It has been almost a month since I last posted on this blog as I have struggled to get new posts done. But one easy way I found to post something new is to use a guest blogger. In this case I grabbed a post (http://2balivetour2013.blogspot.com/2013/06/hello-colorado-let-me-just-say-wewere.html?spref=fb) my daughter Samantha did earlier this month while on a church mission trip to Oklahoma to help folks clean up after the tornados. As a proud father, I think she really gets what life is all about.
Hello Colorado! Let me just say we were definitely called here to Oklahoma. Even through the heat, humidity, many sunburns, and major tan lines; we are spreading God’s love and even more important being the heart, hands, and feet of Jesus throughout this week. After seeing the damage and what the tornado destroyed; God led us down a path to give us a meaningful experience this summer. I don’t think I have truly realized how thankful I am for the blessings I have in my life. This tour has been one of the most meaningful experiences I have ever had and to be able to have the opportunity to come to a place where a disaster has recently happened and serve others and to be able to not just hear a story on TV and think” Wow that is really sad.” To actually seeing it and experience it physically and emotionally; has truly changed who I am. All week we have been going to El Reno a town in Oklahoma to serve those who were affected by the tornados. I have had the opportunity of working and helping alongside two elderly sisters who were affected by the tornados that came through. They hadn’t lost as much as others in the neighborhood but they had lost what was their beloved home. They are now left looking at what they could no longer call their home. From packing food from their pantry to packing clothes and dishes they always had a positive attitude. Even when you could tell that they were overwhelmed with stress, insurance and trying to figure out how to they could be financially stable now and in the future they always had a positive outlook. Through donations Abiding Hope was able to purchase gift cards to give to families we had connected with. Through those donations we had decided to give them two one hundred dollar gift cards to Wal Mart because we saw that they really needed the food and to be able to get the basic needs to get back on their feet. As we gave them the gift cards Michelle the younger sister was shocked and great full for our generosity and time that we had given them for the past few days. She then told her older sister Joyce what we had given to them and began to cry because as much stress she had been through with her sister she couldn’t help to say” Bless your hearts. Thank you so much.” I began to realize that amidst a disaster and how hard it may be to accept help and aid form others, you begin to see that God has a way of surprising you with aid and help when you may need it more than you think. So through this experience and as we wrap up this week I want you all to know that you may have some brand new teens coming home because they have been truly changed by this experience and opportunity. I want to thank you all for giving us donations and praying for us because your prayers have been listened to by keeping us safe and giving us a meaningful week. Hope all is well in Colorado and can’t wait to share more of our stories when we return home.