Hmmm. Nothing like a holiday to hold up progress. We have quite a few things to do to get the kids settled, but cannot do them because of holiday closures. Tomorrow we will enroll Jonny and Samantha in school here in San Antonio. If time permits, we will drive 2 ½ hours up to Mullin Texas to get Daniel and Spencer settled up there and enrolled in school. Jon and Bob will head out early tomorrow morning to conduct fact finding in Mississippi. They are driving in, spending the night, visiting the house on Wednesday and hopefully driving back on Thursday. Jon hopes to see the condition of our house and what we will need to do to make it livable again. He also wants to bring back some of his power tools, the generator and other items that might be able to be repaired or salvaged. He will go through as much as he can to see what things have been damaged and bring back clothes that will need to be laundered. Amazingly enough, we already have a FEMA appointment on the day he is there, so we will find out if we will have assistance on our uninsured damages. On the way back, he hopes to visit Heather’s college, pick up some of her things (she evacuated with only the pair of contacts she wore, leaving her extra lenses, prescription and glasses) and find out on the status of the college reopening. Please pray for safe travel to Mississippi and protection when they are back in the affected areas – we’ve heard in some areas things have become quite desperate, which is part of the reason they decided to go back first to check things out.
Tonight we celebrated Staci’s, Samantha’s and Spencer’s birthday (all September) since they will not be together for their birthdays. Not quite the birthdays they probably envisioned, but they will be memorable none the less.
As I was tucking Jonny in for bed, he began talking about Daddy going back to the house. Unfortunately his bedroom is downstairs. He was beginning to realize that most of his books are probably ruined, especially his favorite Magic Tree House books, as well as all of the Berenstein Bear books passed down from Heather and Daniel and Golden Books that I had as a child. We talked about what things in his room might be okay and what might not. Jonny is also worried about going to a new school and meeting new kids. Please pray for all the kids as they settle in their new environments.
Jon and I both participated in teleconference calls today with our commands. Thankfully everyone at my command has been accounted for and although they have all been impacted by the storm from some damage to total loss, they and their families are all safe. Since gasoline and necessities are still hard to come by, utilities are not all back up and communications are limited back on the Coast, we are not being asked to return yet. Instead, we will continue to get our families settled, assess our personal losses and then return to do what we can to assist in clean up and repairs.
I amazed at how my emails travel. I received an email from a woman who started out “you don’t know me but someone has been forwarding me your emails…” She went on to tell me that she has not heard from her family since the storm and was heading down to the Gulf Coast to see if she could find them. Please pray for God to continue to reunite families and bring miracles into the lives of the victims of hurricane Katrina. Since my emails travel so far, I am putting together some things that have been sent to me about communities that are reaching out to the victims. I will send that out in a separate email.
It is late and since we have to get up early tomorrow, I will write that separate email tomorrow. God bless and good night.
Grace & Peace