Saturday, March 31, 2012

Need volunteers . . . guess where?

The only way to describe this past week is ---- upside down!!!! 

I've decided that I need atleast one size larger in spiritual armor!!!

But --- we have a real need --- for of course --- volunteers.  And in a state where we have spent alot of time and have many, many friends.  Good old Mississippi!

One of those dear friends -- who is definitely family -- has been in the process of building a Christian retreat camp over the past couple of years.  Kenny is a Pastor there in Louisville, MS and knows this is what God called him to do in opening this camp.

The problem?  It's been hit by not one but two tornadoes lately!!!!  (He might also need a larger size of spiritual armor)   He has been trying to do the rebuilding all alone and that has to stop!  He needs help!!!!

It is our hope and prayer that some of you out there would be happy to put together a team and go down and help out.

He will provide both housing AND food!!!!!!  So what are you waiting for?

He has everything from debris cleanup and trees that need removed to anything and everything in the rebuilding process so there is something for everyone!!!!

Many times over the past years Monty and I have dreamed of finding a Christian retreat where we could just get away and soak in the presence of Jesus.  THIS retreat is just that and we would love to be able to help him get it rebuilt.

If you are interested you can leave a comment here or send me an email if you have it or better yet just call me!

Please give it some thought and share it with your churches and let's be the hands and feet of Jesus to someone who has dedicated his life to doing just that!

Love you Kenny and Cynthia!

Until next time . . . Susan and Monty

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

He holds the "how"

This mornings Bible study was just what I needed.  Energizing, powerful and God reassuring me that all I need to do is have the faith in His promises.  He holds the "how."  That's helpful to me as there are so many things going on right now and if I don't need to know the "how" and trust that He does -- my heart and mind have a new peace.

I did talk with Pastor Randy today about the Hartsville team that finished Billy's house coming to take a look at Don's and possibly taking that on.  The men are finishing up a project and hopefully will make a trip here yet this week to see Don's and the material list I have.  PLEASE keep this whole project covered in prayers.  It's been a very long 10 months for Don and he needs desperately to be "home" again.

I also made a couple more phone calls looking for a location for our disaster relief supply warehouse.  All I can do right now is get the word out and keep my eyes and ears open to God's direction.

Tomorrow I have a meeting with the mayor of Bedford to share my heart for this warehouse with her.  Another thing to keep in prayer.

Michael also missed Bible study this morning.  I was anxious to share the kitchen design with him and hope he is doing okay.  And yet another prayer request!!!

What an awesome God we serve and what a blessing to be used by such an Almighty Father!

Until next time . . . Bitty still is struggling with eyesight so . . . you know what to do!
Thank you!                         Susan and Monty

Monday, March 26, 2012

Here, there, everywhere

The weekend flew by.

We went to a surprise 50th birthday party for a friend.

We took the grandkids to pizza buffet where we all had some laughs and Luke was able to eat all the pizza he wanted = 3 pieces.  Not bad for a 6 year old.  He enjoyed the desserts more than the pizza I think.  That's what grandparents are for!

We "trimmed" a tree in our back yard.  I planted flowers and then planted some more flowers.

I mowed 4 lawns in the neighborhood.  Said I wasn't going to do it this year but . .  someday I have a dream of being able to say "no" . . . but for now . . .

Today I had a big powerwashing job -- for one of our neighbors.  He was happy -- I was cold -- power washing with my sweatshirt hood up! 

Got another powerwashing job from the company that put our new roof on.  It's a 2 story house so I think I'll need a taller ladder!

Mowed our lawn again -- the rain from the storms on Friday night sure made it grow fast!

Planted some grass seed and hoping it will actually grow grass.  I think the seed was older than me!  Sure been in the storage barn for a long time!

Bitty is doing some better.  Doesn't like the "lampshade" around her head but deals with it by staying on the couch!  She still can't see hardly anything but tolerates the meds and hopefully we will get a good report at her checkup on Friday.  The other 2 dogs just can't figure out why she doesn't play and seem rather confused.  Please continue to pray for her healing.

Have a very long list of people to call and see if there is warehouse space available anywhere for our disaster relief supply warehouse.  Must be a big thing as satan sure is fighting it all the way and at every corner.

Tomorrow is Bible study and I am looking forward to it!  Need that extra boost this week.

Hope you all are good! 

Blessings and love till the next time . . .                       Susan and Monty

Friday, March 23, 2012

Storms -- a couple of them

This is one very sad little girl!

For weeks we have been battling trouble with her eyes.  First they gave us pills, then they gave us drops and when both ran out and she was worse than when we started I decided to take her back to the vet I had used years ago.  Enough is enough!

They tested her and showed me the results.  She has injuries to each eye (no way to know what happened or when) and instead of healing as they should (from the top down) hers decided to heal in the reverse direction thus creating "spikes" of sorts that only made the problem worse.  She was in so much pain last night that I couldn't take it!

Today they put her to sleep and "scraped" each eye to help clean the injured areas and hopefully set the healing on the right track.  The vet said she has had a double dose of pain meds but still is in "extreme" pain.  This is really tough to watch and then with the lampshade around her neck (for the next week so she won't try and rub her eyes) she is miserable.  The vet also said she can hardly see and her sight will slowly improve but will take weeks so we need to be careful that she doesn't run into furniture or fall from the couches!

As soon as I got back from the vet and got her settled this is what we were (and really still are) faced with!  The tornado sirens blaring and the skies pouring rain before changing to hail.  Some places in town had hail covering the ground that made it look like a 6 inch snow had just fallen.  The temps dropped over 20 degrees in minutes and we still aren't out of the woods.  The thunder rolls all around us and the radar is bright red. 

Quite the stormy day in more than one way.  But . . . on the sunny side . . .

I did managed to get to Lowes and get the kitchen for Michael all designed and on paper.  It took a couple of hours to try this and change to that but it looks good and I can't wait to get started.  Looks like that will be next Saturday.  He is almost done with all the trim and if we get a good weather day next Saturday we'll also try and seal coat the roof!  We're getting oh so close!

Even Samson has had enough of his best friend being in pain and the thunder and the sirens!!!!!!

Hope all of you have a safe and blessed weekend!    :)                          Susan and Monty

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Gotta love Plan B

Know how to tell if a vision is annointed?

Just look for satan and his nasty tactics to rear their ugly heads!

Know how to tell if you are following God and His plan?

Same satan, even more of his nastiness!

Yep, I've been doing some battling!  Major battling!

First of all -- you know how long I've been waiting on the Amish to let me know when they are coming to get Don's house rebuilt -- a very long time!!!!  Each week I think "this is going to be the week."  The weather has been perfect and yet no Amish.  My phone calls don't produce any results and so Don sits in his house, waiting and wondering if he will ever have a real home again.

So . . . plan B.  Yesterday I called Pastor Randy to see if the same team that worked magic on Billy's house would be interested in taking on Don's.  Pastor Randy said he had just heard from the guys and they were asking if I had another project for them.  I am praying (really hard) that they will be able to come asap and get this project started.  I know God has all the details and timing and trusting in that can be tough at times.  Please continue to pray for Don and this whole situation.

Second of all -- you have read about God calling us to open this disaster relief warehouse.  And yes, my brain is still like the grand finale of the fireworks.  Since the first day of sending out an email looking for a facility to take on the warehouse I thought the place was everything but nailed down.  Seemed as though all I was waiting to do was sign on the dotted line.  But things aren't always as they seem . . . another partner in the building told me today that he just didn't see our warehouse fitting with their plans for the building!  A bit tough to hear but . . . God has a plan that looks like plan B to me but He's always on plan A so . . . I wait and continue to make contacts to get the word out and pray that someone steps forth with a facility they are more than happy to donate and that we can start letting the public know and the flood gates can open up.

Today I went to our church and another local one that had been collecting supplies.  Two truck loads of supplies.  Instead of taking them to our warehouse I brought them to our house.  We have (had) 2 spare bedrooms and now . . . they are each a mini warehouse! 

Want to know another of satan's tactics?  Last night I got a phone call offering me a full time job at a chiropractor's office where I worked years ago. I loved working there and they wanted me to start today!  I have no doubt the pay would have been good as they paid well back then.  And it was working with patients - something I enjoyed doing.  It was quite the big "fork in the road."  Decision time . . . do I forget about all this disaster stuff and get a "real job" (a term I've heard quite often) and thus put an end to always trying to make ends meet (even though they never do) or . . . do I stay on the path God has placed me on - even when I can't see all that far ahead of me?  One thing I do know is that when that phone call came in I've never experienced the physical and mental pressure like I did then!  It was almost crushing and I couldn't even get my breath!  My brain even hurt!  I had to walk outside immediately just to get some air.  When I went outside and looked up at the stars it came to me as clear as those stars --- temptations come in all forms!  I immediately called them back, thanked them for the opportunity and politely declined telling them that I must follow where God leads me!  I don't really know if they understood and imagine they thought I might need the men in the white coats to come and get me (I have been accused of not fitting in this world) but as soon as I ended that call a sense of peace came rushing over me like a huge tidal wave!  Too bad satan -- God wins!

What I am learning?  That God gave me the project of rebuilding Don's house and He will send just the right people to do so.  On that promise I stand firm.

And what else?  That He has given me this vision of the warehouse.  I know what it can be, what it should be and what it will be.  Another promise I am standing on. 

And one more thing . . . the path God leads me on won't be wide and I won't be able to see very far ahead of me --- but that's not important.  What is important is that I just keep following Him and He will go in front of me, behind me, on each side of me --- and since I have read the Book --- I know we win!!!!!

This morning shortly after Monty left for work he sent me a scripture verse to look up.
Malachi 3:10.  My verse for today ---- and every day after today!  "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.  'Test me in this,' says the Lord Almighty, 'and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it."

Is that perfect or what?  People ask me if I ever hear God speaking to me?  Yep -- He sure did today!  I just have to listen -- because I never know just who He is going to speak through!

So please join me in prayers, prayers for God to do His perfect work in His perfect timing and for me to have the strength to continue standing firm!  I thank you for each prayer!

Until next time . . . have your heard God's voice lately!                             Susan and Monty

Monday, March 19, 2012

Happy Birthday Mom!!!

Yes, today is my mom's birthday and I actually managed to have a really nice lunch with her!  We met in the middle (Nashville) and had a couple of great sandwiches and enjoyed the above 80 degree temps!

Yesterday Monty and I spent the afternoon and evening pulling out a couple of big old shrubs that our neighbor lady wanted removed.  Quite the job but must admit her house does look better.  She has more she wants out but only so many hours in the day.

Today another neighbor stopped by to see if I would powerwash his house before the end of this week.  Sure -- lets hope the weather holds out for the end of the week because that's the only time I can squeeze it in.

Most of this day has been spent on the phone checking here and there about our disaster relief supply warehouse.  Details and questions and plans . . . never ending.

It was suggested that I call our Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman as she has a heart for such things.  I was able to talk with her direct assistant and pleasantly surprised at how interested she was and the questions she asked.  We all know it's about who you know and every one of us has a different sphere of influence so the more we can spread the word the better.

I also talked with the gentleman who has assured me we will be able to use the warehouse space he is thinking about.  He asked me to write a bit of our history and needs for this warehouse.  I tried to be as brief as possible but we do have a history and I do have the gift of talk so . . .

More phone calls continue to come in from folks who are interested in volunteering in the warehouse and from those who are still collecting supplies.  And there are those wanting to head south and volunteer and I was able to get them all connected into where they can be of great help.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fireworks brain

The title is the only way I know how to explain how my brain feels right about now.  Like the grand finale at a fireworks show.  One beautiful bang after another!

God is moving and it's all I can do to keep up!

Things keep happening to confirm that this calling to open a disaster relief warehouse right here locally is exactly what God wants me to be doing.

Even though I have not signed on the dotted line just yet, and have had 2 more offers of a location, donations are coming in and people are calling and connections are being made.

Yesterday evening I received a call from a gentleman who is the head of a local teamsters union and he had a 50' semi trailer filled with supplies that he wanted to off load.  He got my name from the pastor of the Vineyard church in Franklin, Indiana who is a friend of our own Pastor Dave.  I was able to give the driver a choice of 2 locations in the tornado ridden southern part of the state and then also mentioned the warehouse we are putting together.  He was anxious to learn more about it and when I checked in with him today to make sure he made the connection he needed (he was going into the warehouse near Jeffersonville, Indiana) he was asking more questions about the warehouse and interested in our needs.

Another call came in today (again from the Franklin Vineyard) from another gentleman who had some supplies.  He plans on connecting with the Methodist church in Pekin and bless them with their donations.  He was also fired up when I told him about the warehouse and told me he has a degree in logistics!  Just exactly what I need!  He and his wife have dreamed of getting a camper and going out into the disaster areas and helping!  Hopefully the 4 of us can get together sometime in the very near future and share dreams and visions!

I have put the word out over many avenues that some of the needs we have are for a pallet jack and a forklift along with industrial strength shelving and boxes.  One of our largest local businesses even has the big "gaylord" style boxes and hopefully will want to donate them to us.

My main goal is to stay tuned to where God is leading us and be obedient to whatever He has for us to do to make this happen. 

It is desperately needed.  These way above normal temperatures are out of the ordinary and with tornado season just around the corner . . . preparation is of the utmost importance.

Please continue to pray for us as we bring these visions, ideas and plans together. 

If you would like to participate in any way please leave a comment and I will get back with you.

"With God nothing is impossible."  He has shown me this so many times over the past years and I will continue to stand on that unchanging promise!  Thank you Lord!

Until next time . . . "help the people."                              Susan and Monty

Monday, March 12, 2012

Another trip

To say they were excited is an understatement!

Early this morning Jasmine and Angie were ready to head south once again.  This picture was taken as we unloaded our truck load of supplies.  Today we went to the relief center located in the Methodist church in the small city of Pekin, Indiana.  And let me tell you --- those women were on top of everything!  The lady in charge told me she had been manning the phones for 7 1/2 days straight -- and she was still smiling!  She had just a notebook and pen and was taking detailed information on each caller and their needs.

In the parking lot was a team of men from the Baptist Men's group in Columbus, Indiana and another group from the Nazarene disaster team.  Both were fully equipped with chainsaws and gas and gloves and safety glasses and were off to do some tree demo and clean up.  All had been trained in the use of chainsaws and knew what they were doing.  And they thanked us?  We thanked them right back and wished them well as the skies were doing quite a bit of "dripping" today but it made no difference to them.  They were on a mission -- to bless others!

It's a job to get those big boxes unloaded but the girls were up for the task!

This is what the relief center looked like -- super awesome!  You might think that there's just soooo much stuff -- but remember the number of homes affected, the number of cities hit and the number of people who are now left with nothing -- and then this center looks a bit small!  They were thrilled when they learned what we brought --every single thing they needed!!!! 

Again -- super duper thanks to all who have donated and continue to do so!!!  You are changing lives and rebuilding hope!

After we finished in Pekin we headed east to Sellersburg where FEMA is set up.  President Obama did declare this a federal disaster so the aid is coming in!  Thank you sir!!!!!

FEMA is set up inside of Ivy Tech College there in Sellersburg and what a great set up!  Just as you walk in the doors you are met by Project Aftermath (the blue shirts) who are mental health counselors who are offering free crisis counseling to anyone who feels they might benefit from it.  It's always a good feeling to see them.  We've worked with them over the past 6 years and know the good they do!

After meeting with the blue shirts they are taken into the FEMA office where they can pick up all their paperwork and ask questions and receive their FEMA registration number. 

Small Business Administration (SBA) is also there.  They offer extremely !! low interest rates on loans -- not for businesses but for the survivors.  They also have a packet of information and are there to answer any questions that may come up.

After passing through all that we made our way to the representative of faith based disaster relief organizations -- government and religion under the same roof -- and working together!!!!  How incredible for all the survivors!!!

When we finished up there we were only a few short minutes from Henryville so we decided to head back there so I could check in on Jane, the Catholic Charities rep who is responsible for everything in Indiana south of Indianapolis.  She is swamped and called me early this morning for a bit of encouragement!  She had stepped out just before we got there but we did get to leave a note for her in her "office" --- an old FEMA trailer pulled into the parking lot of the catholic church -- her home for who knows how long!  She was starting case management classes today in hopes of getting people trained to be advocates for the homeowners and help them tap into anything and everything that is out there to assist them in their needs.  Jane will have "boots on the ground" within days and things will start to move forward into recovery!  Go Jane!!!!!

It was also good to see just how much debris cleanup had taken place just since we had been there Thursday!  The bus was removed from the building and workers were going at quite the speedy pace!  The noise level is so loud in cleanup mode -- all the machinery working at the same time --sometimes if's very difficult to hear.  All the workers were lined up at the food station set up in the parking lot of the church and all were so thankful to have food, as much as they want, ready and waiting for them.  Amazing show of God's love!

After all these trips it was time to head home.  We all felt good that things are moving forward and will continue checking in with Jane, Angie (who is running the volunteer center based out of Jeffersonville, IN), FEMA, SBA and the blue shirts. 

As soon as we reached home I started getting more phone calls of people wanting to volunteer.  God's love being shown in practical ways -- gotta love it!

A sign on one church billboard today said "thanks to all of you who are volunteering to help us.  We know you are making God smile."  Well said!

We are contining to receive donations at the Vineyard Community Church weekdays from 9am to 4pm and will soon be moving those donations and more incoming to our disaster relief warehouse!  I had more offers of locations today so hopefully within the next couple of weeks it will all be finalized and then lookout --- here we come!  Please keep this entire project in your prayers!

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

Sunday, March 11, 2012

James 1:22b "Do what is says."

Yesterday our church decided to open the doors for donations -- and quite a few came to help!  It was great.  We had boxes lining the halls and as they filled we closed and taped them and had them ready to load on my truck.  By the end of the day we had the truck and my back seat area packed full.

And then one of those "divine appointments" walked in the door!  Becky came in, tears coming down her cheeks.  She is from the Pekin, IN area and the day before the tornado struck them her father had a heart attack.  He is in an Indianapolis hospital and they were going to remove life support last evening.  She was asking for prayer.  We all surrounded her and prayed and she started sharing some of what was going on in the Pekin/Holton areas.  She said neither one had much in the way of emergency supplies and so as we talked I decided our latest load of supplies needs to go to Pekin instead of Henryville.  Pat got on his phone and within minutes had a contact location, their local Methodist church, and a contact person for me. 

I called the Methodist church and spoke with them and they were thrilled at the thought of incoming supplies.  When I asked if they needed anything specific she told me they really needed flour, sugar and cooking oil.  So . . . this afternoon after church Monty and I went shopping and now have my truck packed even tighter! 

Becky walking in that door yesterday was one of those Divine appointments that make me step back, after the fact, and marvel at how God talks to us!  For me, they bring life!

Later this afternoon Becky called me to thank us again and let me know her father isn't expected to make it through the night but she had a sense of peace today.  And she had the same contact information for the same Methodist church in Pekin for me! 

So . . . I am heading out in the morning, with 2 others in tow, and will be delivering a truck load of blessings to the Pekin area.  From there I hope to move onto Sellersburg where FEMA has their disaster relief center set up and touch base with them.

But . . . God has the real plan for the day so we'll see just how He unfolds it!

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

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Updated Info

Just have a few minutes before heading back to our church to continue the collecting of donated items for the tornado survivors.  We will be there with doors open from 11am to 4pm today so come on over and drop off some blessings -- and receive a blessing for yourself! 

In case you missed it -- we are collecting the following:  personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies, laundry supplies, baby and adult diapers, baby wipes, paper products and non perishable foods.

I do want to give you some updated and extremely important information in regard to volunteering in the Henryville -- or any other area here in Indiana.

You MUST register to volunteer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

The reason?  Because this allows some sort of organization to what could be mayhem.  INVOAD, Indiana Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster has asked that anyone wanting to volunteer please call them at 502-599-8593.

Every volunteer must be atleast 16 years of age.

AND THEN --- you are asked to NOT volunteer until called and requested to do so!

You might think this sounds ungrateful or ridiculous ---- NOT!  What happens is people come flooding in --- all with the best of intentions --- but they come in before the area is ready!  The streets are still lined with power company trucks trying to restore power and natural gas and get water flowing again.  When volunteers come in too early they delay this process thus hurting the relief efforts instead of helping. 

Volunteers need to allow the experts to do what they need to do to make the area safe (or as safe as possible) for volunteers.  There will be PLENTY of time to go and help in debris cleanup, in home cleanup and in the rebuilding.  BUT -- for now -- please honor their request to register and wait.

For everyone who has donated emergency supplies, and will continue to do so --- our deepest thanks to you.  THIS is what can make a positive difference right now.

AND -- we will be collecting emergency supplies on a continual basis because --- WE ARE GOING TO OPEN A DISASTER RELIEF WAREHOUSE HERE LOCALLY!!!!!

How awesome is that!!!!

So . . . . . . stay tuned and keep collecting and keep blessing and we will give you the latest information as soon as we have it!!!!!!

Until next time . . . praying for those survivors is something we CAN all do!!!!  Susan and Monty

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Raining blessings (not misspelled)

8:00am brought us all at church and ready to go.  We added a vehicle when Del decided he could drive and we could load his small SUV with even more supplies.  But Del didn't actually drive -- he was our official photographer and so Pastor Dave drove and Del photographed.

We were loaded, talked a bit about what to expect and after a prayer we were on the road.  It was pouring rain when we left and it poured rain all day long!

If you read yesterdays blog entry you saw the professional job Monty did with tarping our truck.  Good thing because not a drop leaked through.  Upon arriving at the warehouse in Henryville we were able to open the tarp on 3 sides thus creating a tent like affect.  I climbed in the bed of the truck and pulled the boxes to the end so everyone could carry them inside.  We put the tarp back and it kept all our good dry as we distributed them into the areas all around town.

Del with his car also reloaded with supplies to go into the areas.  Amazing just how much that small car held!  And the pouring rain couldn't wash the smile off his face!

Pastor Dave and Jasmine waiting for the rest of us.  You can see the Convoy of Hope semi in the background.  They pulled out today but left quite a crew there to help manage the distribution of the emergency supplies. 

Notice the size of this rootball on this toppled tree!  Jasmine made the comment that it would be taller than her if she was standing next to it!  Winds of 175 mph will do amazing things!

Probably the most photographed area of the city is where the schoobus was tossed into the brick building across the street.  The kids attending the middle school directly across the street had been dismissed early due to the bad weather forecast.  This bus driver had already left the school but saw the approaching tornado.  The driver decided the only thing to do was to bring the kids back to school -- and they must have been very obedient kids because they all got inside and to safety just as the tornado hit.  When the driver came out they discovered this sight -- the bus ripped from its chassis and the body slammed into and through the brick building across the street!  Today they were attempting to remove the bus.  One of the main problems was that a power pole on the street had fallen down onto the chassis and all the wires were strewn across the front of the bus.  They used the crane to lift the body of the bus and then pulled the chassis out from underneath.  They were still working on the body of the bus as we left early evening.

There goes the chassis!  Notice the damaged church in the background and all the surrounding debris.

One of the main comments from everyone who went with me today was that pictures just don't tell the real story.  When you stand in the middle of it, looking all around -- all you see is destruction.  There's no getting away from it, nothing normal looking or feeling or sounding . . . just destruction.  As we went house to house offering boxes of disaster relief supplies that held everything from food to cleaning products the reality of the situation sank in deeper and deeper.  Personally speaking, it was so awesome for Monty and I to have so many friends from our own church go along and see just a bit of what goes into disaster relief.  I know they came away with their lives changed.

We will be making another trip as we are still collecting supplies.  It looks like I will return on Monday.  At first I thought of returning Saturday but they are expecting so many volunteers to come in that day that I feel it would be better for me to wait until Monday.  I also plan on visiting the newly set up Disaster Relief Center where I can talk with FEMA and see how things are going.

A big day . . . a wonderful day . . . a day where the joy of the Lord was able to come through us and hopefully into each homeowner we met!

We thank the Lord for the opportunity to praise Him by serving others!

Until next time . . . thanks to everyone who went today!  We love you!       Susan and Monty

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Loaded - Tarped - Fueled - Let's Go

The community turned out amazingly today!  The article was in the local newspaper and they came and donated and packed the halls of our church.  Above Pastor Dave is busy organizing like items with like items and getting them boxed and ready to travel.

Nohemi, our church secretary worked all day long!  She had boxes lined up down the halls and met and welcomed each donation that came in the door.  Quite some time ago she told me she loves to organize things and today her gift of doing so was evident for all to see!  What a great job!

Nohemi was joined by her daughter and her friend and Justin from church also stopped by to see if he could help!  It was such fun to see people drive up and our people come out and help them unload their vehicles, bring in the donated items, talk with the people donating and thank them for helping.  What a great example of our people being the church!  It just warms your heart and each person donating felt that warmth and love.

At the end of the day we loaded up my truck, and another vehicle -- and still had 9 large boxes and some small ones left to take on another trip!  Once I got home Monty had this master plan how to tarp the truck since there is a 70% chance of rain tomorrow.  Something special we learned in our early response training -- the proper way to tarp a roof after a storm and so he used it on the truck.  We are still praying the rains will hold off but just in case . . .

So tomorrow morning we are ready to roll south.  We will have 2 vehicles loaded with supplies.  More than the supplies --- the love and blessings attached to each one is priceless and will bring hope and love and life to those hurting so deeply.  It is our goal that each person we meet will not see us but will see (and feel) the love Jesus has for them!

We will be unloading our supplies and reloading - along with hot meals - and heading out into the rural areas to personally deliver everything.  One of our neighbors left this morning with another load of supplies and called to say he was making personal deliveries also and you could hear the "life" in his voice.  I have no doubt that the life we heard was the life felt by each person he helped!

We are still collecing donations.  We will continue to collect donations and will make trips to deliver them as long as the need is there. 

We thank each one of you who came by and donated items, all of you who donated funds and all of you who are praying for those who have lost so much.

A quick reminder -- if  you would like to donate funds for this relief effort --- it's now easier than ever!  Just log on to our website at and there is a link at the bottom of the first page to direct you to donate online.   Also -- we are in the process of updating that site so please bear with us and the rather dated stories!!

Until next time . . . may angels go ahead of us, behind us and beside us as we travel and spread the much needed hope to each person we see.                                  Susan and Monty

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Blessings Flowing In

The past 2 days have flown by . . . and when I look at my daily "to do" list even I can't take it all in!

Yesterday I felt as though I was still trying to catch up from Sunday and all the emotions.  But there was no time for catch up --- things needed to get done.

I spent more time on my phone than the battery would allow for.  Calls and texts coming in asking about the relief supply drive we have going.  The local newspaper wanted to do an article and ask "how does it look down there?  Is it really as bad as the news makes it out to be?"  A resounding YES came forth from the depths of my insides!

The local Christian radio station also called and we did our interview this morning as I was going to Bible study.  They want to organize a team of volunteers to go and all they need to do is let me know and we'll have all the details lined out for them.

More and more calls of people wanting to help.

And then Monty's mother called.  She needed flyers -- and a bunch of them.  She is a one woman fund raising machine and she was off on more than one mission to get the word out and raise funding.  The flyers were waiting for her when she stopped by and before the end of the night she let me know that that nights bingo players had donated from their winnings and that she was just getting started.  Go Judy!  Thanks Judy!  Thanks bingo players!

This morning, I think before even the birds were awake, my cousin texts me with the name and number of an Amish gentleman who is on the Indiana/Michigan border who wants to come and help.  One return phone call to him and I had everything in order for him.

And the donations are coming in.  I teased Pastor Dave at our church and told him his secretary, Nohemi, needs a raise as she is working so hard organizing and boxing all the donations coming in there.  With church being the drop off place it's been extra work for her but each time I see her she is smiling.  Another example of the joy of the Lord at work!

As I said, I did make it to Bible study this morning, thanks to Bev.  My truck decided it needed a new water pump this week (remember it was the fuel pump last week) and once again our neighbor came to the rescue and installed it and a new thermostat today!  He knew I had to have it up and ready to roll on Thursday morning and was happy to help out!  I was more than happy and my truck is happier still.

As we arrived at Bible study (it's a 40 minute drive) Bev laughed and told me I need a secretary!  I laughed and agreed. 

When I stopped by church to see about the donations I was thrilled to see the boxes getting filled up!  Neighbors have been asking how to donate, strangers have been calling and Bible study was anxious to get involved.

And then this evening my phone rang again --- and God once again surpassed any dream I could have --- we have a car donated!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Yes, you read correctly ---a car!  Seems an elderly couple want to donate their car so when we go back on Thursday we will be doing some research and praying for God to lead us to just the right recipient.  What an an incredible gift and blessing someone will receive!

So tomorrow has me in another morning Bible study with 2 meeting following and at the beginning of the evening I will be loading up the donations at the church and bringing the truck home so Monty can get it all tarped off good and snug.  Seems there is a 70% chance of rain for Thursday but we are praying it away -- how about joining us in that prayer!

Just another reminder of why we need the donated items and the donated funding!  What if this were your home?  What if . . .

Until next time . . . many thanks to all who are helping!!!!!!            Susan and Monty

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Henryville, IN --- let the pictures speak . . .

After about 3 hours sleep last night we were up at 4:15 am this morning and on the road less than 2 hours later.  Headed to Henryville and the surrounding areas to assess the damage, make connections for recovery and find the right location to take in our relief supplies this Thursday.  We got answers to each, and then some!

The above photo was such a welcome site as we pulled into Henryville.  Once we got past the National Guard and State Police by showing them our Early Response certification we saw these trucks at the Henryville Community Church and knew the city was in good hands.  It was so great to see our Convoy of Hope family again.  Paul was busy overseeing everything and the drivers weren't just driving -- they get out of their trucks and unload and help stock all the donations they bring.  Paul said they would be there throughout the week and hopefully we get to see them all again on Thursday as we are taking our donations to this site.

But, let me back up a bit.

We met Tim, a gentleman with whom I have talked with on the phone for hours.  He does what we do, packs up and relocates into disaster areas, sets up volunteer camps at local churches, gathers information from the homeowners and sends teams of volunteers out to rebuild lives by rebuilding homes.  Although we told him we have many responsibilities right here at home and will not be relocating at this moment, I did assure him that I would be happy to make one and two day trips to help out as much as possible.  He took me up on the offer.  He was in New Albany, a city about 15 minutes south of Henryville and although the church welcomed him and incoming volunteers he was going into the city of Henryville to see if it was possible to find a still in tack church that would do the same.  It's always best to keep the volunteers as close to their rebuilding projects as possible, if that is possible.

After meeting with Tim we then headed back north to Henryville.  We knew we could not use the exit for the city due to damage.  It is closed.  The picture below says why . . .
Yes, this is the exit.  The tornado went right across Interstate 65 and into the exit lanes on both sides!

This is the inside of the relief area -- rather sparse today and the people were lined up looking for help. 

And this is the reason we don't ask for donations of water!!!  Over the past 2 days there have been 6 semi loads of water delivered!  The city will be under a boil water order for atleast through this week and will need the water but this is why we don't waste valuable room in our trucks bringing what is already plentiful.

You've probably seen this photo many times on the news.  Seeing it in person was mind blowing!

This is just one of the homes in the city.  Another one shown below -- I could keep going but you get the picture.

The streets are filled with scene after scene like the ones above -- and much worse. 

We didn't get to Marysville but will be doing so on Thursday.

If you have watched Indianapolis TV channel 13 (NBC) you have seen that they are collecting donations in many different ways.  They are doing what they can to keep the awareness level out there and we are so thankful to them for doing so.

This rebuilding will take a very long time -- and alot of money.  Everyone of these survivors needs our help.  If you are able to go and volunteer --- PLEASE WAIT for a few days.  Right now the search and rescue workers need to finish their jobs.  The power companies need to be able to move freely to restore power.  The tree companies need to be able to cut down and remove all the debris.  THEN it will be time to have volunteers come pouring in.

If you would like a contact for volunteering please leave a comment here and I will let you know.

This has been another day of seeing the devastation left behind from large natural disasters.  But it's also been a day to see the best in people -- those wanting to donate items -- those wanting to donate their time -- those who are opening their hearts to reach out and help a complete stranger.  A day to see the hands and feet and heart of Jesus in action!

"This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."

Until next time . . . I go to work on getting our emergency disaster supply warehouse up and running so next time . . . we are rolling before the disaster is even over.

And I wait to hear from the Amish as to when they are coming to start on Don's house!

We thank you for your support and beg of you to keep it coming!!!!!

Blessings,                  Susan and Monty

Friday, March 02, 2012

Going South

Very early Sunday morning we are heading to the Henryville/Marysville, Indiana areas.

We will be meeting with another disaster relief organization and seeing what God has in store for all of us.

Please keep us covered in prayers -- prayers for safe travel, for wisdom and for obedience to God's plan for us.

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

It's NOT the season!

I know you have all been watching the news and have heard about the local tornado damage right here!  The towns of Henryville and Marysville, Indiana are less than 2 hours from us.

Right now we are allowing the trained search and rescue teams to do their jobs.  This is not the time for volunteers to go in unless they are skilled in search and rescue or medical or have the heavy equipment for debris removal -- which will also wait on the search and rescue to clear the areas.

Right now is the time to PRAY!!!!!  This storm area isn't over and is headed to the east at a very rapid and deadly pace.

We all know Jesus calmed the storm with the disciples and we need to pray for His power to rise up and calm these.  We also need to pray for the protection of those in the paths and for those who are now hurting, confused and numb.

Red Cross and FEMA are there and we are on hold waiting on word from authorities.

Oh --- if only we had the disaster relief supply warehouse up and filled to the brim and ready to roll . . .

God bless and help the people!

Until next time . . . "even the winds and waves obey Him."               Susan and Monty


Here we are, facing another round of severe weather!  And we just had a round 2 days ago!

Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, southern Indiana ---- all less than a days drive from us!

God has put this on my heart quite some time ago and I admit, I have been lacking in speed in getting the word out to you.

We desperately need a local disaster relief warehouse!

We need the ability to keep it stocked full time and thus able to load up at a moments notice and take emergency supplies into disaster affected areas.

This is not a difficult task -- we just need the warehouse space and the supplies to keep it stocked.

God has put this project on my heart and as difficult as it's been to get out emails and this blog this morning I know satan is against it so . . . it's definitely from God and will bless those in need.

So . . . this must be a community wide project!  That's where all of you come in!

We need the warehouse space.  We need it donated!

We need the supplies to fill the warehouse space.  Lots of them!  I will provide a detailed list later.
Monty and I will manage both and the delivering of emergency supplies to wherever needed.

YOUR input is priceless in this endevour and we look forward to hearing from you.

Please take this to prayer and see what part God has for you to participate in!

Blessings and peace and thanks to all.                                 Susan and Monty