the Lord and answering with "send me, send me!"
Until next time . . . look for those divine connections in your own life! Susan and Monty
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Mary and I in front of Monty's truck as it's being unloaded at the warehouse in Cullman, AL.
Bible Study this morning continues with studying the book of Proverbs. We are only in chapter 2 and only got to verse 6 but if you haven't read that book I suggest you do so. There's just so much information packed in there! I wish I was like a sponge and could soak up all that goes into my mind -- or atleast have it "stick".
This afternoon I made a couple of stops to thank those folks who helped support our trip to Alabama and to let them know we are in the process of planning another one in a couple of weeks. The group at Bible study this morning were shocked as they looked at all the pictures and we have to keep the emergency supplies going!
Our "wish list" for now is a box truck! A good one, one that runs well enough to run all over this United States of America! Borrowing a trailer isn't the best means to do what God has called us to do so we put the word out and turn it over to God's provision and timing! If you have any leads or thoughts please leave a comment here and let us know.
I also need to put out an ENORMOUS thank you to the local AmVets, Moose Lodge and American Legion for their support in our disaster relief! Those folks playing bingo dug deep and were more than a blessing to us! I can't wait to make a visit to each one and personally thank them and show them the pictures we took!
This evening is our missions training class and we already have a prayer request. It seems one of our students, Del, is quite ill and so we need to cover him in prayers of healing and restoration! Tonight's class will focus on conflict management and will no doubt be helpful to each one of us! I don't know about you but conflict seems to be ever present in my little world!
And tomorrow is my grandson's 6th birthday! No doubt he's letting everyone know -- repeatedly -- and giving them plenty of ideas for gifts! The innocence of children! No wonder Jesus had a special place in his heart for them!
Until next time . . . may the joy of the Lord surround you and yours! Susan and Monty
Monday, May 16, 2011
Friday, May 13, 2011
Monday, May 09, 2011
The morning started with a bang as I loaded up and headed to Columbus to pick up the trailer loaned to us from Orphan Grain Train. When we got there they were just getting started unloading it from the weekend hauling so we jumped in and in about an hour we had it cleared out, hooked up to my truck and ready to roll.
I pulled in around 12:30 pm and thought I had plenty of time to get things ready inside since we advertised donation time to begin at 2pm --- but --- another truck from another church with another trailer pulled in right behind me and unloaded ---really unloaded ---- lots and lots of blessings! Awesome! So we were dropping supplies on the pavement and getting the trailer organized and loading it all at the same time!
All during the day it was great to see friends and family come and donate and talk and share their hearts for the people in Alabama. My youngest daughter even stopped by which meant the world to me! Thanks, Lindsay!
By the time evening rolled around I had closed the trailer and headed home. I had a few things to work on inside the trailer before closing it for the night --- and then our neighbor, Shelley pulled up with an amazing load of donations from Walmart! WOW! We are going to pack this trailer full! Thanks for all your hard work Shelley! You're the best!
And now it should be time to go to bed and although my body feels like it my mind isn't quite ready yet. Tomorrow is the 2nd day and the longest and hopefully we continue packing every square inch of that trailer and even overflowing into the bed of my truck! Please continue to hold us up in prayer and all those in the south who so desperately need these supplies.
Until next time . . . our deepest thanks to all of you who have already donated! God's blessings will come right back to you! Susan and Monty
Saturday, May 07, 2011
Yes, it's official and been long in the making. We are International Gospel Outreach Disaster Relief and getting ready to roll south.
As you know, we graduated from IGO back in 2007 with our missions license and ordination into the ministry. Since then we have worked under many different disaster relief organizations; Convoy of Hope, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodist . . .
And now it has come together and the details are completed and when we roll into the Cordova, Alabama area on Thursday afternoon these are the magnets on our truck! We are thrilled at this new venture and can already feel God's annointing!
We have most everything in place for this trip. The trailer, I will pick it up from the Orphan Grain Train in Columbus on Monday morning, park it at our church (Vineyard Community Church) for Monday afternoon and all day Tuesday. Wednesday morning we will move it to the next local city, Ellettsville, where it will park in the Richland Plaza parking lot until full -- or 6pm, whichever comes first!
It's been amazing to me to see how many local friends and family have "jumped on board" with trying to get donations! Some are looking for boxes, some are traveling to different businesses to see about donations of all kinds, others are emailing their friends and families, others are making announcements at their churches tomorrow morning, it was announced at the National Day of Prayer gathering this past Thursday, and even the folks playing Bingo are aware (thanks to Monty's incredible mother!) it's been in the newspaper and I have been on the local Christian radio station! Just awesome!
It's going to be a busy week because in the middle of gathering we will also be teaching our missions training class on Tuesday night and on Wednesday night we will be in Bedford holding our first general information meeting about our July trip to Ecuador! Exciting all the way around!
For those of you who are helping us gather -- our deepest gratitude and thanks! You are the hands and feet of Jesus and the needs are so very great and you are making a difference in so many lives -- of ones we haven't even met and may never meet! But God knows each one and He sees your heart and you will be blessed!
For those of you who are holding us up in prayer -- please don't stop! We need each and every one!
And tomorrow is Mother's Day! Wow! Already? Let's all take time to let our mothers know just how much we love them, honor them and respect them --- after all --- without them we would not be here! :) Too bad there's just one day on the calendar reserved for them -- they deserve so much more!
To my mom -- YOU are the heart of everything I do!!!!! I'll talk to you tomorrow and see you Monday morning!
Until next time . . . . prayers and praises and thanksgiving!! Susan and Monty
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Thanks to the donation of an 18 ft enclosed trailer from the Orphan Grain Train in Columbus, Indiana we will be collecting donations of emergency relief supplies next week and immediately taking them into one of the hardest hit areas of Alabama.
I have been talking with one of the Pastors in the area and he is more than excited about our trip. He is also the State Director for Disaster Relief for the Assemblies of God churches in Alabama --and he's never had experience in a disaster! He and I spent quite a bit of time on the phone the other day and I am very anxious to meet him! An amazing man of God -- a true servant!
I have also been in contact with the son of one of our own church family and he is doing "okay" and helping serve meals for the Salvation Army. When we last spoke they had used all their food supplies and were down to serving peanut butter sandwiches!
The needs are so great -- beyond what anyone here can imagine -- and we hope to fill this trailer to its capacity -- and then some! It's what God has called us to do -- for now.
If you are in the Bloomington or Ellettsville areas next week here's where we will be:
On Monday afternoon and all day Tuesday we will be at our home church, Vineyard Community Church located at 2375 S. Walnut St.
All day Wednesday we will be at the Richland Plaza shopping center in Ellettsville.
From there we will head south and return the next day.
I plan on having some pictures to use here when we return and ask that everyone keep us in your prayers. Pray for safe travel -- pray for hearts to be moved to donate beyond our wildest dreams -- and that with each donation the love of God and His Peace and Love will encompass the receiver of the donation!
Also --- here are the donations we are accepting -- at the direct request of the AL Pastor ---
disposable baby diapers
non-perishable food items
We are also looking for donations to help defray the cost of fuel down and back.
If you are able to help in ANY way please leave a comment here and I will respond if needed.
We thank you for your generosity and pray you receive return blessings a hundred fold!
Until next time . . . Susan and Monty
PS. We now have the building plans for the church in Ecuador!!!!! Awesome!!!!!
Sunday, May 01, 2011
Tomorrow is a big day; acquiring a large box truck, notifying local news media, talking with the family and church connection in Alabama . . . a really big day! Please keep us in your prayers and I will let you know more details as I get them.
Our plan thus far --- acquire a truck, set a location where folks can bring their donations and fill the truck to capacity and then off we go!
THIS is God's calling for us right now! He spoke loud and clear and so we are getting ready.
Until next time . . . prayers and more prayers are needed for everyone that was in the path of these immense and destructive storms! Susan and Monty