Today we got up and the church we are staying at provided breakfast. (Thank you!) Lewis did devotions this morning about always sharing your faith. Always being ready to share it. It was a very good way to start the week.
We drove from the church we are staying at, which is about 30 mins north of Minot, to the church where they are basing Lutheran Disaster Response. We were a few minutes late, but the people there didn't even bat an eye. They gave us our work assignment. That's right. Just one. All ten of us went to work on gutting a house on the northeast side of Minot. It was right by the river. There was some junk in the basement, but we hauled it out and started tearing out drywall and insulation, etc. With Bob's leadership, we got into a pretty good rhythm and flow with people carrying stuff outside while nobody was blocking the door. Then Howard showed us that we could fill a bucket and just push it out the window in the basement. Matt and Erin and I took turns emptying the buckets into a pile on the curb. Shirley is like the energizer bunny. She just keeps going and going and going… They told us this job would take about 2-3 days. We finished it by 4:45.
Ok- I want to back up just a little bit. – The weather. We are absolutely not in New Orleans! There was frost on our windshields this morning when we went to leave. And when we were getting supplies at the base church, I thought I didn't have enough warm clothes. It was COLD! But once we got out of the wind, and started working, we warmed up.
A few years ago, Howard and Ali and three other people and I went to Mason City, IA to muck out a basement for a friend from Mount Bethel UMC, (one of the original River Bend Churches) when Mason City and surrounding cities flooded. The difference between that house and this one is that on this one, it wasn't so much mucking as it was just demo-ing. There wasn't much down in the basement that was soaking wet, and there wasn't that swampy, hot humid jungle damp smell. But after a shower, I still feel like I smell like mold.
Every house in the neighborhood we worked in today was badly damaged. Some people are waiting to see what the City and the engineers decide about rebuilding. It's possible that the house we worked on today will be razed anyway, and the home owners bought out and not allowed to rebuild there. The people are hearing a lot of different reports and rumors about what is going to happen to their property. They are also saying that 2012 is supposed to be a pretty wet year also. Which begs the question, "Why are we gutting this house when it's possible they are going to tear it down anyway, or if it's going to flood again?" And I guess the answer is, "What if they don't tear it down? And what if it doesn't flood?" Nobody knows for sure what is going to happen. There aren't answers today. But we have hope. And we know that God is still God. And we believe that God directed us to come to Minot. And the agency that was still working was Lutheran Disaster Response, so we are working for them and are under their authority. And if they say, "Gut this house," then we will gut this house.
Tomorrow we have a new house to gut.
Please pray for Lewis. He has a pretty bad cold. He is trying to make sure none of the rest of us get it. Also please pray for our health as we work in these moldy houses.
Thank you to the people that wrote a little note. It's encouraging to know you are cheering us on from afar or "anear"
I haven't posted any pictures on our picasa site yet. But Matthew took a bunch of pictures today with my camera. I think Kristen has posted on our blog (www.rodscof.blogspot.com
). And you can see a few pictures on Facebook of you're on there. (Search for River Bend Mission team- and "like" us or be a fan or whatever the latest thing is.)
Peace and joy to you!
The spiritual life cannot be made suburban. It is always frontier, and we who live in it must accept and even rejoice that it remains untamed.
— Howard Macey