Sunday, July 27, 2008

The day of the huge service project that we have worked so hard on finally came and went. Like many projects there were things that didn't look like they were going to come together but somehow it all did at the last moment. The military chaplaincy staff kept us on edge of our seats until the eleventh hour (and fifty ninth minute). During the last couple of weeks we had checked with the chaplain's staff and encouraged them to "get crackin'" on getting things in place but things just didn't seem to register to them.

As of early Friday morning (the day before the project) the large overhead door on the hanger still didn't work, they didn't have but a fraction of the supplies on hand, they didn't have paper for the labels and inventory sheets, they didn't have the labels and inventory sheets printed, they didn't have portable restrooms in place and on and on the list went. It was serious worry time!

So Friday morning found us a bit worried. Early Friday morning we went to the hanger and workmen were there working on the door. It was good to see some action. There was hope. If the overhead door didn't work then all two thousand (or so) boxes had to go in and out a walk door. That would mean a box had to go through the door about every 4.5 seconds in order for it all to happen on schedule.

Friday was the day when most things did fall into place. The door got fixed, keys were found to the nearby restrooms, the portable restrooms arrived, many supplies started coming in and Friday night things looked better. The weather forecast was not good but we could only pray for good weather.

Saturday was a miracle! The weather was a little hot but it didn't rain or have the thunderstorms that had been predicted. But the big miracle was the number of volunteers that showed up to work. Three hundred and seventy five reported in to our assignment people to be instructed where to work. We know there were a few who just jumped in without asking what to do so we had to be about four hundred strong. It was an amazing sight to behold! Four hundred volunteers working as hard as they could to get the job done. And get it done they did!!

We had scheduled and told people that it would take us from nine in the morning until two in the afternoon to do the work. By one in the afternoon we were pretty much done and with a few minutes to clean up the job was complete. Left behind were boxes sorted, wrapped, stacked and neatly put away in the hanger. And in front of the hanger where four hundred people had worked there was nothing but clean concrete. There wasn't trash left all over or any other evidence that four hundred people had been there for hours. (That is a miracle!)

We believe that work should be an enjoyable thing. Working with good people is an absolute thrill. The senior enlisted person from the chaplaincy asked how we got so many people to come to do the work. She said that when they get volunteers only about ten percent of the ones that say they will be there actually show up. (And sadly only a few from the chaplaincy that said they were going to be there actually showed up.) The only answer is; they are just good people. And they truly are good people. There were no egos to deal with - no wanting to be noticed doing what was good or anything else to deal with. They were just people who knew of a job that needed to be done and they rolled up their sleeves and did the job. What a thrill to be with them.

There were many small miracles that had happened along the way to bring everything together. And certainly there were challenges during the day but we had manpower and willing hearts to solve any problem. Somewhere between two and three pm yesterday afternoon we came back to our apartment tired and happy. The work was done and we could now slow down and relax. And guess what - we did!

What a thrill it is to be here and work with some of the greatest people on earth. We have been so blessed.

We love all of you and pray for you. And thanks for praying for us!

Elder and Sister Karn