My classroom called life…Kingdom lessons

My desire is to abide

Day 4 November 21, 2008

Filed under: Biloxi,Ministry Stuff,Travel — charredsmore @ 5:43 am

Chaplin Ralph hooked me up with some Bibles, and lots of Spanish Bibles this morning before we zipped off to our work site.  I was hoping to give one to the neighbor who played the sax. for us the other day, the teen girl named Star that I just met and the owner of the house we are working on.

Today was a nice work day.  Our goup is constantly switching peeps as people are in and out of the free clinic helping Marcia.  Sharon was with our group today and Sara was out.  We were finishing up on the dry wall mudding, which is always fun – for a moment.  If this was my job I would frinkin’ go crazy!  My arm would have to build some serious muscle in my shoulder area.  It burns!  Anyway, we got a little giddy.  That over tired silliness that comes out when you are with a group of people you just feel so comfortable with – you know the kind.  I love that stuff.  I love to laugh.  It is some of the best medicine – not that I am sick.  If you are sick, I suggest you get a good laugh in, it will do your body some good.

We took off early to head to the beach for a bit and now we are getting ready to head out to dinner.

More to come later.  Tomorrow is our last work day and we will be heading back to Cairo.  I miss Cairo.  I miss my friends there.  It will be good to sleep in my own bedroom again too – compared to this shoe box of a bedroom with 5 other ladies…not that I am complaining, I love community time too.

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Day 3 November 20, 2008

Filed under: Biloxi,Ministry Stuff,Power of Prayer,Travel — charredsmore @ 10:09 am

prayer

I was able to return to the same house, which is great because I was hoping to reconnect with the two custodial staff I prayed with the day before.  The morning started with us praying together as a team.  It felt really good to commit our day to the Lord, asking Him to guide us, protect us, open up opportunities to speak to people in the community.

I recognized last night during our processing time, that I really love to work hard and do physical labor and construction stuff – learning new skill and all.  BUT, I also LOVE to be with people.  To encourage them, to speak words of life to them, to pray with them.  It is more of a challenge when I do not have this kind of daily interaction.  Plus, I am really missing Cairo.  I never thought I would say those words.  Usually I am so happy to get a little bit of a break from that place, that I don’t really miss it at all.  Now, I feel much differently about Cairo.  No longer seen as a mission field, but seen as my home (one of my homes).  Okay, back to Biloxi.  People interaction, yeah, that is what I prayed for this morning.  Also, I prayed for surprises.  God provided in answering each one of the prayers we lifted up together this morning as a team.  It was certainly fun and entertaining to see them unfold.

The neighbor came home home and we began chatting with him a bit.  Found out he works nights, so he was on his way in to sleep before going back to work.  A nice guy, and I was hoping we would have more interaction with him.  Our team has not actually me the home owner of the house we are working on yet, because of his busy work schedule.  I am just dying for people interaction, you hear me?  Anyway, so the neighbor ends up stopping by a couple hours later.  He tells Mike (our team leader) that he has a surprise for us.  We began joking around, “Maybe he is going to do a song and dance.  Maybe he is going to finish the sheet rock.  Maybe he is going to install the toilet for us.”  haha.  The surprise was better than all of those silly things.  He told us that recently he began playing his saxophone again.  He hadn’t played in years (probably since high school).  There is a song that had been rolling around in his mind the last two days and he practiced it yesterday (not even with the sheet music).  He kept trying to get some sleep, but he heard a voice telling him, “Go over and play the song for the goup and don’t worry about messing up the notes.”  I asked if it was the Holy Spirit.  He said yes, but he had never heard this voice before.  Was I thankful for his obedience!  Such a beautiful song flowed from the bell of his saxophone as he moved through the song with such ease and gentleness.  I was taken back by the beauty.  After soaking in the moment, he began to describe the impact that we had on him, coming from Illinois to volunteer and help people we had never met.  He realized that he too has something to give and that he must not be selfish, but give.  Pray for this man, W as he described himself as non-religious.  Heck, I am not religious either (except about brushing my teeth), but I think people have different definitions for the word.  Praise God for His divine placement!  I am praying that W will continue to hear that voice and yield to Him.

 

Day 1 of Work Projects November 18, 2008

Filed under: Biloxi,Ministry Stuff,MS mission trip,Travel — charredsmore @ 4:13 pm

sara2hc-mixing-it-up1gary-showing-hc-how-to-mix-the-mud1

Hello friends from around the globe.  I thought I would give a little update from the mission field here in Biloxi, MS.  Things are going wonderfully, the weather has been beautiful and sunny during the day with cold chills in the evenings. I hear it is much warmer here than Cairo and Colfax, so no one is complaining. 

 
Yesterday we had our first official day of work projects. Both of our teams (red and blue) went out to the same house, which was great for building a bit more team unity between Team Biloxi and Team Cairo.  The red and blue teams are composed of members of each group to mix it up. Anyway, back to work projects.  We went to this amazing home nestled right on the bay area (check out a map of Biloxi, it is kind of a peninsula), which was actually a place where the Confederate soldiers loaded up their guns and prepared for battle.  Now privately owned by a mother and her son.  The outside of the house isn’t anything special to look at, but once you get in, it is GORGEOUS!  The home owners were not there today, but hopefully we will meet them at some point.

 

The project consisted of mudding dry wall and more mudding!  The walls had just been installed and mudded and so we are doing some finishing work.  Good thing we have all had plenty of practice mudding!  I really like to mud, it has the texture of thick frosting.  I even got to mix the mud with the giant drill bit.  My arm nearly came off the first time – talk about a powerful tool!  I also took some video footage that I will probably link up to my blog, once I figure it out.  We had a sweet time of working together and fellowshipping.  Harlan even lead us out in a few worship songs with that deep baritone voice of his. 

 

We only had a couple hours left and the Chaplin stopped by to see how we were doing, also to pick me up for some community outreach.  He is currently training a young man in the ministry (who recently returned from China with his wife).  What a blessing to shadow them as they traveled to different homes doing one on one emotional/spiritual care.  I love this kind of ministry!  Are you kidding me, this is what we do in Cairo all the time.  The Chaplin said most people have a difficult time understanding what this ministry looks like, how it is measured and what the outcomes are.  The whole person needs to be cared for, not just the physical.  I am thankful for people like Chaplin and Drew who are here to lead people to the Holy Spirit – the Wonderful Counselor. 

 
I was able to meet a few community friends…

E, and older man of about 85 years old who had a beautiful 1920s home near the beach front, who now lives in his guest house.  The home is in complete chaos and the guest house has been fixed up pretty nice.  The house is seriously just sitting there, falling apart, awaiting its next robbery.  People loot out the homes that are awaiting demolition.  This man has lost so much.  He no longer has his wife with him and is just waiting for his home to be demolished.  I don’t know if he is interested in paying the $2,000 it costs to tear it down and hall it away.  Who would be?!?  Some people are still paying a mortgage on their house, which no longer exists.  Borrowed money building interest while they are living in a trailer or tent. 

 

J – Met this man in the trailer park (you know the ones, provided by that fed. org – F_M_).  He is pretty angry and bitter, but who wouldn’t be (without the power of the Holy Spirit to heal your wounds)?  He constantly researches information on the intranet finding out how much money was given by which group, grants, fed, and coorporatley.  He wonders why only certain areas were rebuilt while others remain completely in shambles.  He wonders why people are still living in trailers when there was enough money to go around.  He wonders why his people are still being opressed (African American population).  I let him talk.  Sometimes people just need someone to listen.  I let him deflate and get it all out on the table – well at least a small portion of it.  I think he’s got a lot built up inside.  He says he knows Jesus and follows his ways.  Drew and I were able to pray over him.  I asked the Lord to raise him up in the community as a voice of righteousness, to strip away the bitterness that it would not take root in his life.  I asked the Lord to give him a desire to draw near to truth and resist the enemy.  J, keep on keepin’ on, don’t let the enemy win in your heart.  Also, we prayed for his 25 children, who are spread out across the nation. 

 

Grandma – This woman is a great, great grandmother (that’s right, 2 greats) to two little ones that she is now the guardian over.  A five year old boy and a six year old girl.  I was able to play with the kiddos while the Case Worker and Chaplin were with her in the house talking about where she was going to move after that org. kicked her out of the trailer.  She does have a plan and the Lord is providing for her and her family – thank you Jesus!  The kids were great, we hung out on the porch, soaking in the sun, talking about our favorites and Jesus.  Here are two short videos with the kids.  I will upload these later on, once I get on my own computer.

 

So, that was my day in a nutshell.  Stay tuned for tomorrow as I update you with more stories from Biloxi, MS.

 

Bless you.

**If anyone knows how to upload the pictures to a normal size, please let me know…