Thanks for the thoughts on website production and Microsoft Vista. I was surprised there were no Vista-haters out there… well … none reading my blog anyway. It’s been a busy few days and I haven’t had much time to blog or read other blogs.
God uses this relief effort in so many ways … many of them mysterious. Many of them we never really know about. I have had four teenagers from California helping me to reassemble our church library and clear the North hallway. It’s been fun working with them. Many of you who are longtime readers or who were here during the early months of the effort will remember Heather. She is here along with her mother and this group of teens. She looks great and it is good to see her. This group is a special group. It is not particularly a Christian group, but rather a group of young people who have been in significant trouble. Some legal requirements have to be met in order for them to be here. However, they all earned their own money to make the trip. They have been a good group of workers. I think there is to be a bonfire tonight on the beach at which I will attempt to help them identify their own wounds with those of Jesus Christ, and present him as the Healer of our hearts. Pray for that to touch someone’s life. One of the chapperones with this group was here last year. He told me last year that he had grown up in the Church of Christ and that his trip helped him re-connect with his roots. He has now been restored to his home church after a bad experience being away from serving God in his life. So he comes to us this year as someone who has experienced some healing.
David Kibler did an outstanding job preaching for us last night. I hope to have his message up on the podcast soon. We enjoyed a great time of worship together. Many of the people in this group have been here three and four times. Several of the high school students want to come spend their summers here working and serving people. This group from Southern Acres Christian Church in Lexington, KY, is something else. Awesome kids. One of their groups is working at a man’s house who needed a lot of help. After getting his roof repaired, they went inside to begin helping him get things together. He came to services last night along with his grand daughter and great granddaughter. He told me that he was not a Christian and had no plans to be, but there was this young teenage girl that started inviting him to services on Monday. He told her no, but she came back the next day and talked to him some more. Finally on Wednesday, he decided to come because they had touched his heart. This man has had, like many people, a horrible experience after Katrina. For six months he slept in a mini-van. He broke out a window and ran a window-unit air conditioner to it. Here is a picture of him sitting in that van that was his bedroom for half a year.
He was surrounded by teenagers last night and it looked like he was having a grand time talking to them and getting his picture made with them. We do not know what will happen in his life … but he certainly knows the love of Jesus that is available to him.
David Kibler also told me about one of the chapperones who is here with him. He said that this man came on last year’s trip. When he got home, he gathered his family together and said he wanted them to be united in Christ. So they went down to Southern Acres and he was baptized. Immediately after his baptism he baptized his wife. Now their family is back this week helping to serve yet again.
I often wonder what motivates people to keep coming to help and serve us. Then I hear these stories about what happens when groups get back home. And there are so many of these stories of people being baptized when they get back home, rededicating their lives to Christ, getting others together and coming back to work. They do it for God and because in some wild way God seems to be working in the lives of people here.
But I do not view this as if it were some sort of visitation of the Holy One in Pascagoula. No, He has been here all along. And Jesus taught us that if we serve someone, we were serving Him. Do you not know that when we serve Christ, there is a blessing attached to that service? One day the last volunteer will leave the Coast and we will reflect on everything that has happened. I pray that we will never settle back and say, ‘wasn’t that something?’. I hope that we will keep our hands busy serving others, knowing that God works through a servant’s hands. Not just on the Coast, but everywhere.
Ten Year Old Dies In Heroic Effort. There is no greater friend than one who gives his life for another.
Thanks for reading!