Friday, March 1, 2013

Hackleburg Community Church was completely destroyed in the tornado. When they rebuilt, they added a youth building. This includes a gym, bathrooms, a youth service room for older kids/teens and a room for younger child/Kst-5th grade. The rooms are large and painted a neutral color. In the younger kid’s room the walls are painted sky blue on top and grass green on the bottom. The stage is at the far end with a finished 8 foot by 2.5 foot wide opening for puppet ministry. The new theme for this ministry will be Kidz Treehouse Ministry.  The Kidz ministry team came up with this theme and asked to make it happen. So a mature leafy green tree was designed around the opening and made to look like a treehouse. Small friendly animals were painted on the side walls close to the stage, while a floor to ceiling barn front was painted around the actual double glass exit door. The students will go through the “barn doors” to get to the outside future play area.  The wall opposite has a tranquil outdoor scene of children playing. The back wall has three images that represent the ‘old’ town.  There is an quaint white country church, the old water tower that survived the 1948 tornado and the 2011 tornado intact, and a cute one room school house.  

Thursday, February 28, 2013

This is one hard working group! People have been spread over 3 counties building decks, repairing bathrooms and moving dirt .We have made many friends and relationships are developing.

A team traveled to a mobile home park and met a lady named Marilyn. She had her foot amputated around Thanksgiving time. She is suffering from depression and phantom pain. She had not had any modifications done on her home since the surgery. As you know mobile homes are 3-4 feet off the ground. Neighbors carried her in and out of her trailer when she needed to go to an appointment, and YES, they have dropped her twice. Our team built 2 wheel chair ramps for her, one from the front door and one for the back door. The deck on the front door is 47 feet long. Marilyn just loved to talk with the volunteers as they stopped to take breaks during the work day. The guys even got her flowers one day, just to brighten her spirit. Pastor Frankie Ramos and many others prayed with her. As she sat and watched the deck being built you see a twinkle in her eyes beginning to develop. By the end of the first day she was able to go outside and go up and down the ramp on her own. The first time she has had independence since November. The next things the volunteers knew, Marilyn was out and visiting with her neighbors. What a blessing for all of us! 

God Bless you Marilyn.

 Front ramp. 47 feet

 Back deck

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

We started our first nightly meeting with worship led by Mary, Tom and Ellyn.  
As God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with Compassion, Kindness, Humility  Gentleness and Patience,

Sunday evening service we listened to Pastor Dustin. His message was about being a pioneer. A pioneer is the one that goes before. They see things first, and they see the most. We need to raise more pioneers for revival. We need to remake the way. We need to teach the pioneers to pray and cut things away to move and go. Pastor Dustin then called for prayer at the alter. And together Illinois and Hackleburg congregations came together to pray and have communion. 

On Sunday, we joined Hackleburg Community Church for service. Pastor Clint delivered an inspiring message and challenged us to "speak to the mountain". What is the "mountain" in your life? Don't just "speak" about it. We can sit all day and talk about things. We talk about our problems instead of talking to IT. What are you going to do to change things? Speak to it! "Pain, go away!I will not let you take control of my life! Pain, you will not keep me from serving my Lord! Your "mountain" could be pain, debt or broken relations, whatever it is, speak to it. You need to lay hands on yourself first. We need to declare our mountains. We need to be mature. Immature people find the negative in things. Some people go around being negative, "oh, poor me", "do you know how horrible things are for me?" But, spiritual people, are positive! They see the goal, they trust in Christ to be their authority!  Thank you, Pastor Clint for a great message.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

First Night in Bama

Tonight is the first night for most of team in Hackleburg.  Five of us have been here for a couple of days and all but two team members coming tomorrow night arrived safely today and this evening.  The night was spent eating, fellowshipping and taking a look at the church that many haven't seen since either the state of destruction or when they were here last February and it was still under construction.  
 A few of the guys catching up.

 Our sleeping accommodations for the week.


 A meeting of the minds -- going over the projects for the week with a few of our team leaders. 
There seems to be a number of them scratching their heads.  Not sure what kind of sign that is.  :)

Tomorrow we will join our Hackleburg Church friends in worship and spend some time relaxing and rekindling old friendships and getting to know new friends who are first-timers on these trips.  

Please continue to pray for our upcoming work week and for safety for our North Carolina friends, Rod & Darrell who will be arriving tomorrow night.  We are lookign forward to a great week serving our God here in Alabama.

We'll continue to update what is happening here as time allows. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Alabama Bound - February 23 - March 2, 2013

Things are ramping up for our third trip to Hackleburg, Alabama assisting in the recovery efforts from the April 2011 tornadoes that tore through the state of Alabama. 
Our first trip to Hackleburg focused on taking down their church so they could rebuild.  Last year, we helped put the finishing touches on the church so it could once again be a place of worship. This trip will focus on relationships and coming alongside Hackleburg Community Church as they help their fellow neighbors rebuild homes damaged or lost in the tornadoes. 
We're so excited and blessed that God is using our church and our team once again to serve our friends in Hackleburg.  Please pray for Hackleburg Community Church and it's members, the leadership of this team as the last details come together.  Also, please pray for those serving on the team for this trip.  If you'd like to pray for folks by name, the list of those going is on the sidebar. 

Stay tuned for pictures and more details in the weeks to come.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The food

We were overwhelmed and humbled by the outpouring of food for our team.

The Galloways and other church members brought us smoked chicken and ribs along with side dishes on Wednesday night.

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JP’s catering grilled some of the best steaks we’ve ever had on Thursday night.


Pulled pork, baked beans and tons of desserts were brought in for Friday night and on Saturday morning when we left, ham and cheese biscuits were supplied for our breakfast.  What an incredible community!

Yet a few more pictures…

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and no trip is complete without the medication table.  Smile

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