I am sore today! Yesterday I spent close to three hours helping in the Red River valley sandbagging efforts. I had meant to go on Saturday but didnt get around to it since I was writing a sermon for yesterday. So when I got up yesterday morning, I packed an extra bag of clothes for sandbagging. After church, I went from church straight to one of the sites where they were hauling people to sandbag sites. When I got there, I was the first one on the bus but within moments the bus filled and we had about 15 people on the bus as we headed to our site. We were shuttled to a residential area where we helped a homeowner build a dike around the back of his house. Boy it was hard work but it was sooooo worth it. We continually passed bags along to the line to each other. It was a strange, uplifting experience that I can’t even seem to put into words today! There is just something about standing in a line next to someone, not even knowing their name, as we work TOGETHER to save people’s homes. I found myself laughing and conversing with the people next to me. And the weird thing was it kind of felt like I had met this person before or known them for a very long time. I wish I could describe it better but I don’t think I could do it justice. As I got back on the bus to head home, I knew I was going to feel sore but I didn’t care. I had helped someone save their home, their belongings, etc. As we hopped onto the bus to head back, other volunteers clapped for us and thanked us for coming. There was so much comrodity in that line…what a truly wonderful exciting experience…to come together to help our neighbors. It’s been surreal in a sense too as I listen to the news reports of other towns in ND and listen to the weather reports. Will the river crest at 40 or below? Its hard to say. Again today they are calling for volunteers. I am hoping to get out again today. My body may hate me for it later but I don’t care. I want to help people. My call to Diaconal Ministry is all about Word and Service and that is what this is all about! Maybe I’ll see some of you out there!

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