As you can see by these photos they are nearly carbon copies of what cities looked like after the flooding of hurricane Katrina!
As Convoy of Hope rolled in this morning and we once again met our friends with whom we have worked with over the past 3 years we had to really stop and think about where we were in the world! I told Paul that I was certain the Gulf Coast must be just on the other side of the church parking lot where we were located! He agreed!
Everywhere we looked, so many streets, so many houses, so many people piling up a lifetime of living out along the streets for the constant trash trucks to haul it away to the landfill. The pain on their faces, still in a state of shock but knowing they have to shift into survival mode. The go in and out of their homes, masks on their faces and rubber gloves on their hands, pulling out load after load. Sometimes they operate as robots -- not emotionally dealing with any of it. Young and old alike, poor and rich -- all are now on the same level.
As we created our line for people to come through we were faced with the question, "do you have anyone who can help me?" Desperation -- looking for anyone to come and help.
We were blessed to have a large team of volunteers drive down from Indianapolis and they actually divided their team into enough people to cover those driving through and send 3 teams to help 3 who came through needing help. At the end of the day each returning team agreed that the day had been life-changing.
We had them come in pickup trucks, cars and even mopeds. The used whatever they could as so many of them lost their vehicles in the flooding. You can't get a rental car anywhere and the companies are bringing them in from other states.
One woman came through with an elderly lady. The younger one had 2 small children in the back. She lost everything. She told me how she took all her food and put it in her freezer hoping it would last longer and then she lost all power to the house. Everything, including her food, is gone. She was looking for someplace where she could get some food for her and her children. The elderly lady driving --- she had taken this young woman into her home even though she herself had lost everything!
There was story after story, heart wrenching yet filled with hope and faith. We took time to pray with them as they left the last stop. They welcomed each word of prayer and clung to the words as if they were made of gold! The tears flowed but along with them were those words that are meant to express so much and yet don't begin to really express how they feel; "Thank You"
We will be returning tomorrow, ready to unload the next truck that was to arrive this evening. Convoy of Hope is just that -- HOPE. They had some statistics for us today -- last year the US disaster teams assisted with a total of 14 disasters across the nation. This year, to date, with only 6 months of the year underway, they have already assisted in 16 disaster situations!!!! It is such a blessing for us to come along side and do what we can for those who need literally everything! God's blessings to Convoy of Hope and ALL organizations who are involved with disaster response!
Until tomorrow . . . Susan and Monty