Wow! It's been several months since we've updated the blog.
A quick recap....
Derek is still attending JJC and is almost finished with his first semester. He has been able to help out a ton at Caring Hands Thrift Shop!
I am still working at A.I.D. but changed positions a month and a half ago. I started working there as a DSP and have now become a QIDP. It is a more of a supervisor role. I really enjoy my job although at times I do miss teaching.
As most of you know three weeks ago Washington, Illinois was hit by a devastating tornado. We have been able to show God's love to the people of Washington on several occasions. The whole story is a total example of how God works in mysterious ways! Two weeks before the tornado hit my mom convinced Derek and I to take a LERT (Lutheran Emergency Response Team) class. I have to admit I didn't really want to but Derek convinced me to join him. We took the class and figured we wouldn't be using our training for several months. Little did we know how soon we would be using these new skills. As soon as the tornado struck we immediately knew God was calling us to help those in Washington. Since we were LERT certified we were able to enter the disaster zone the first week. I know it may sound redundant to say but the pictures truly do NOT do the damage justice.
Our first visit we worked at a home that was totally demolished. We began the day by sorting through the debris looking for any personal belongings that may be of value. It was such a blessing to see our team of people who had never met before gather together and complete this large task. By the end of the day entire slab of the home was cleared of debris and the homeowner was able to take 5 totes home to sort through. What a humbling experience to see a man who had just lost all of his home not become excited by the IPad we found in perfect condition but tear up over the discovery of a stepping stone with his sons hand print.
Our second trip was Thanksgiving Day. I was amazed at the number of people who traveled down to bless the people of Washington. While not many homeowners came in to eat we were able to provide meals to about 200 people around the city.
Today we were able to bring 2 others from our home church down with us. While the weather was CRAZY cold my heart was never cold. We began our morning clearing trees and a chunk of a roof that landed behind the church we have been working with. Five other people not from our church joined us to help get the work done. What the supervisors thought would take us all day was completed before lunch time! We then moved to a second site where another group joined us. In an hour and a half we were able to fill two dumpsters full of debris from the homeowners site. When the third dumpster arrived a small group of us continued to fill it. Again I was amazed how God uses perfect strangers to accomplish so many things! While working the homeowner stopped by to thank us for all of our help. It was such a humbling experience to have someone who has lost everything thanking me, who has so much, for helping. Derek and I were able to spend half an hour talking to the homeowner and offering support and encouragement to him. This was the first experience I had had being able to talk with a homeowner. I can truly say the people of Washington are indeed a strong community!! I am truly thankful for the opportunity to have met so many amazing people these past weeks and can't wait to see how God continues to work in Washington!
May you have a blessed holiday!!
I will be adding pictures soon or you can check my Facebook