The Dream (18.) The Plan

Waking early with dreams of a pretty new flower garden flickering through my mind, I’m ready to take on the day, which is unusual. Normally I will lie all snugly and warm, yawning, debating if I should roll over and try to go back to sleep, but then the bladder screams, nope!

It didn’t happen today. I had a plan and when I have a plan there’s no “bar the door Katy.” Yesterday I told Gerri we’ll be leaving early in the morning to go to the house. This morning I race downstairs and all is dark and light snoring coming from her bedroom. Rats!

I slowly climb the stairs and decide to get some cereal and hope she’ll wake up before her usual “sleep in late” time. No, I won’t wake her up and scare her half to death. Grabbing a bowl I grab the cereal box and mumbling and groaning to myself I watch the news while eating and listening for any signs of life downstairs.

Finally! Standing before her as she sips her coffee with the T.V. playing, “You can go with me or you can stay here and do your laundry. I’m ready to go.” She flips off the T.V. “I need to get dressed.” Then get the led out,” and I rush back upstairs.

Entering the house and glancing around, oh how different it all looks. Its a pleasure to walk in knowing we’re not going to be stepping over, tripping over, or having to dodge everything under the sun to get to the kitchen.

Okay, I did need to move a bunch of tools, pieces of piping, and other stuff off the kitchen counters but to be able to even get to the kitchen is a God given blessing. Opening the lower cabins we start pulling out large bags, small bags, and individual items and setting some on the counter along with what we have taken out of boxes.

Turning the faucet – oh hot water! I mean really hot water! “Pastor needs to turn the water heater down a little, this water is scalding.” And our job for the day has begun. Adding dish soap I roll up my sleeves and grab the first glass.

That’s how we have spent the next several hours; washing, drying, and placing all our new kitchen items in the cabinets and drawers. I never thought I’d get such a thrill at opening a drawer and seeing it full of brand new silverware or a cabinet filled with pretty brand new pots and pans. Dishes are lined up, cabinets filled with baking tins and dishes, plastic storage bowls and lids placed on a shelf, an electric coffee pot put in its rightful place.

I guess I’ve just had my own for so long that just knowing these women will be starting with all new stuff touches my heart. I wonder if they have ever had new things or if that may just be a dream. We take so much for granted that it has struck me how someone might open a cabinet filled with new dishes, or a new refrigerator, or have to learn how to operate a new dishwasher or microwave -confection-fryer oven. Wow, I’d like to be there when that happens just to see their face.

We left with a kitchen not completely stocked yet, but well stocked, and a real sense of blessed accomplishment.

Oh, I still have a plan. I’ve already told Gerri, “I’m going to the house tomorrow morning early.” Yep there’s still work that needs to be done but this time I’ll go alone. I can handle this all by myself, thank you very much. Hold the door open, Katy. Sue’s at it again.

Will I get the job done? Hmmm My electric screw driver is charged.

See you next time.

Blessings to you.

Into The Light Ministry

The Dream (17.) You’ve Come A Long Way Baby

Stopping in the driveway of the ministry house I have to look back at all that has been accomplished. The first time I stepped into the house the place was a disaster. The couple we were paying to do repairs and help pastor with the leg work; recruiting, getting information, etc. betrayed our trust and we were left with the whole shebang to do ourselves.

We’ve worked hard and I have to hand it to pastor, he has worked non-stop to get this home and this ministry going. Our focus has been in getting the repairs and renovations done to the home and yet even as much work as that has entailed he has had several meetings with “those in the know,” interviewed business owners, sat before bank managers, lawyers, done research, recruited volunteers, and so much more. Even with a week long mission trip to Columbia South America and his usual ministerial duties he has accomplished much, all for the glory of God.

Glancing at the house the piles of trash and junk has all been removed leaving at least the outside presentable. The old furniture that was left behind is gone, the “scatter gun” holes have been filled, cruddy light fixtures removed and are going to be replaced, old ceiling fans are gone with new ones on the list. An old furnace was delivered to the dump and a new one has been installed.

Walking through the house I realize even more that it has slowly been transformed. Instead of dirty walls, ripped wall paper, and partially torn down paneling, its all new now and the rooms are all painted. What a difference it makes! While roaming from room to room I can’t help but smile and feel a sense of satisfaction. There for a while the work seemed to be endless with no end in sight but seeing our clean walls with fresh paint has been an encouragement, yes, we have accomplished much!

A few pieces of furniture sit dusty in the living room, several hangers hang in the bedroom closets, hidden in the cabinets are bags of new dishes and kitchen utensils to be washed and put away now that we have hot water. Smaller pieces sit waiting in the carport. Oh what a change has been made!

Today pastor is mowing the yard while a six man crew is installing new flooring. When Gerri and I walk in I can’t believe the flooring has already been completed! Pastor stands in the doorway grinning like a Cheshire cat. “It’s all finished,” he states proudly. I can’t believe my eyes. Its beautiful, its amazing, and every room is spectacularly covered with a new wooden floor. Ohhhh my gosh!

The saying, “You’ve come a long way baby” skitters through my mind and I know, even though he hasn’t said it, Pastor feels the same way. “Its coming,” is his usual expression but I know his heart and to see the accomplishment we’ve made has to be more than just satisfying to him, as it is with me. Glory to God on the Highest for all He has helped us to do.

Walking outside with pastor he points to the mess of crappy shrubs that line the front of the house and says to me, “Start getting your flowers ready, I have a guy that’s got the equipment to pull all of those out.” When he first told me he was going to have those pulled out and put a flower garden in, I said, “That’s mine! I get to play in the dirt!” (My very favorite thing to do besides playing in the ocean)

There’s still more work, don’t get me wrong, but not nearly what we started with. I came home and started searching for a shower door to replace the broken one, then began hunting for a large pantry cabinet to have in the kitchen since cabinet space is limited. Pastor still has the floor, ceiling molding to put up, windows to replace, and a sliding glass doors to replace, and, and, and.

After hunting down the shower door and pantry I went outside to my yard and pulled up a few baby Rose of Sharon plants and potted them for transplanting at the Into the Light home. I have several and there’s a reason for that. In the Bible there is a story about a town called Sharon. (Acts 9:35) The people planted these plants (they are of the Hibiscus family) around the whole circumference of the town and that town was blessed. Jesus is also called, “The Rose of Sharon” (Song of Solomon 2:1) and I have some on every side of my home. (Believe me, me and my home are blessed!) and I know exactly where they will be planted at His ministry home. I can’t wait to get my hands in the dirt!

In my yard

“You’ve come a long way baby.” It is so nice to be able to write about what the Lord has helped us to accomplish. I think the major “bumps” are long gone now and we’re looking forward to completing the repairs…

but how long will that take, and will the finances be there when we need them?

Come on back and continue to enjoy the journey with us.

Blessings to you.

Into The Light Ministry

The Dream (16.) God Bless Them

Since Gerri and I are roommates we travel together to go to church each Sunday morning. Those are interesting trips because we get into politics, Prophesies, the ministry needs, and just about everything. On the way home our first topic is, “what’s for lunch?” Then we may discuss the sermon pastor has given or what pastor said as we were leaving about what his plans at the ministry house are for the following week.

Gerri is a Gabby Girdy, I’m not. She likes to socialize a bit before and after church where I tend to be friendly but less talkative and usually sit in the car and wait for her after church. She’s been talking to various women about what donations we need for the house. “So and so said to send her the list of needs and she’ll see what she can do,” she tells me on the way home.

This is something we are relying on, volunteers to help with our needs. And boy have they come through! Walking into the house on one occasion we hear a saw. Pastor is holding the end of a long strip of molding while another man is cutting the angles. Wood and dust and ladders are all over the place and here helping is a volunteer carpenter.

Pastor has an offer from a man who is in the painting business. “I’ll be there in a week or so and donate the paint you need and do the painting.” Another will do duct cleaning, another business will put the new flooring down when we’re ready and charge us pennies for the material, someone has volunteered to cut the grass, another to do some much needed landscaping for us, and women have volunteered to bring what they can to meet our needs. The men are in various vocations and offer their time and/or material. Women are school teachers, bus drivers, home makers, and just want to help in whatever way they can.

These people are God sent and such a blessing! They are vital to any ministry. Praise God there are still loving and caring people still in this world. This Sunday morning Gerri is told, “I have a box of stuff in the car for you and you’ll need a man to carry the other box.”

After church a box with two new comforters, 4 sets of new towels and wash cloths, and a set of new sheets, along with a painting to hang on the wall is placed in my car. The other box? Our mouths drop open! A brand new, still in the unopened box, is a microwave, air fryer, and convection oven appliance. We never dreamed someone would donate such a gift. We asked for a simple microwave and we’re blessed with much more. What a blessing!

We’ve been getting various items here and there so we have not put the sign up sheet out yet. The way things are going and the blessings of people meeting our needs, we may not have to have a sign up sheet.

Don’t ever underestimate the giving hearts of some people when needs arise. We see it in not only ministry, but across our land when disasters arise; someone’s home is lost through fire, when children are sick and need medical attention that can’t be afforded. Caring hearts are truly a blessing.

Not everyone can donate labor or material items but with prayerful consideration small amounts (or large amounts) can be donated to help us finance this endeavor. Power bills, water and septic, taxes, maintenance, etc. are an on-going expense that cannot be neglected. We love our volunteers and our partners so please prayerfully consider an offering, or partnering with us, to help us do God’s work. And of course, it goes without saying, prayers are always appreciated. Our website is below with an easy access donation icon for your tax deductible donation.

We are truly blessed but are there any more bumps in the road, or are things finally smoothing out and moving forward?

We’ll see next time.

Blessings to you.

Into The Light Ministry

The Dream, (15.) – Is it Safe?

As stated previously there are repairs that need to be done but we have had to hold off due to not owning the property. But now we do! Hallelujah. Doing yet another walk through we can focus on more than just tearing down wall coverings, light fixtures, or throwing old appliances out the door.

Gerri and I have asked several times when are we going to have heat and hot water? I’m sure pastor is about to strangle both of us for our continued asking. He has finally been able to schedule having the pilot lights lit. I’m sure you might be thinking, “Oh come on, anyone can light a pilot light!” That’s true unless you want to make sure there are no carbon monoxide leaks, its all up to code, and the furnace, especially the furnace, is in good working order and the gas water heater is not only working but vented properly.

The morning comes when the “gas man” comes and since the furnace is in the attic the pull down stairs must be used to get access to the furnace. At least the water heater is on the main floor. Pulling the attic stairs down is another shock. They are barely usable! I’m not sure if pastor had to help the man into the attic or if the man was agile enough to be able to maneuver the rickety stairs on his own. I didn’t see any rope hanging from the attic that he used like Tarzan to swing out of the attic to the main floor but he did successfully check out the furnace.

Not good news! The furnace is several years old, maybe even an antique for all I know, but it must be replaced. The most critical issue is there is gas leaks. That’s extremely dangerous! I’m sure pastor’s heart sank at hearing the news.

The “gas man” moves to the gas water heater and looking up, following the exhaust pipe into the ceiling, “That’s not code. It will have to be brought up to code because the way it is could catch this place on fire.”

Another bump in the road? Yep. So we are unable to get the heat or the hot water turned on until these things are taken care of. The “gas man” refuses to light any pilots due to these issues and even though it is “a bump in the road” it will be an expensive one, furnaces are not cheap!

In the meantime, I’m talking to my Doctors, nurses, accountant, cashiers, and anybody I can think of about the ministry and handing out business cards wherever I can to get supporters so we can afford not only these repairs but to be able to acquire the needed supplies for making this a home for our ladies. The first month they are in the home we will be supplying food and whatever other needs may arise. After that they have to meet their own needs as far as food, cleaning supplies, etc. are concerned. That’s where jobs come in.

Gerri has been soliciting managers of major supply stores to see if they are willing to donate appliances and I’ve been talking to people I know in the furniture business about donating furniture. Whether they will or not we aren’t sure yet. One place was willing to give us discounts on their product, others have said “we’ll get back to you.” Pastor is doing the same with some promises and several, “maybe’s.”

Starting a ministry such as this is thrilling, exciting, and filled with hope but the reality of it is, as you have been seeing, it is more complicated than many expect. It is only with the Lord’s guidance and help that we have been able to accomplish as much as we have. We continually seek Him. He called us to do this, it is His ministry, and He is using mere humans to accomplish His goal. We ain’t going to let Him down!

Will determination prevail or will discouragement and disappointment raise its ugly head and slow us down?

Stay tuned and please pray for us.

Into The Light Ministry

The Dream (14.) First Things First

Pastor has informed us that he has a heat and air man coming. Gerri and I can’t be happier since we have been freezing inside the house while trying to work. This also means we can have hot water and get in there and wash all the kitchen items we bought and those few items we saved from the donation pile and get them placed where they belong.

There were several issues we could not deal with because of not owning the property. There are pro’s and con’s to buying a home using a realtor or “by owner” and they vary drastically.

With a realtor negotiations go back and forth with each party negotiating what needs to be fixed, price of course, appraisals, attorneys fees, closing costs, professional inspectors, title searches, and termite inspections through written contracts. All the legal aspects are done by the realtor and attorney, and a realtor, as a third party, has an advantage in negotiations with all of this through experience.

Purchasing a property “by owner” has little of this done professionally. Any legal issues such as title searches, deeds, finding an attorney (if one is to be used) etc. is done by the purchaser. There are no professional inspections revealing faulty wiring, furnace, water heaters, plumbing, items not up to code, roof, no appraisals, etc. and negotiations are done person to person, with or with out a legal contract, and most by owner sales are purchased “as is.” You get what you see and you get what you don’t see.

Of course, wanting to save as much money as we can, since all funds are from donations, pastor wants to avoid having to pay the usual commission required by a realtor since we plan on paying cash, and has decided he can do the legal leg work through the wife (couple) he’s hired. (But are now gone.)

That has been our situation. The previous owner used the property as a rental property and as I’ve stated before from my own experiences that isn’t always a good thing. Our couple that lived there for the three months, in all fairness, we feel did not do all the damage we found. Yes, they tore up walls, etc. as part of the renovation. But broken windows, the “scatter gun” holes in the bedroom walls, other holes in walls, we feel could possibly have been done by the previous renters, at least that’s what we’d like to think.

Having said that we still have to deal with those issues and now that we own the property we can get electricians, heat and air, painters, etc. in without the concern about not having insurance coverage or approval from the previous owner.

Now that we are legal owners we can really get down and dirty with doing what needs to be done.

Will we get the cherished heat and hot water or will more surprises pop up?

Tune in next time – there’s lots more to come.

Blessings to you.

Into The Light Ministry

The Dream (13.) – Is it Time to Dance?

After giving my little talk at the special Into The Light fund raising service I have a few butterflies in my stomach. We are a small church of just everyday working people so my hopes are flip flopping about whether we’ll raise enough money to finally purchase the house free and clear.

On the drive home my mind goes back and forth about maybe someone heard and gave pastor that million dollars he’s always hoping for in the offering. We always laugh because when he does the offering time he always adds, “You can put the m-i-l-l-i-o-n in the box on the wall.” He’s convinced someday someone will do it and he isn’t giving up.

“Nahhh”, my mind says and then I get more realistic thoughts. Maybe a few thousand. It would be nice if someone gave about ten thousand. Keep dreaming Cass. We raised a lot but is this going to be enough? And the turmoil of hoping and praying continues until Gerri bursts out laughing. She’s been quiet with her own thoughts as my mind is going nuts.

She suddenly exclaims, “And don’t you dare be cheap!” part of my little speech. I was serious and yet everyone thought it was really funny. I guess it was because we’ve laughed about it ever since. I apologize to her for blind siding her by calling her up front. I know she has said, emphatically stated several times, “Me in front of the congregation? No way, no how!” The trip home is fun and filled with hope and non-stop conversation.

Now that the fund raising is getting serious attention I decide to make up some business cards that I can hand out to friends or leave here and there for people to pick up and maybe create an interest in the ministry outside of the church. I’ve already been telling people about it but handing them a business card with the website just seems more practical. I can never remember the name of a ministry someone tells me about so the business cards, to me, are very important.

Sunday morning pastor announces to the congregation that we have a little over the $300,000 and will be closing on Into The Light Home soon. Glory be to God! The room is filled with clapping and gasps and joy. Tears fill my eyes. Dear God the dream is really coming true! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Quickly I ask if I can say something. Standing up I hold up the business cards, “Now that we are closing on the house I made business cards that you can give to your friends, colleagues, and whomever. Mention what we’re doing and give them a card. It has the web site on the back. They’ll be in the lobby.”

After the service I rush out to spread business cards on the welcome desk and people are taking them right out of my hands. Yay. Pastor stops me at the door and tells me he’s talking to closing attorneys and “Now we can really go to work as soon as it closes.”

My nerves are shot from waiting to hear. My heart is full, and I can’t stop thanking the Lord for His grace. This would not have happened without Him. We raised over $300,000 in just 3 months! If that isn’t God’s favor being poured out I don’t know what is!

Dance? Oh yeah. You can join me in my happy dance…


and I’ll see you next time.

Thank you so very much for those of you that have contributed to help us help these women.

Blessings to you.

Into The Light Ministry

The Dream (12.) – A Special Service

My log lodge dream has been set aside once again but not its purpose. My focus is helping to make the Into The Light home become a reality and a home these women can be proud to call home for the year they will live in it.

Pastor has been very busy. There is much to be done but with his busy pastoral duties he has still made time to tear out base boards, remove old light fixtures and ceiling fans. He’s painted the ceiling and puttied all the holes in the walls in preparation for when we paint, removed the broken stove, and that’s along with meetings with others “in the know” and gleaning more and more information and insight into the various programs and aspects of taking on a mission such as ours. There is some things we cannot do due to not owning the house but we do what we can for now.

Overnight the Lord has kept me awake with going over what I need to say tomorrow for our fund raising service. He does that a lot and at times I want to scream, ” Lord stop! I need sleep.”

Sunday morning Pastor gives his sermon and of course telling the congregation that every penny offered this morning will go into the Into The Light home. Having asked before service if I could say a few words when he finishes, he calls me up front. Everyone knows I’m very much involved in this ministry.

Pastor hands me a microphone. “You all have heard my testimony.” Heads nod and “Yes” is heard from several people. “The women that we are going to have living in the Into the Light home, if they gave their testimony it would make mine sound like a walk in the park. By donating you can help these women have a safe place to live, to heal, and to get on their feet, and you can give them that!…

I have one living with me! Gerri would you come up here?” (She had no idea I was going to speak or what I was going to do)

(again I’m giving a short version)

Gerri stands beside me, “When I first met this woman she was lost, had no hope, was scared, and confused. She looked like a bag lady! The Lord has given her a safe place to live and to heal, and to grow in Him.” Looking at her as she’s standing smiling and nodding her head yes! I continue, “Look at her! She’s smiling, she’s beautiful, and has hope!..”

Gerri returns to her seat. (Thankful she didn’t have to speak.)

“That’s what you can do for these women! You give hope! So when you slide that credit card, write that check, or put money in that box over there, you darn well better not be cheap!”

Pastor bursts out laughing while pumping his arm, he walks to the podium and as I walk back to my seat he says, “She needs to do the offering!”

I can’t wait to find out how much we raised. Naturally its a couple days before that can be counted. I hope my testimony and my “don’t be cheap” speech have helped but I take no credit for what donations came in. That glory all goes to the Lord be it a small amount or a large amount.

Are you ready? …………….Drum roll please…………………….

$88,000.00 !!!!!!!!!!!!

All praise, honor and glory goes to God Almighty and His Son Jesus Christ. Now tell me this isn’t a God thing!

Does this meet our $300,000 goal? Can we buy the house now free and clear?

See ya’ next time for more good news, or will it be?

Blessings to you.

Into The Light Ministry

The Dream (11.) – The Tool

Depositing some of the items we purchased into the house we’re excited about the work that is being accomplished. The trash along the side of the house is gone, the carport is pretty well cleared and work inside is being done.

Sunday morning pastor is preaching about forgiveness and near the end of his sermon he holds up an index card. “If there is someone you need to forgive write them down on this index card, pray about it and don’t let unforgiveness hinder your walk with Jesus.”

Each seat has an index card. Looking at the small card I shake my head. I needed more than that little card.

The next Sunday rolls around and Pastor gives part of his sermon and then calls me forward. Taking a deep breath I walk to the podium. I’ve given testimonies several times in several different churches around the country but for some reason I feel this is probably the most important one I’ve ever given. I’m not sure why.

Holding up a large pair of pliers I stand looking at it. Silence has filled the room. “I think most of you know what this is, or at least I hope the men do.” Laughter ripples and one lady yells out, “A walnut cracker.” When the laughter dies down I continue, “This is an inanimate object. It has no feelings, no emotions, it has one purpose, and is used when needed and then set aside until its needed again.”

(I’m giving just a few highlights of my testimony or you’ll be reading for 25-30 minutes.)

“My dad began with the touchy-freely stuff when I was six months old and around 5-6 years old it became full blown rape. For 18 years I was totally under his control. There was mind control, manipulation, lies and secrecy, physical, sexual, psychological, mental, you name it, abuse, and not just by him…”

Holding up the legal pad, “Pastor gave us an index card last week when he was talking about forgiveness. Believe me I needed something much bigger – a legal pad!” My testimony continued for several more minutes. Holding up the legal pad again, “And did I forget to mention that at age 14 I was gang raped? More names to be written down…”

Telling the congregation how the Lord had me drive to my Dad’s home and confront him about the many years of abuse, “I asked my Dad why? Why did you do all those things?” Taking hold of the pliers I look at the congregation and state, “He said I was his tool.” Holding up the pliers again and looking at them, “He said I was his tool. An inanimate object with no feelings, no emotions, only one purpose and tossed aside when finished, only to be retrieved when needed.”

I see tears streaming down some faces, heads are lowered, women shaking their heads with looks of horror. The impact of my words have definitely resonated. Waiting for the impact to sink in for a moment, I tell them how I faced my Dad and told him I forgive him to his face. “I forgive you for all that you did, for all that you didn’t do, and for not being the father you should have been. You are not off the hook though! You still have to stand before God and account for what you did, but I forgive you…”

“I’ll close with this. Before I confronted my Dad I prayed fervently that he would burn in hell. After I forgave him I prayed fervently that he’d be saved. Twenty four hours before my dad died (87 yrs old) he asked Christ into his heart. My mother, in her 80’s, asked Christ to be her Savior on a motor home trip I took her on, and my 2 sisters and brother have been saved.”

Ending my testimony with Psalm 129:2, “They have greatly oppressed me from my youth, but they have not gained victory over me! I am living proof that that scripture is true! Thank you and God bless you.”

Pastor helps me down the few stairs because my legs are shaking and finishes the rest of his sermon.

Next week we have Into The Light Home fund raiser service.

Will we make our goal of $300,000? Did my testimony have any kind of impact on what will be given?

Stay tuned, you might be surprised.

Blessings to you and see ya’ next time.

The Dream (10.)- Shop til we Drop

After spending the most of a day wading through the mud, heaving large pieces of wall paneling, item after item, boxes of God only knows what into the big dumpster, as well as separating all the bags of stuff, we started a list of kitchen items and other things we need to get.

Once we arrive home Gerri gets to take a shower before I hit the whirly. (Jet tub) I intend to soak until I’m as red as a beet and as limp as a wet rag. Feeling much better after getting cleaned up and a bite to eat we finalize the list, adding a couple of items we may need. Looking at Gerri with a big grin, “We’re going shopping!”

The next morning we have our list and have four stores we plan to hit. Walking into the first one we’re like hungry dogs in a meat factory. We bee-line it to the kitchen section with a large buggy. Gerri starts grabbing small items; measuring cups, measuring spoons, mixing bowls, and I’m grabbing other items.

The bottom of the cart is beginning to fill as we stroll down each aisle stopping to discuss which of the 2-3 items are better. We don’t want cheap, but not the most expensive either. Getting all we can at that store we load our goods into the back of my car and head to the next store. The list has not gotten much shorter so we still have plenty of goodies to hunt down.

Blankets, a hand held mixer, some coffee cups with inspiring messages on them, glass sets. We’re getting sets of 12 because we will eventually have 6 women living in the home. We’ll start with three women for now, but we need to have enough for six women and maybe their visitors eventually.

Once we’ve gotten what we can at that store off we go to the next. The cargo bin and back seat are filled to the roof. “There’s no way we can get anymore in, so lets go home, unload, and then we’ll hit Walmart,” I tell Gerri. Arriving home we unload everything into my office. Get a drink of water, hit the bathroom, and head for Walmart to see if we can get the items we couldn’t find at the other stores.

Oh boy, did we! A large set of nice pots and pans, a toaster, a nice set of silverware for twelve, a canister set, laundry baskets, small trash cans, several smaller items we couldn’t find. The car is once again loaded to the hilt.

Here’s a valuable little nugget, ladies. If you go shopping for items to stock an entire kitchen with, and on a budget, don’t take someone who really likes to cook and bake! She’ll want to buy everything in the kitchen section of the store! Sorry, I’m laughing. Love ya’ Gerri.

Once unloaded Gerri makes a sign-up sheet we will place at church for the items that we didn’t get that people can purchase and donate. Like a Microwave and sheet sets. If we don’t do a sign-up sheet, we have decided, we will have several of the same items donated. We’ll present that to the congregation a little bit later.

We have no idea what kind of hell hole these women have had to endure or for how long. We feel that as they transition into their new lives we want to give them the best that we can afford. All the monetary donations, every penny, goes into this Into The Light Home. And its tax deductible! (hint, hint)

It has been a really fun and exhausting day and we both are really pleased with our purchases. Looking at the piles of boxed goods and many bags filled and running over with items, I have to smile. “Thank you Lord, I think we did good.”

Will the sense of joy and satisfaction last, or will it disappear over night?

Come back next time and I’ll tell you.

Blessings to you, see ya’ next time.

Into The Light Ministry

The Dream (9.) – Grab the Rain Boots

As usual while Gerri and I are doing our thing Pastor is talking to other pastors, people who have women’s shelters, and making as many contacts as he can. He’s gone to some of the local businesses in the area and has been told, “Sure, we’ll hire them.” That’s another service we will provide to the women; help them find a job. Oh no, not flipping hamburgers, but something they will like and be successful in.

We’ve cleaned out the cabinets and drawers, cleaned out the stinky food and two dead cockroaches from the refrigerator, (anyone ever find roaches in your frig?) and bagged up the donations and trash. We fill the back of my SUV with the bags and lose items for donating and on the way home I swing by a donation center and leave with an empty car and a smile on my face.

Returning the next day I’ve started lining all the drawers and cabinets and place my friends clean dishes in the cabinets. We have some baking tins and a few cups and glasses that we have decided we can use. They are set aside to wash and store.

We have learned that besides there not being any heat there is no hot water either. Ya’ can’t wash this stuff in cold water and we ain’t putting our hands in a sink full of cold water when we’re already fighting hypothermia! First things first must be done before we can have the gas turned on, and the hot water heater and furnace is gas.

Returning the next day, because there is no heat and we’re cold we debate whether to stay and do more if we can. We decide to stay a little longer and start a list of kitchen appliances and kitchen items we will need; the coffee pot is okay, we need a new microwave, there are no decent pots and pans, some more cups and glasses, a knife set, and the list goes on. We’ll finish the list at home where its warm. Walking out to the car we stop and look at the junk piled up along the side of the house. “Did Pastor say he has a big dumpster coming Monday?” I ask, with a sour expression as I pick up a filthy rag with the tips of my fingers and toss it on the pile.

“Yes.” “Good! We’ll come Tuesday and get this crap cleaned up as much as we can.”

Pastor calls and says the dumpster has been delivered and he’ll try to get a few of the teen boys to come over and get the mess cleaned up. I almost laugh out loud. Teens? Work? Yeah right! But no worry, for the next three days Gerri and I are like kids standing looking out the windows and whining, “Will it ever stop raining?” We’re bored, we’re anxious to get back to the house and get more done and finally it stops.

“Get your boots and work gloves woman, we’re heading to the house!” I holler downstairs. Throwing our rain boots and work gloves in the back of the car, we head out. The rain has started again but more of a drizzle. All the way over to the house we’re pleading, “Lord stop the rain, we have work to do!”

Oh Jesus is so good and He’s always faithful to hear our prayers. Pulling into the driveway and to the back of the huge dumpster the rain has stopped and we don our rain boots, gloves, and I make sure my crocheted hat covers my ears. Its cold and cloudy and wind in my ears? I’ll be sick in nothing flat! We grunt and heave as we struggle to get the big door open on the end of the dumpster. Taking a deep determined breath we step into the muddy yard and begin our work.

Some of the items takes the two of us to lift and carry to the dumpster. We drag a large sheet of heavy wall paneling to the gaping hole of the dumpster. Standing at one end of it looking at the big sheet of wall paneling, I think, If I was just 2 years younger I could pretend that’s a Javelin and heave that sucker right over the top. Taking a deep breath and flexing my 77 year old muscles, I lift one end and shove it into the dumpster as far as I can.

Cardboard boxes filled with stuff we don’t want to stick our hands in are soaked from the weather and fall apart as soon as we lift a corner, leaving the mess in the mud for us to pick up.

Each trip to the dumpster I have to shove my hat back out of my eyes. I laugh when Gerri stands watching, “I should not have washed my hair, my hat won’t stay in place.” Laughing we get back to work. Gradually the dumpster is filling up and the pile of garbage and left behind stuff is getting smaller. After about three hours we have to stop. The wood and panel pieces leaning against the building, the old dish washer and washing machine are just way too big and too heavy for us to handle. The men will have to deal with those.

Thankfully the slipping and sliding in the mud has ended and we start in the carport. A toy that a small child can ride is set aside for donation, bags with sweatshirts, jackets, and kids clothes are gone through and sorted for donation or tossed in the trash bag. A breast pump is gingerly inspected and tossed, the wood stretched across a couple of saw horses is left, and as Gerri sorts through more stuff she suddenly yells, “I found a key!” How the wife ever thought we would find a key hidden behind this stuff is beyond me.

We’ve had extra keys made from the one we found in the dish so there’s no question now about having to break in. We’ve also learned all reports, contacts, rules and regulations, and the pass word for the website have disappeared into the night along with the couple.

We’re determined to persevere and refuse to be detoured. Progress is being made. But will we find any more surprises as we continue to fulfill God’s plans?

Stay tuned, there’s more adventure to come.

See ya’ next time.

Into the Light Ministry