Despite indications otherwise, I have not abandoned yea!
Let me begin, by saying it has been all shades of crazy busy around here. Undoubtedly the biggest struggle has been all the work keeping the ol laptop up and running, as we battle all manner of 2010 sickness (even before 2010).
I have a new respect for the ability and limits to my trusty Blackberry and personally believe there should be a special kind of punishment for those tech devils who create and distribute viral illness's for the sole purpose of vandalizing.
Okay, with that out of my system:
When last I blogged, we had just finished up the blanket drive for the Christmas mission to McDowell County, West Virginia.
Within days of leaving for McDowell, Mary and I were honored to serve up a special luncheon for many of our core group of workers and friends who helped see more than 15 football fields worth of fleece made into 500 plus blankets for our Appalachian neighbors.
Some of the most precious ladies I know
How I love these gals!
Dear Mary, thank you for inviting me to join in this blessed adventure in fleece.
So many lives touched by a simple gift and our huge God.
Deborah shared such a story
Deborah's husband was a Vietnam veteran, had health issues related to exposure to Agent Orange and ultimately killed himself, in this home in front of his children.
Deborah's only daughter was murdered in North Carolina after moving there to become a nurse. Deborah's youngest son was born with his umbilical cord around his neck depriving him of oxygen for some time. Deborah was told he would never be fully functional. The boy was recently diagnosed with dyslexia but according to Deborah, has a photographic memory, with complete recall of anything he is read, shown or instructed. He should graduate high school this year and hopes to be accepted to technical trade school to become a licenced mechanic like his older brother.
Deborah says the children were raised that there is no such word as 'can't'.
Deborah proudly displayed how self sufficient they are with gardens she cans and freezes from, their ginormous hog, goats and a pen full of chickens.
This family is so grateful for their many blessings. Deborah says their new house (built this past summer) is like her home of dreams. For the first time in her life she has built in closets and stays very warm and dry. This grandmother shared that up until a week or so before we visited it was so snug inside they had no need to even turn on the heat; that's how well her new home is insulated.
Last winter, Deborah and her son lived in a small corner of her old family home, as the majority of the structure was unlivable and had caved in due to leaks in the roof. Deborah would not allow anyone in to visit at her old place as the floors were full of large holes she had resourcefully packed with clothing filled plastic trash bags, and this embarrassed her. Deborah and her son physically huddled around a single heater last winter to survive the elements.
You can hear such pride when Deborah talks about her Mama's amazing wood cook stove (she has preserved under tarp in the old house). To hear her tell it, her stove is better than any Viking or La Cornufe and nothing beats it for canning, especially keeping her jars just right for packing. The only missing in Deborah's house o dreams is a small shed to house her two freezers. As you can see, these appliances are currently set up and operating out in the open.
This was our view as we trekked up the winding path of Deborah's homestead bringing sack lunches, meeting Deborah and some of her family for the first time. After visiting with Deborah and hearing her testimony we sang some carols and invited the family to join us for Christmas fellowship on Saturday.
Deborah's eldest son, daughter in law and 2 grandchildren live in this RV at the base of the hill.
The next day......
We went to Iaeger Elementary School to celebrate Christmas with hundreds of folks from the community.
In the beginning
Look at all the happy faces!
Look what she picked out for Christmas
A wonderful group of new friends, great cooks, hearty carolers, adequate drivers (grin grin) and big hearted lovers of all peoples and Christ. What a blessing you are!