As I type this, we are on the road heading back from Panama City. We sang this evening at the Panama City Rescue Mission to a great group of men who were very encouraging to the youth. It was a joy to share the love and hope of Christ with them.
Our teams worked on a variety of projects today. One team did some chainsaw and debris cleanup for a woman named Ms Debra. One team split a ton of wood for a family we met when we sang at a local nursing home. The wife was one of the staff and asked if we could come help as her husband was diagnosed with prostrate cancer right before the hurricane. About half our group worked in a warehouse being prepped for upcoming distribution of resources. They pulled up some flooring and began putting up some shelving. They will finish their work tomorrow.
20% of the lumber in the US comes from this county and the pine trees were devastated. It will take 2 years for it to recover, so if you see the cost of lumber increase, you can connect the dots to Hurricane Michael.
The town of Marianna lost 30% of their jobs. There is a lot of discouragement here but glimmers of hope as well. We hope we are a part of those glimmers.
- that we finish strong tomorrow with projects and our witness in Marianna
- rain to go away for tmrw and Saturday. (Doesn’t hurt to ask!)
- grace and gentleness in our dealings with one another
- safety in all things
Sorry for no blog post last night. This has been an incredibly busy trip with early mornings, late nights and full days.
We’ve been working on a variety of projects during the day. Lots of chainsaw work and debris removal; one team helping with roofing; singing each evening; and lots of encouraging hugs and conversations with folks who have been through so much.
We drove an hour this afteenoon to Panama City Beach Pier Park where the kids enjoyed around 3 hours of the beach and shopping. We find a mid-week break helps all our spirits and reenergizes us to finish the week strong. It poured on our way there and rained some on us but it didn’t dampen the fun.
Tmrw we work until 2 pm, then we will get cleaned up and drive to sing at the Panama City Rescue Mission.
-good weather to complete our work
-patience, kindness, and forgiveness with one another
-the people of Marianna as they continue to rebuild and recover from a devastating storm.
Today was a normal first day of a mission trip - chaotic but good. It took awhile to identify our work projects with home owners and to shuffle vehicles at the last minute. Charter buses aren’t meant for every road and getting 106 people working close together is challenging, so we were a bit spread out. But God provides and we were able to make it work.
Our teams worked hard in the heat and humidity. We did debris removal and chain saw work for people impacted by Hurricane Michael in October. The devastation is still very evident. We are working with a woman in her mid-70s who lived in a tent outside her home until just recently. Her tent was damaged so she moved into her home which has no electricity and structural challenges. So, there is still a lot of need.
Tonight we sang at a senior center. It was hot and crowded but they did great. We enjoyed a delicious supper, a devotion by senior Olivia Petty, and small group discussions.
Enjoy a few pics!