Heroes in the Dust
Getting slim. No, not me. Are you kidding? I'm talking about the work crew. After Sunday we will be down quite a bit for the week. I'm not complaining. We have been blessed with a big crew for the past two weeks. Still, it can get hairy at times when a truck comes in or when something comes up that requires everyone to drop what they are doing. I would love the opportunity to really get to know each of the people who come to help us. Some, by seredipity, I get to converse with and learn about their lives. But most of us work all day, then I go to my camper. The workers congregate and share stories of the day. I guess I should stay some and get to know them during that time. However, I do not want to neglect my family any more than I am during this time. So, in all, it just is what it is. Bruce and Linda Miller and crew headed back to South Carolina today. I thought they were leaving tomorrow. What a wonderful group of people. I didn't get to say goodbye. I really regret that. But I hear they are coming back (yay!) sometime with more workers. Bruce and Linda have such a genuine spirit ... and I could see that this was a characteristic shared by the people who came with them. Their retired minister gave the devotional Wednesday night and I hear did an outstanding job. I enjoyed talking some with him at supper one night. The crew from New Jersey worked in Gulfport yesterday and today and will head home tomorrow. They did a lot of work here as well. Another neat brother went home to middle tennessee today. His last name is Taylor ... I know his first name but it escapes me at the moment. He is a preacher and a brick layer. We have the Scrugs here from Cullman - they know Donna! We also have a family here from Nashville, the Painters from Kentucky, and a brother from Brookhaven. We also have the Englands (Paducah), Jerome Faulkner, and Mack and Jeff the roofers (all from Paducah). The Warnicks are from West Virginia and Carlos is from Indiana. Carlos will leave us tomorrow for a new role he wants to fufill in life. I hope we will see him again soon. I feel that he is a special child of God. Four ladies from Indiana will come in tomorrow night. I'm looking forward to meeting these ladies. The e-mails tell me that we are going to enjoy getting to know them all! So people come and go. Helpers, working as hard as they can for a season before heading home. They are giving up vacation time, opportunities to enjoy some recreation, or some precious work time around their own homes. They do so with smiles and with determination. They want to see people walk back into their homes, able to live in them. They are true heroes in the dust of discarded insulation and sanded sheetrock. They fulfill the role of the one known as the 'Good Samaritan', who extended himself on behalf of the helpless. I applaud them. When I do get the chance to know them better, I realize that I am in the shadow of the King. He is at work in their efforts. What is really amazing is that they all claim to be the ones who are blessed. Truly amazing. Today my family received a box in the mail. It was from Andy and Kelly Cates of Nashville. They served a week here a month or so ago. In part the letter says, "There is not a day that goes by that we don't think about you guys and the work going on at Central ... Andy and I feel so blessed to have met you guys and to have had the opportunity to work at Central. ... We pray for you guys and your work at Central daily." Enclosed in the box were some goodies from Tennessee - two bottles of Corky's Memphis Bar-B-Q Sauce. Also a beautiful recipe book that had tabbed sections - already containing recipies that Andy and Kelly had collected for us. I could tell they put their heart into this beautiful gift. Thanks, Andy and Kelly! We are the ones who are blessed for knowing you! So, I'll leave you with a picture of Andy and Kelly. Yet again demonstrating the beauty of the Kingdom life, serving God and others. I am discovering that their story is duplicated over and over again in the lives of the disciples of Jesus Christ. It really is the Kingdom I never knew... and undiscovered country that consists of a great pardox. The darkness of dust and rubble being overcome by the light of love and mercy. Shine, Jesus, Shine!