End of the week thoughts…

This has been a very tiring week, as we have well documented.  However, sitting at this end of the week, it is a great feeling to look back and see all we have accomplished on this trip.  I daresay we have accomplished much more than we do on construction trips and you can tell by how we have interacted this week.  On these trips, we often get tired and one dynamic that often happens is being short-tempered with one another, but this week, we were so much more tired, that often we sat in silence, too worn out both mentally and physically to engage with one another.  I think as a group (or at least for myself) this week has been much more introspective as we process the despair that this area is experiencing, the difficulty and pace of the work we have been doing, and the vast amount of families whose lives will never be the same.  At the same time, I have noticed this community to be one of faith, that local people are talking about what G-d is doing here and how they’ve helped each other (friends and family taking flood victims in…).  The whole town of Minot seems to be aware of the volunteers and tonight we saw people out for a walk waving at us while we were driving down the road as if to say thanks for helping someone even though it was not them.  The organization that put us to work (Lutheran Disaster Response) gave us bright orange “VOLUNTEER” shirts and people stopped to speak with us everywhere we went today.  This community seems to have been brought closer together by this experience. 

Especially as I am as tired as I am, I empathize with how these people must be feeling.  The emotions are still very raw and you feel the tears in their eyes as they describe their losses and how little help they are receiving from various agencies.  Not only that, but the national news has not covered the damage here the way other disasters have been covered and the season to be able to work here is much different than other locations because of the weather.  The snow will fly soon and reconstruction will nearly cease until March and April.

Thanks to all who were praying for our safety and strength to continue to do the work that these people so desperately need.  I’m certain your prayers are what kept us upright!!  As you think about the work that we did here in the upcoming months, pray for the Mennonites coming down from Canada that have made a 2 year committment to this city to helping them rebuild.  They will be staying at a church (that they are also rebuilding) and working on approximately 5 homes throughout the winter while it is the off season for farming.  It is touching to see the Mennonite community empathizing with this community and making the commitment to be a presence in the rebuilding.

Enough of my rambling thoughts, Thanks for partnering with us by your thoughts and prayers!

-Kristen-

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