Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Blessings in the Midst of Disaster

When the river overflows its banks, the full, destructive power of water can clearly be seen  For our family the recent flooding has been devastating in terms of property damage and the separation of our family unit.

However, the Lord is good, and He has shown us His amazing grace in the midst of this terrible disaster.  There are so many people who have given us support and have lifted us up in prayer, we cannot possibly remember all of them.

  • We had a little bit of warning prior to this flood.  We had a surprise visit from our church family, who got most of our furniture out of harm's way.
  • We drove out of our street calmly; we didn't have to run for our lives like the last time.  The streets were still dry when we evacuated.  There weren't rescue boats floating on our street.
  • The Lord provided a warm, dry place for us to stay, and nutritious food to eat.
  • We were given a wonderful church family who are living the Word of God, by being family to us.  We are truly blessed to "do life" together with faithful brothers and sisters in Christ.
  • Our electric was restored in record time.  The Lord sent us an electrician who refused to charge us one dime to rewire the entire panel.  
  • Our former church family generously offered space to store our furniture.
  • I have a capable substitute teacher who was able to step in and take over a very complicated program and schedule, and do so seamlessly.
  • I have friends who are tireless in their efforts to help, showing up every single day to do whatever they can, from making sandwiches to running errands washing and bleaching toysThey show up every day to help.
  • Volunteers and community organizations who drive around offering bottled water, dry ice, food, coffee (yippee), mops, buckets ... you name it.

Today was a very good day of work at the house.  There weren't many people who came out to help, but the work was productive and useful, unlike yesterday when I was overwhelmed by the enormity of the job before me, and threw my hands up.

Today we took our two oldest children to the house with us so they could contribute to the restoration of our home.  By the end of the day they were covered in mud and water.  Both of them have work gloves now, his are gray, hers are pink.  They squeegied  the garage floor so I can return the tools to their places. Then they cleaned some toys and help their mom empty the shed.

Some church family showed up to touch base and see what we needed today.  One gave us an envelope of money.  We will use the money to buy a dehumidifier for the basement (God is good, all the time).

My wife dealt with the mess in the shed and all the little items that were shoved upstairs when we evacuated.  Then she, along with a very good friend, began to triage (what to keep / what to throw)  and clean the items in the front yard.  What a trooper - there are some items that are difficult to part with, and she is doing a great job - much better than I would do.  That's why God gave her to me.  I lover her more than I can say.

My "adopted" dad came over to disconnect the dishwasher and cap the wires.  Then he stayed to help with the delicate "cutting around" of the built-in bookcase.  The pastor came over to do the painstaking work of chiseling around the bookcase and removing the back from the inside, then cutting drywall and removing insulation. He saved the bookcase.  He didn't stop there.  He also took care of pressure washing the garage and back porch and finished removing the kitchen cabinets. 

At the end of the day our neighbors invited me to their porch for some good conversation and a drink (vodka and cranberry juice, to be exact).  A much needed diversion to end a productive day.


Oh, yeah one more blessing that I forgot about ...

Someone backed my wife's van into the side of our friend's car, leaving a dent the size of the Grand Canyon (slight exaggeration) .

His response?
"Don't worry about it.  As long as it still runs, I don't care." 

God is good.  All the time.

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