We started with a prayer and headed to our old neighborhood....just like we'd done the other times.
And, as before, we planned on seeking out those people in the yellow/orange vests and groups of volunteers to thank them and actively appreciate them.
There was NOT ONE of these people in our neighborhood.
We headed east to the next neighborhood....and found only 2 small groups.
We crossed Maiden Lane (next to St John's hospital) and found only a handful of these helpers.
By the time we reached the area between the high school and Range Line---at the general spot where we'd run out of cookies the other times---we'd only been able to make contact with 9 or 10 groups of people.
The first few times we'd met dozens and dozens and dozens of people.
Now we had a box with 5 dozen cookies
But here's the thing.
There WERE people out there.
They just weren't volunteers and Army Corps folks going through piles and retrieving bits of people's lives.
They weren't trying to salvage stuff from wrecked homes.
They weren't cutting down twisted toothpick trees.
They weren't making debris piles next to the curb for FEMA.
They weren't doing demolition work.
There were hired contractors.
There were roofers.
There were construction workers.
There were concrete pourers.
There were siding putter-on-ers.
In other words....the sounds of crashing down were being replaced by the sounds of sawing and hammering and building.
The smell of that wet (even though it's VERY dry now it still has a distinctly wet smell) and moldy tornado puke is being slowly infiltrated by the smell of freshly cut wood and newly poured cement.
There are STILL PLENTY OF AREAS that haven't been touched by demo crews at all.
There are still places where baby strollers are balanced crazily on top of televisions on top of chairs on top of piles that used to be someone's apartment.
There is still lots and lots of work to be done.
But...you can see it now.
You can see a tangible promise of a new city.
Oh the buildings may not be UP yet (except for the Walgreens and Chick-Fil-A that are awesome-ly racing to a finish!).....
But entire streets are cleared and primed.
Foundations are poured and ready for action.
Metal frames are shooting skyward in the business area.
It's on the way.
I got to watch another cool "journey" yesterday.
In the morning, before we headed out, I received a message from a friend.
She had posted about Dave and his family on her blog, and a friend had passed it to a friend
They had a house they wanted someone to use.
No rent....just pay utilities.
It was vacant and needed a family.
When I was
I replied that I knew God had put our paths together for a reason, and I knew we were supposed to be DOING something for him.
Bennett looked at me very seriously, and said, "Mom....we can't just buy him a house."
I stated that I realized that....but we COULD pray for direction and pass Dave's needs on to other people we knew would pray for him. I told Bennett that God knows what Dave needs and how to best take care of him....and that we would just pray.
Then I had a friend offer an entire household (minus a kitchen table and beds) of furniture.
Then someone offered a HOUSE.
And 2 people sent money that could pay the utilities for a few months.
Then a pastor's wife said her church would stock their pantry.
Then someone called with 2 twin mattresses and box springs.
Then the pastor's wife said there was a queen size bed in the house and that someone had just refinished a kitchen table and chairs they could use.
Then someone brought TO MY HOUSE 2 boxes of clothing in the little girl's size.
And all this happened yesterday morning.
And I got to call Dave and share with him what God had provided.
And he cried.
And I cried.
And again....I saw it.
That tangible hope in Dave and his family's life.
They had the real hope before...the hope that God has always given.
And now....they had the hope He'd handed them personally.
And I told Bennett how humbled and honored and blessed we are to have been able to watch this "journey" unfold.
And he agreed.