Monday, October 27, 2008

A word from the blistered hands and feet

Well folks, on Sunday night church services for the evening were canceled so members of our fellowship who participated in Love Loud 08

Simply put: Epsom salt and Alieve...They're a very good thing!
Love hurts...In places and ways I hadn't planned on when signing up for this adventure.

Now you might assume I'm only referring to the blisters on my feet, my arms that are nearly numb with the pain of muscle aches, or this overall complete exhaustive state I find myself in.

Those things just serve to remind me that despite hauling kiddo's around like I'm still some 20 something chicky, I am not in the best shape necessary for these kind of weekend projects.

Just so you know, we do our own yard and house work. I regularly run up and down two flights of stairs while carrying in excess of 40 lbs both ways. More often than not the extra baggage is composed of carry alls, book bags, groceries and a small child or two. Not always at the same time, but on many occasions...yes, all of the above.

Still, this aerobic and strength training did not prepare me for stepping outside my comfort zone and pitching in on a few Love Loud projects this weekend.
The little mobile home park our Sunday School class adopted was described best by my granddaughter who said it looked: lost and forgotten.

Just getting to park proved a challenge as there was no easy and direct road in. Following an older county road with several blind curves we passed the occasional abandoned trailer and automobile as we finally turned off the main drive looking for the office.

My grand girl and I were met by a friend Marcy, who was there taking photos of the site and projects. Marcy passed on a warning given to her, she advised us to consider parking at the entrance and walking in or continuing with great caution, as the road was so bad it could cause us to break an axle.

The managing office was quite a ways in, and as we were delivering a truck load of food and hygiene boxes for the residence, we opted to risk the drive.

Creeping along at a snails pace we navigated up what passed as a road, in and around treacherous deep ruts that scarred the length of this barren dirt drive.

As we inched our way in, we could not help but be taken aback by the living conditions that these residence called home.

Many so proud to HAVE a home.

Once we arrived at the staging area we were met by an enthusiastic crew of volunteers.
The mix included residence of the park, guys and gals from our membership as well as folks from area churches of various denominations. Seems Love Loud compelled many to lend a hand to these and other works going on all over the county.

Throughout the three days we were actually on site at the mobile home park the ruts in the road were filled and a mixture laid down that should greatly improve mobility as residence travel in and out of the park. Land was cleared and cleaned of debris of all kinds, a picnic area was created-complete with a set of 3 newly built tables. A resident with MS had a ramp added to her home to make it wheelchair accessible.

Besides delivering boxes of food and hygiene products to all the residence, clothing was brought on site for one and all. Many of the neediest folks were ferried back and forth for free medical and dental care.

We filled prescriptions and purchased additional soft foods for some as there was more that 21 teeth pulled from at least 3 residence alone in those short days.

It was during those taxied drives that I was privy to an assortment of stories as to how each of these folks found themselves living in such a state.

Like so many today, several were one paycheck away from losing their homes and once they became unemployed, these pay by the week units became their only option. Others shared that it was illness and poor life choices or a combination of both that drove them here.

Without exception, each felt sure that with a hand up they could see a little light at then end of their tunnel and pull themselves out.

The situation lent itself to many opportunities to share the message of Jesus Christ and we did. Besides the gospel packets that were distributed, and various Bibles and other reading material we had on site, we discovered some in the community would love to be attending church if they had transportation, others would welcome the possibility of partaking in Bible Studies. In each of these situations it was a matter of transportation or something as simple as being ask.

The needs are overwhelming.

We can not and were not meant to be any ones savior, that lies purely with the One and only Son of God, Jesus Christ. A personal relationship with Him is their only hope. Just as it is for us.

Our job, if we choose to accept it, is to continue to:


Be willing to follow where God would lead us in this great mission field....right in our own backyards.

What do say? Any thoughts on Lovin Loud?


Melinda said...

Have I mentioned to you lately, how beautiful your heart is (if not your feet!)?

It is, sweet friend!

It so stinkin' IS!

XO Melinda

Holly said...

Did Melinda just tell you that your feet stink? Hee hee! Just kidding!

I am so proud of you, Tammy. This project is such a life-changing one for all involved. I am praying for those folks you ministered to--there but for the grace of God go my family...truly.

I shared this with our pastor and wife. Hopefully we can do something like this in the future.

Love you, friend!

PS Please pray for the 65 cookbooks we have to sell. It came from our pocket, and we are hoping they will sell by Thanksgiving. Any ideas?

GratefulinGA said...

Melinda you are always such encouragement my friend! and my feet thank you ;)

Thanks for the prayers and encouragement Holly, yes my feets and everything was very sore and stinky, still are...I took a bath and a shower Sunday morning and still cleaned black stuff out of my ears and nose...and I was just there for those few days...Sweet Jesus the need!

I'm recouping and re-grouping, will be tossing those Cookbook needs around, let me see how God inspires need for you to carry the debt.

big hugs and blessings to you both,

mandy said...

Wow... Sounds like y'all had a crazy impacting weekend. My husband went to New Orleans last summer... Had a similar experience. It's breathtaking to think that people there still live in ruins.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm a friend of Jenny Hope and found you through her. She told me about you when I last saw her at the Travis concert. Now I have a name and blog and a face. (((Hugs))) You all preached the sweet name of Jesus through every bit of labor you did....I could cry looking at the pictures and work. Only heaven will know the impact you all had, seeds sown, hope planted, smiles extended. To His greater glory indeed.

Precious ministry.

PS I found the best foot cream at Publix--Miracle Foot Cream in a white tube w/ brown writing. Near the Dr. Scholl's in the Rx section. Great stuff!

Take care, Jill

Annie said...

WOW! What an event! I imagine you are quite sore! How awesome to minister in such a way - and that people were so open! Praise God.

twinkle said...

That was an awesome ministry. May God bless you all.

Lora said...

Precious Tammy - being the hands and feet of Jesus!
Thank you for your example.

rusty'swife said...


I found your blog through Lisa @ the preacher's wife. I think that I also ran across you through Nancy @ olive leaf ministries.

This is truely being the hands and feet of Christ. There are many that would not go and do what you did. Thank you for your willingness to be used in this way.

In Him,