Tuesday, February 26, 2008

52 degrees and dropping

the wind's blustering tonight, the tent's rippling and slapping against itself, the temperature's dropping to the high 30's, and the heater isn't working. yet. yet spirit's are high, no doubt about it.

worked on Angeline's home yesterday. learned to mud and tape dry wall (sheet rock they call it down here, and maybe everywhere, for all I know; shows what I know, eh?), courtesy of Jeff, who knows what he's doing. 10 of us, mudding and taping and hammering away. Angeline lives in Gentilly, where the flood waters were head high and counting. getting close to moving back in, talking about what colors she's gonig to paint the walls. sweet woman - others who've come on previous trips have spread good stories about her and her courage and joy.

today Ken (happy anniversary, Ken and Eva!) and Dave and John and I did demolition on Colleen's house. Colleen and her 2 high school age daughters have been living in a FEMA trailer in the front yard for 2 and a half years. we pulled off the old drywall and insulation. hard work. fun work. dusty, dirty, itchy uncomfortable work. going to sleep well tonight if the tent doesn't blow away work. well worth it work. especially when we saw Colleen again at the Alpha course at the church tonight.

what a great church. people who stuck around when the going got tough, dug deep, and just started helping. feeding. fixing. now hosting volunteers.

26 this week. and a similar number next week. a waiting list of people from around the country wanting to help. not to mention all the people who stay home taking on an extra load, helping to make it possible for all those people to come (thanks Ronni, Eva, Stephanie, Karen, Sue, Ben, Dina, Mary, Mark, Brad, & Jon!). 2 1/2 years later. when love comes to town, people just want to catch that train.

Monday, February 25, 2008

morning fog

made it in around dinner time last night, and went down to the French Quarter to eat some cajun and listen to "Steamboat Willie", a jazz trio with trumpet, bass, and keys.

fell asleep here in the tent to the symphonic sounds of snoring, showered up this morning, and heading off to breakfast. more later...

Oh, and yes, Steve, we're at the Kenner Vineyard, helping with Vineyard's Mercy Response. A great crew, and a great church.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Easing in to the Big Easy

Heading off with a team from the church (20+ strong) to New Orleans.  Some are already there, and others will be arriving over the next couple of days.  Not sure exactly what's in store, but I hope to be able to give an update on the blog if the network Ross has set up in the tent works.  Prayers appreciated, especially for our families who are holding down the fort here in Michigan.  Go Saints!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008



she swiftly so softly slips
joy afire in
and lips


lilting lively limpid land
we clamber sure


happy valentine's day, sweetheart.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

snow shovels and toilet brushes

2008 02 09_0003

pictured above is the team that went out serving on Saturday, armed with snow shovels and toilet brushes.  notice how energized and enthused everyone looks?  it was taken when we gathered back in the church office afterwards to pray for the people we served. 

always seems to be the case that the "after" pictures of a servant evangelism team are more "life-full" than the "before" pictures.  you never know what you're getting into when you set out to serve people in practical ways, with love in the name of Jesus. will there be driveways to shovel?  will people let us wash their restrooms?  will the love of God come through and be received?  will these chore-like activities be any fun?  invariably, what you end up getting into is a sort of love groove,or love loop.  love flowing on the team.  love flowing towards the people you get to bless.  love flowing from God, present in the service itself.  and that love tends to be experienced as life itself, overflowing.  same deal with serving the poor, too, often times. 

THANKS FOR LETTING US SERVE cards2008 02 09_0009

all in all, a great time had by all.  the pizza box came from a pizza place whose bathroom we cleaned.  at first, the workers at Cottage Inn wanted us to wait for a manager to come in to give us permission.  then, when we assured them that we were there to clean their toilet for free, no strings attached (see the card we used as backup, to demonstrate that we weren't just weirdos, but rather, sanctioned weirdos), they were delighted to have us get to work.  when we got done, they had a pizza waiting for us.  "Seriously, no donations desired. We just want to bless you," we protested.  They told us they had messed up an order, so they were just going to throw it out.  I could see in their eyes that turning down the pizza would feel like a disappointment to them.  And also maybe to Mike and Cody, the guys who were on my bathroom cleaning team.  So we happily accepted, and brought it back to share with the rest of the crew. 

Back at the church office, everyone signed the box.  Maybe we'll get it framed.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

preach it, big brother

a big week for our son Colin. 

on Friday, he wrote his first sermon.  it was snow day, so he spent a good chunk of the day learning how to use microsoft word.  various things kept spitting out of the printer as I worked on my sermon upstairs in my home office. "I Love You Mom and Dad."  spit.  "I Love You Elle." spit.  and so on.  He didn't tell me until he'd finished, but apparently he decided since I was working on a sermon, he'd write one too.  He's at that age, you know.

Here's what he wrote. Page 1 (spacing and spelling as authored):

There    is    no    one    like    him


Jesus      ctrist        my   Lord.      And          for

ever       and        ever.         And      for     give

us        as      we       for      give      those    ho

Sin   ugenst    us

Page 2:



couldn't have said it better myself.

then, he found out yesterday that his newest sibling is a boy, making Colin the first paternal line male Wilson (i.e., son of a Wilson son, if that makes any sense) in several generations to have a brother.  My grandfather had no brothers, my dad has two sisters, and I have four sisters.  Not to mention the fact that neither Ronni nor my mom has any brothers, either. 

Needless to say, Colin is thrilled with the idea of having a little brother. Which has absolutely nothing to do with the historical context, of course.  Must be a hardwired desire in boys.  I know I sure had it.  Even though now I'm thrilled to have so many sisters.  Do girls have a similar desire, I wonder?  I can't imagine why not.  Weigh in in the comments, if you don't have a y chromosome.