We had a real bad ice storm here in Southern IL (and surrounding area), took out the power for nearly a week. I am def. NOT used to that. In MN we had some bad weather, but the power lines were NEVER down for more than a couple hours (at least in the city). So, it took some adjustment…in many ways. First was the attitude. I had all this stuff I wanted to get done before leaving to go home, and no power, to internet, no phone for a while…it sucked. But, God is GOOD and totally redeemed it all!
There are many surprises and highlights I can share…too many to even recount. I have learned a lot, been blessed, challenged, healed, and forgiven in the midst of challenges becoming blessing. Instead of breaking down each day, I will just review the last six days in bullet point fashion.
- TR gals ran an emmergency shelter for the community of Cairo. Talk about a blessing! People from different pockets of the community came out for food, warmth, and fellowship. It’s no fun being locked up inside when its dark and cold.
- We realized that God had prepared us for this task, even though we have not officially gone through our Red Cross training for Shelter Services…YW has done the trick! Cooking for 60+, safety, problem solving…yea it was all under control.
- I guess I had a different perspective than most…when it was my turn to spend the night (we rotated on 8 hour shifts) I was so glad to have a big “sleepover” with the community of Cairo. I’m talking men, women, families, children, people with addictions, people who are disabled, sick, healthy, old, young…everyone! It was great fun! I tried to get a talent show rolling with the youth…didn’t happen. I think they still have too much fear – even though they have MAD talent!
- Met some new friends who work for the police and fire department…divine connections.
- An influential person spent the night at our house when we had power and he did not…that’s a random story.
- The community was truly in the mindset and spirit of helping each other. I saw people come together like I had not before (in this town).
- Deeper friendships were created in the midst of tragedy.
- It is really preparation for the earthquake that is coming (no, I don’t know when). It will be BIG and we NEED to be prepared – first in our hearts, spirits, and the flesh. How? I don’t really know, I leave that to HIM.
- The shelter was a good experience, people had great attitudes in the midst of being kicked out of their homes.
- I have not yet heard of any deaths or accidents in Cairo as a result of the storm or power being out.
- Deeper dependence on God was created for all.
- Unity with the team as we served together.
- Southern IL Call – Jan. 31st…my last day as a Two Rivers Staff (although I am still in the family, I will be taking off Feb. for a sabbatical of sorts and coming back in March to be a teacher at the Junior High).
- Confirmation about a lot of things through conversation with new friends.
- God is GOOD!
- The Holy Spirit is teaching me about healthy interactions between men and women…yes, still a work in progress.
- Freedom and breakthrough in certain areas of my life…learning how to deal and not RUN!
- Learning how to trust those who are the closest to me.
- Learning how to receive rebuke in love.
- Learning how to hear the Holy Spirit.
- Learning how to shut my mouth.
- Learning how to forgive.
- Learning how to love. 1 Corinthians 13…it’s really UNCONDITIONAL!
“The POWER has returned to Southern IL”…sounds prophetic!