Monday, December 10, 2012

Well If you can't trust church people...

This time last week I was in NJ sleeping on a couch in the prayer room of Beacon Church with my girls Becky and Jen.  Becky and I had successfully crossed the GW bridge and arrived safely in NJ.  Jen so kindly gave us the tour and introduced us to a very loving kind homeowner named Marie.

Marie (pictured at right feedng a team lunch) is a retirement aged lady with arthritis and bad knees, who has been caring for her bed-ridden husband Louis for going on 19 years now.   Prior to Sandy, she had to evacuate with her husband to a nursing home facility, where they remained displaced for eight days.  When they were finally able to return home, she found water in the entire crawlspace under the home, and water damage in her garage and breezeway where she kept many of her clothes, her food pantry and her freezer.  We have been able to remove her saturated insulation, gut her breezeway, and help clean out and pressure wash her garage.  We have also re-insulated the crawlspace, and hung drywall in the breezeway so far.

When I met Marie, she welcomed us into her home and began to show us pictures on her camera of the work the teams had accomplished.  While talking with her, she told us how she's been waiting to get her photos printed but no one has been able to wait the one hour at the photo desk to get them printed.  Well, that's all we needed to hear and we were off to CVS with her memory card to print off the 470+ photos.  As we were walking out the door with her memory card, some cash, and her name to pick up her prescriptions, she says, "Well if you can't trust church people, I might as well not get out of bed." 

That simple line struck a cord with me.  Our staff and volunteers have demonstrated the love of Christ to Ms. Marie and communicated to her through their words and actions that us "church people" can be trusted! How awesome! God is AWESOME! I praise God for putting Ms. Marie in our path!  Then of course to top it off, Ms. Marie fed us when we returned with her photos! The kindness and generosity of people who have been through so much continues to amaze me.  I pray that the Body of Christ including myself continues to show the world that we are trustworthy because Christ alone is worthy to be trusted!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Cold Weather and Warm Hearts!

So where am I now?? Right now I am sitting at the dinner table with Becky (pictured right) and Logan who make up half of THE Team Symmons who have graciously hosted me and allowed me to use their vehicle while traveling around the northeast.

Yes I'm in Massachusetts now, spent the week in Connecticut, and will travel to New Jersey tomorrow.  My special friend Becky contacted me in October about coming to visit them and churches in the Northeast before Sandy was even in existence.  In God's perfect timing, I had this trip scheduled before there was a need for a response up here.

Faifield Beach in Connecticut
One of the God stories I wanted to share came from my friends at Black Rock Congregational Church in Fairfield CT.  This church has been to New Orleans once a year since Katrina.  When Hurricane Sandy made its way towards their hometown, they were ready to see what doors God would open.  Sure enough, 2 days after the storm, 15 volunteers from BRCC loaded up and headed to a home that was flooded due to the storm.  Jeremy said his experiences with TouchGlobal in New Orleans prepared him to see the mission field that follows crisis and reach out in Christ's love.  He said they had 90 volunteers from the church come out to serve on a Saturday.  PRAISE GOD for the body of Christ stepping up to love on those in need!!

Please pray for Becky and I as we make our way to New Jersey tomorrow.  It's going to be a quick trip so please pray that we can encourage our staff and churches on the ground, catch a vision for what God is doing there and how best to tell others about it, and for safety on the roads! 

Again I have been so blessed by the hospitality and kindness of my friends here in the Northeast!  Shout outs to Craig and Nancy for letting me base out of their home in CT, for the Goulart and Wallace families for sharing life with me, for Craig teaching me how to shoot a rifle and a revolver (haha yeppers!), and of course for Team Symmons (Logan, Nick, and Papa Jack pictured below!) who have made this trip possible for me! PRAISE JESUS for the people He has put in my life!

AND of course Praise God for His perfect timing that I was up here when my lil spoon Alysha gave birth to her beautiful daughter Evelyn!!! Praise God for new life! :)