Matthew and I participated in Disaster Relief and Recovery training yesterday and today with the North Carolina Baptist Men (despite the name, you don’t have to be from North Carolina, be a Baptist, or be a man to participate). From their website:
Matthew and I have been really seeking God out on how to serve Him in missions work. We were seriously contemplating a trip to Zambia this summer, but after reflection, felt that, while it was a good trip, it wasn’t the best fit for us. When the opportunity came for us to get involved with the NCBM, we pounced. While the organization offers a lot of different opportunities to serve in a variety of ways, we focused on relief and recovery operations after a disaster happens, such as Hurricane Katrina. In fact, the NCBM has spent the last two years in Gulfport, Mississippi rebuilding over 700 homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. And while they did that, they shared the love of Christ with disaster victims. NCBM is active all over the world, from just around the block to the other side of the world in Sri Lanka. Matthew and I can’t imagine a better fit for us- combining humanitarian work with missions.
So, for the last twenty-four hours, we’ve been learning about proper chainsaw operations (trees tend to fall down in hurricanes), conducting a “mud out” (when it floods, a lot of mud, grime, sewage and the odd snake tend to run right into homes), and roof wrapping (high winds = roof damage). We also got to see how the NCBM does a mass feeding (they have the capability to serve 30,000 hot meals a day) as well as their laundry, shower and command trailers. And this ain’t no small operation. Matthew was floored at how well set up and gigantic it all was.
We did have to sleep on the floor of a church (Matthew sweated it out on the guys wing while I slept nice and toasty in my sleeping bag in the icy ladies wing) and eat food prepared in bulk. Although we did sneak down to Chik-fil-A late last night. And to Starbucks this morning. And to Panera for lunch. Hey man, they were all within walking distance. We had a great time, met lots of cool people and walked away with a certification in disaster recovery. We even got nifty photo id badges! So when the next disaster strikes, we’ll be ready to roll.
The weather around here has been crazy. I think somebody forgot to tell North Carolina that spring is here. Yesterday it was 80F and today it is 45F and rainy- we even had to cut our chainsaw activity short due to some hail. But, that was a-o-kay with me. I plan on leaving the chainsaw work up to Matthew anyway. I plan to just look pretty and wipe the sweat from his brow while serving him an ice cold sweet tea (blech!) in my pretty apron. I’m KID-ding.
When I came home this afternoon, I was greeted by a riot of color from the wisteria vine “growing” (aka killing) on the trees in front of our house. I couldn’t resist getting a few photos:
I know, photos of flowers, lame, but they’re so pretty!
Alrighty, off to watch this movie, eat some avocado and salad and catch some rest. I’m feeling a little beat after sharing a room with a couple of octogenarian chics last night! It must be true that you need less sleep as you age- those ladies went to bed late and got up earrr-llly! And they go on mission trips to Africa. And shower in cold water. And laugh at bugs in their bedrooms. Tough old ladies…