Katrina Hit Two Years Ago Today

Two years ago, my homeland was hit by the worst natural disaster to ever affect the U.S. Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005. I was born in New Orleans, as was all my family, and grew up just across the Mississippi state line in Picayune, about 45 miles northeast of New Orleans. Biloxi was 45 miles to the southeast. We were about 25 miles from the coast as the crow flies. Katrina came through and her eye passed right through my hometown, dumping 5 trees into my Dad’s house. On September 2, I led a team of around 30 to Ocean Springs, MS, where we established and ran a Red Cross shelter. Some of our folks moved down there and have not come home. They continue to help people rebuild through a ministry that our church helped start called Pathfinder Mission. You can read all about the eleven days that changed my life in a series of posts that I wrote last year called Katrina Remembrances.

I have been home many times in the past two years. Things seem to be coming back, albeit slowly. People continue to struggle and the nation’s attention has moved on. Of the billions and billions of dollars that were approved for rebuilding in that region, very little actually ever made it down there. Even less made it into the hands of homeowners. There was a lot of flash and many promises, but people have mostly been left to their own devices through whatever aid and insurance that they can piece together. The Church has helped tremendously and people have taken notice. I still grieve and I still pray. I hope that you remember as well.

One Response to Katrina Hit Two Years Ago Today

  1. Hey Alan,
    I just got back from working with with a large group of folks from NOBTS. We scattered all over the city today and did all kinds of work/cleanup/witnessing projects. Testimony was given at lunch time today about how one group was able to share Jesus with many folks and five of then made professions of faith.
    One story that touched me was how they were sharing Christ with two boys. One boy was about six but his brother was much older and it was obvious the younger looked up to the older. After a bit of time talking and sharing one of the team members asked the older boy if he would like to pray to Jesus. He said no, he is not ready to do that right now. But immediatly after that the younger boy, who clearly idolized the older, spoke up and said “I am! I am ready right now”. And they led him in placing his faith in Jesus.
    I was on a team working on gutting out a house. This house had not been touched since Katrina. Nothing had been done to it in two years. Needles to say it was very very nasty work.
    I asked the girl working for MissionLab, who headed up our group, how she got in touch with the home owner. She said the city has begun giving residents notice that if they haven’t moved forward on doing something to their homes the city will be demolishing them. MissionLab had given their phone number to the city to volunteer their services to offer help to homeowners who needed it. Our group leader said they have like 15 houses that need gutting and restoring. She said they currently have no teams scheduled to come in this fall to help.
    So the need is still great. The church is working, but there is so much left to be done.
    Praise the Lord who is able to immeasurably more than we could ask or think.