Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Day Three-- Kiln, Mississippi

I think I worked the hardest day of my life today and have never felt better for doing so. We began work early-- the earliest yet this week. Today's work wasn't nearly as "aromatic" as most of the really nasty stuff was already on the pile, and the mud inside was starting to dry, if only by small degrees.

George arrived less than an hour after we started. His spirits lifted by the presence of a 'Gung-Ho' work force, he got right in there and contributed to the clean-up process. He'd entertain us with his stories and keep me smiling with just one of his grins. The man has a contagious personality that has really grown on me. He's grown on all of us, truth be told. He's affectionately referred to as our "Ragin' Cajun."

Nearing lunch time, the entire team seemed to be collectively running out of steam, myself included. I was thankful when James (our team leader) made the call to break for lunch. Even though it was in excess of 90 degrees, we were still able to take food in, something I haven't always been able to do when exerting so much energy. Tony reflected that we had not opened the day in prayer, and suggested we do so right then and there. So we all joined hands and to my surprise, George joined hands with us while I prayed for strength, focus, safety, and for George and Becky. My prayer for them was that they would know our work wouldn't end when we left, but that we would continue to remember them in our hearts and prayers.

Afterwards, George shook my hand warmly and did one of those half-hugs that men sometimes do where opposite shoulders are brought together, along with a pat on the back. I told him that we loved them both. If I'm not mistaken, the burly man's eyes were moist. I know mine were wet.

Our work continued after lunch, and I'm convinced we were renewed and strengthened from above. There was no mistaking our attitudes were re-aligned and that God was now made the center of our efforts here.

My body aches and longs for rest. I'm going to try and call L. once more before going to bed. I fear they've already pulled away from port and she'll be unreachable for a full week. My hearing from her this morning was such a blessing and a wonderful way to begin the day. I miss her so much, but it will only make it sweeter when we see each other again.

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