After pulling up to the Mormon church, we decide to go ahead and walk in. They said they needed volunteers, so here we were. We walked into a gym that was full of supplies, a few adult volunteers, and a couple dozen teenagers in yellow t-shirts eating pizza. We explain that we called the number on the sign, and that we're here to help with whatever needs to be done.
They looked at us like we are absolutely crazy when we said we were there to serve.
It turns out that they didn't want us to "move" a tarp. They wanted us to take a tarp and put it on a roof. We are 3 women. Probably not going to happen.
So I asked if there was anything else we could do to help. It appeared to me that they had a serious volunteer system set-up....surely they could find something for us to do.
They took us to the "command center" where a lady told Donetta that she would need to put a t-shirt on (she was wearing a tank top). Then we were lectured for 10 minutes about how inappropriately we were dressed for a disaster situation, and right as I am having some serious words with the holy spirit about why we are still standing there when there is work to be done, Jami looks at me and whispers, "We're supposed to be here."
As it turns out, the one nice guy in the room, a 70-year-old man named Warren, had a special forces key chain hanging out of his back pocket. It was from the same unit that Jami's husband just came from. Okay Lord. You're in charge.
So we stuck around while they looked for something for us to do.
It was eventually decided that we would go to 6th street with our friend Warren to cut down a tree.
After getting geared up with gloves, water, and bright yellow Helping Hands t-shirts, we headed out to chainsaw a tree. Warren wanted one of us to ride with him, and the other 2 to follow behind. I looked at Jami like "this is your thing, you go with him." (Aren't I an awesome friend?)
Jami agrees to drive with Warren, Donetta jumps in with me, and off we go to 6th street.
When we arrive at the address where the tree is supposed to stand, there is clearly no tree at all. We all double check the address, the family name on the sheet, and the area.....yep, right address, right family, no tree.
Okay Lord. Whatcha doin' here? We're ready and willing to help and have done very little "helping" so far.
Warren thought we should drive around looking for another tree to cut down instead of heading back to the church, so that's what we did.
And after 15 blocks, and a phone call to our church, we decided it was time to part ways with our new friend Warren.
Warren didn't need our help today, but I am choosing to believe that the Lord wanted us to walk into that church and meet Warren. I may not ever understand why, but I still believe that the Lord clearly led us there.
Jami jumped back in our car, and we got a return call from our church. We called saying we were looking for a place to help, and the secretary at our church said a woman had called not 5 minutes earlier asking for help.
She called us back to tell us that Brenda and her friend Jill needed help. We were given an address. Finally, a real chance to help!
We had a tough time finding the home. When there aren't any street signs, it's hard to know when to turn right. Thanks to the trusty GPS, we managed to find Brenda and Jill.
The home was standing. There was no roof. And the inside was filled with insulation. My mind still can't comprehend it. It's one thing to see homes leveled (and so many are!), but when you see a home standing, you think it should be okay. But they're not.
Brenda and Jill had loaded all they could salvage into the back of a pick-up truck. As it turns out, they too needed help re-tarping what was left of the roof. We couldn't do that. But we were able to encourage them. And we convinced Jill to let us go to the storage until with her to unload the truck full of their remaining belongings.
And just like that, our day in Moore was over.
And there was part of me that was really frustrated with the Lord. I don't spend every morning in prayer over a specific thing. But I spent yesterday morning in prayer. All morning. Asking the Lord to lead us, to let us make an impact, to allow us to make a difference.
I drove away from Moore feeling like we had done very little, but I can't deny for a moment that the Lord clearly led us to each place we found ourselves at.
So instead of being frustrated, I started to see the bigger picture. I started asking myself why He would want me to meet the people we met, experience the things we experienced and see the things we saw.
And after a day to process it all, I learned that what I often see and envision as my perfect plan is very rarely what God has in mind for us.
I saw us helping a family, and serving a family, and being able to minister to and encourage a family. I saw us getting our hands dirty, sweating, possibly crying.
But I didn't see the day of dead ends and rabbit trails coming. I had a plan when we left the house and it was clear and it was exactly what I thought we should be doing.
My idea of the day was obviously not what the Lord had in mind. I was reminded that my plans and my ideas are not always His plans and His ideas.
I also learned that us serving one day was not going to be enough. I knew that, but I needed to be reminded. I needed to know that this was going to be a long process of clean-up and re-building.
And more than anything, I learned that the Lord's plan is always, always better than mine, more thought out than mine, and more kingdom minded than mine.
And even though yesterday looked nothing like what I thought it would, I know He guided the day and our actions and our words. What appeared to be a day of very little being accomplished, may have been more accomplishing than we'll ever know.
Resting in His perfect plan tonight.....
Much Ado About You Planner winners have been drawn and will be announced tomorrow!
Plus, our NYC re-cap.
Don't forget about our Online Summer Bible Study. We would love for you to join us.