I know it's been a few days since I've written. It just hasn't seemed like there's been alot going on!
Boy oh boy have I been wrong!!!!
As some of you know (and those that don't can go back to the blog archives) we spent the summer of 2008 working the floods in my hometown, Columbus, Indiana. There were over 3000 homes flooded and we were blessed to be able to leave Mississippi and park our camper behind the local AG church and get their long term recovery started. Since they had no experience in disaster relief they were open to any and all help.
At their 2nd meeting I was asked to supervise the case management committee. Case management is literally the heart beat of disaster relief. It is here that the homeowner finds their personal advocate, someone who will do whatever it takes to bring them through the recovery process. I was blessed to have nearly 20 case managers who had the heart and soul to take on any situation and go the extra mile.
The chairperson of the entire long term recovery was also the president of the local United Way. He (Doug) caught some "flack" for taking on both positions but was outstanding in balancing each one, along with his personal life. At our very first case management meeting (we had them weekly) he was in the background and I didn't even know who he was. At the end of the meeting I showed the video on Mike and Faye (you can also find this in the archives). I wanted to make sure each person knew just how important they were in this process. After the video Doug came to me and asked, "how is it that we are so fortunate to have you here?" I had to laugh and was a bit embarassed. I told him I was the fortunate one and it was all in God's hands. He then got a rather stern look on his face and told me "you can have your religion- and you can keep it." Ooopps!! It was a bit later that everyone told me Doug is an atheist!
Throughout the next 4 months Doug and I worked hand in hand and he was not only a blast to work with but he had such a big heart when it came to helping people! He would go the extra mile, spend the extra dollar that we didn't have and I continually told him that he couldn't be an atheist because God had given him such a servant heart! He would sort of smile and give no response.
After 4 months hurricane Ike hit Texas and we were asked to go there. Doug completely understood and even asked me to name my replacement. As I left we were both in tears but I knew they all knew what needed done and would get the job completed in record time! And off we went.
Then yesterday . . . a letter arrived addressed to me. It was from Doug. He is retiring from his position after over 17 years and one of the things he's done is name what he calls his "Special 100." These are 100 people who have had the most effect on his life over the past 17 plus years. And I am one of those 100!!!!!! I was shocked, honored and extremely humbled! I actually had to sit down and think about it.
God had placed me in that position -- at that time -- for His ultimate purpose! He worked through me and that thought is a bit daunting! I thank God for that honor and thank Doug for everything he did and is still doing. I know God isn't done with him yet -- and before long Doug will know too.
There will be a special ceremony in April and yes --- I will be there with bells on --- and my cross around my neck --- the very same one he would always look at and smile!!!!!!
As you know, we are trying desperately to get 2 homes completed from the tornado damage here back in May of last year. Billy's house just needs his dining room ceiling sheetrocked and finished and some siding outside repaired and a retaining wall rebuilt. The old ceiling was torn out by my college volunteers months ago but getting it rebuilt has been tough.
A few weeks ago a friend of mine, Mark, who you've seen pics of painting at Michael's trailer a couple of weeks ago -- called me to tell me his Baptist church was going to go through disaster relief training. At that point it dawned on me that I should ask them to take on the project of Billy's house so they could get some real hands on training. Mark told me he would be happy to speak with Pastor Randy about it and get back with me.
This afternoon Mark called me and asked if he and Pastor could meet me at Billy's in the morning as they would like to do the project!!!! Praise the Lord!
I had to call Billy's daughter who lives north of us (Billy doesn't hear well on the phone so she handles everything since her mother passed away a couple of years ago). She said it would be fine to go in the morning and was so thankful that someone had taken on the project. She asked what church it was --- and burst into tears when I told her! She grew up in that very church, with that very Pastor -- and was even married there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Her father had been a deacon and her parents faithful attenders until a few years ago when the church split and they just sort of stopped attending!
Now --- do you have the Holy Ghost goose bumps like I got?????
She was thrilled beyond words and right then and there I knew why we had been "waiting" for so long to get this project done!
God's timing is always perfect! He's not late, like we think -- and He has just the right people for just the right project for just the right time!
I immediately called Mark back so he could let Pastor Randy know ahead of time. God has a great plan! What satan meant for destruction God took and turned into such an amazing blessing -- and we have no idea where He will take it from here!
One thing I could probably bet on --- Billy isn't going to be a lonely widow sitting in his home on the hill for much longer!
So the past 2 days have spoken volumes to me! God has me right where He wants me and all I have to do is simply obey when I "hear" His direction! He has it all planned and timed, it's not my schedule -- it's His!
It's such an honor and also so humbling to be just little ole me being used by such an amazing and awesome God!
So . . . how is He using you?
Remember --- you may be the only Jesus some people ever get to see!
Until next time . . . what an awesome God we serve! Susan and Monty