When we were dating, my husband and I spent an afternoon pouring over a map. He loves to travel and spent his single years working all over the Eastern United States (and one amazing trip to the South Pacific) with Mennonite Disaster Services.
He tells stories about Mississippi after a hurricane, Alabama after tornadoes, West Virginia after a flood…
And the trip to Truk after a typhoon, to rebuild houses on the hillside. He came home with new friends, a better understanding of history (the Japanese were stationed in Truk when they attacked Pearl Harbor, and the United States retaliated there.) a few life threatening experiences under his belt (the time they were in a six foot skiff with 8 foot waves. Yeah. That time.) and eleven new houses built.
The defining moment was the time, after the flood in West Virginia, when he cleaned out the crawl space under a house. He said he stepped out into the light, covered in slime, his back aching, longing to deactivate his sense of smell, and the owner said, “I wish I could pay you something for this.” My husband looked right at the man and responded, “Sir, you couldn’t pay me enough to do this job. But I’m not doing it because of me. I’m doing it because Jesus says to be His hands and feet. So, really, He’s doing it.”
The year after we were married, he talked me into a trip to Louisiana. Hurricane Katrina had devastated the coastline and we spent a week in Diamond, a tiny town in the bayou below New Orleans. We met and worked with some extremely delightful and interesting people (the writer in me kept thinking I should be keeping notes rather than handing my husband nails, but you know…) and helped put the finishing touches on two houses.
I love the fact that my husband serves and invites me to serve alongside him.
In what way does your husband serve others?
p.s. we’ll be leaving on another work trip next week. Staten Island sustained extreme flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and MDS is preparing to help clean up and remodel homes. We will be spending the next two weeks there and possibly more time in the months to come. Keep us in your prayers? Specifically that we will be able to help and bless the many people who have lost their homes and belongings.