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Marianna, FL – Weekly Report – Nov 11-15, 2019

November 18, 2019

In 2002, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band released their third Will The Circle Be Unbroken album. One of the tracks is “I’m All Prayed Up,” written and performed on the album by Vince Gil.

I’m all prayed up, I’m ready to meet my Savior
Eternal life is waitin’ in the by and by
I’m all prayed up, my faith will never waver 
Heaven’s doors gonna swing wide open when I die

When on an MDS response there is a LOT of praying going on.  Despite what Vince Gil wrote, I believe we will never know when we’ve lifted enough prayers.  Too many unexpected things can happen that need more prayer… prayer requesting wisdom or strength or prayer expressing thanks and praise.  There is never too much prayer.

In addition to prayers, some days are about getting paid.  As an MDS volunteer, there is no weekly paycheck that we are working for and no deductions for a 401K retirement plan.  However, there is often very generous payment.

When a crew completes a wheelchair ramp for a woman whose life had been severely limited since the hurricane, her smiles and hugs for that crew are a payment that easily surpasses the hours spent.

We often ask client families to come to join us for a delicious supper at camp. While there, many have opened their hearts about the trauma and difficulties they have endured since the hurricane. We are all honored to be entrusted with such personal information. It is ample payment for the efforts spent to help make their homes dry, healthy and secure.

The short termers from Lancaster County, PA along with crew leaders from Manitoba and PA, completed 4 jobs this week.  Mr. Eugene has a new roof and a repaired room for their granddaughter. Our new friend John has a new ramp for his mom to exit and enter their home.  Ms. Angela has a new ramp and a repaired front door to make her way a lot easier.  Mr. Tony has a home that is ready for their insurance inspector to approve and certify.

Other clients, whose work started this week, are seeing the beginning of new ceilings, walls and floors in place of the old ones that had been damaged in the hurricane.  To get to this point, three had already repaired or replaced roofs to ensure rain would stay out, but needed help getting the interiors replaced.

We’ve signed up 13 clients so far, and are looking to contact more. We know there are a lot of people needing help, but have not yet been able to contact them. After a year of struggling, employment may have ended due to the storm damaging their workplace, cellphones have run out of minutes, or they’ve received too many calls from out-of-state phone numbers.  We worry about the status of a man for whom we were ready to sign a job card, but for two days has not answered phone calls or texts, and does not answer when we knock on his door.

After failing to make any progress on the job card front for three days, Friday was a breakthrough. I was able to meet with a family needing a roof replacement and signed up MDS to replace the roof on their home. I was also able to connect with and sign a job card for a mother whose home needs several interior repairs.  I got permission from a man to look at his home, while he was at a doctor’s appointment.  I look forward to finishing the assessment and getting him signed up for some help.

Each time a new client is shown the MDS job card, and sees their needs written down on a sheet of paper, and signed by MDS, there is a noticeable change in their faces and words.  MDS is in the business of HOPE. Seeing the change in the clients eyes from despair to hope, is a huge blessing. I describe myself as “Retired from working for money. Working for blessings.” I am getting paid well.

At the end of each week, when volunteers pack up and leave, the hugs and handshakes all around are another kind of payment, blessings to both the long and short term volunteers.

Through experiences like these, each week… I’m All Paid Up!!

From Marianna, Florida
Carol, Anne, Laura, Bob, Tom, Roger and Carl