(This blog cross posted at our Felton to Pearlington blog)
It's hard to believe that 5 years have gone by since Hurricane Katrina demolished the Gulf Coast. I've been watching all the news stories, reading a lot of articles and reminiscing over the last 5 years. The focus has largely been on New Orleans, but here or there I've seen little things on the towns all along the Gulf Coast that are still struggling to recover as well. Of course, my thoughts have been on Pearlington...rightly so!
Tom D. and Ms. Denise were featured on CNN briefly, talking a little about the recovery efforts. I'm linking the video, so you can see. They are in the first minute of the 3 minute story.
As Tom and Soledad O'brien were walking in front of the Community Center (the red building) I got a little reminiscent of the first time we saw Pearlington. That lot was filled with blue plastic buildings and was the site of the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Camp. Right next door was the parking lot for the Post Office...that wasn't there anymore. Members of our team painted Ms. Denise's house, helped install doors and things inside as well. Her husband, Ricky, is the one who worked with one of our crews out at Captain John's house, digging holes for the pilings and beginning the building process. I've driven past Ms. Denise's house way too many times to count seeing as she lives next door to Ben! Watching that short minute of video, it was like heading home again.
I can honestly say, that when God planted the seed of helping with Hurricane Katrina Recovery, I never, EVER thought that we would be going more than once, let alone 9 times with a potential 10th trip on the horizon. Nor would I have imagined meeting people who became friends within moments of meeting. Hurricane Katrina left a lot of damage in her wake, but she also compelled, at least this soul, to do something worthwhile and important. To tell a better story with her life. I'm proud of the story that God is telling through the team at FPC.
Tonight, as I went to write this blog, there was a comment on my personal blog. It was from Chelsea, the young woman I had the honor of meeting in DC at the Jefferson Awards who lived in Pearlington when the hurricane hit. Her parents are starting to rebuild. Her school wants to do a service day. They need our help. The story is not done...5 years later.