These are the plastic bags that will be filled with free groceries to be given out to those who come to the Outreach next Saturday.
No, these are not my children...but yes, in a way they are! Can you look at those dear faces and then refuse to help their families rebuild their homes? I think not!
Teresa and Diane continued working in Stephen's house today. Stephen had to go to "real" work today as he is in college and must have some kind of income over this summer to help get him through next semester. His mother chose the paint colors she wanted and that is what the women spent their day on today, along with some cleaning and more sheetrock finishing. Their house is really starting to look like a home. Their cabinets should be here in a few days and then we are really talking about being close to being home again.
Monty and I made a trip to Pass Christian today. There has been an enormous relief effort going over there ever since the storm. Pass Christian was almost completely wiped off the map as that is where the eye went through. The relief effort, "God's Katrina Kitchen" started with a gentleman from Kentucky who came down and started cooking hamburgers on his grill for anyone who needed food. The idea took root and he has been cooking ever since. There are 2 absolutely huge tents set up and one does nothing but serve 3 full course meals 7 days a week. At their highest they were serving over 3500 people a day! They are now "down" to around 1000. Take a minute and think about just how much food that takes and then think again about how many volunteers it takes to do something like this! It's mind boggling! They also have another huge tent set up that was, in the beginning, a clothing "store" where once again everything was free. No, they don't charge one red cent for the food, ever! The clothing tent has now been converted into a food storage/church tent. They hold church services every evening, also 7 days a week! It's like their motto says, "One God, Many Churches"! If you would like to read more about this effort you can go to www.godskatrinakitchen.org
I should have photos on the blog tomorrow night so you can see some of the inside workings going on. They also went out into the rebuilding side of the relief efforts and like us, they have way more work that needs done than volunteers to do the work!
We were really blessed to be able to go there and talk with those who are coordinating that effort. It's great to be able to talk with others who are "in the same boat". Finally someone we have something in common with! Chris and Wendy and Greg are amazing people and I would ask a special prayer for Wendy as she and Chris are expecting their first baby in early October and are hoping to be back home for the birth but as they both said today, "wherever God has them at the time is fine with them". Hearts of service? Oh yea!!
As we made the drive over and back, it's about an hour one way, it gave us another opportunity to see just what has been done along the beach. They have gotten alot of the debris under control but it still looks like a wasteland. There aren't near the people that should be. There are more pieces of heavy equipment than there are people. Very little, if any, rebuilding has started along the coast in the business area. The old mansions are gone and no signs of anything started in their places. It just brings tears to your eyes and makes us realize that this rebuilding will still be going on 10 years from now, yes --- I said 10 years!
We did learn something else interesting today. The Kitchen is located directly across from what used to be a beautiful beach area but the water is closed to everyone! They have managed to sweep the sand to some extent but the water is filled with who knows what. The authorities have told the coordinators that if people are seen in the water the Kitchen will be fined. And as if that isn't enough, they also were told why .... there are still flesh eating organisms in the waters! It's enough to keep that many volunteers OUT of the water for sure! And they say this effort is nearly over????!!!!! It just makes me want to scream out! How about YOU scream out for me, wherever you are, to whomever you talk to, to everyone you talk to! Wake them up to the reality of it all, shake their foundations and break their hearts to do something to help!
We thank all of you for everything you are doing...until tomorrow....where there will be more photos....God bless you....Susan and Monty