A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Monday, June 26, 2006

New Orleans Mission Trip: Report #2

The major task we were given in New Orleans was gutting houses. It was quite a messy job requiring hard work, but our group was certainly up to it.

This is the living room of one of the houses just before we started. As you can see, it is quite a mess. Black mold was everywhere. Standard equipment worn were steel toed boots, leather gloves, goggles, and masks.

The kitchens were the worst. The refrigerators had not been opened in the ten months since Katrina came ashore. Needless to say we were not about to open them. We duct taped the doors shut and carried them to the curb. In one of the kitchens we gutted, someone dropped a jar of unknown contents and the smell was so bad, some in our group had to vacate for awhile until the odor dissipated.

A truck with a huge grappler picking up the appliances to haul them away.

A photo album ruined by the floodwaters. These kinds of things reminded us that we were not simply dealing with rubbish to be thrown away, but with peoples lives and memories.

Now for some additional pictures in which no commentary is needed:

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A fishtank with the Katrina floodwaters still in it.

This is how the houses looked when we were finished. After inspection and the necessary replacement of wiring and plumbing, they will be ready for remodeling.

During our first day of work we had a truly unbelieveable experience. One of the members of our work team, Scott, was cleaning out a bedroom in our first house. He was picking books off the floor that had been under the floodwaters for a few weeks and then sat for ten months. Most of them could not be opened they were so damaged. The rest were moldy and clearly ruined. Near the bottom of the pile he picked up a Bible off the floor that was in perfect condition. It looked as if had just been pulled off the shelf of someone's library. It belonged to one of the children. His mother was astounded and thrilled to receive it. It is important to stress that in the five houses we worked in, not once did we discover anything else in such shape.

And even more amazing, when we related this story to the director of the Katrina mission at the church, he told us that there have been half a dozen other incidents of Bibles found in perfect condition. God will find ways to remind us of his presence, even in the most dire of circumstances!

My third post on our New Orleans mission will highlight the incredibly vast devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina.

1 comment:

Allan R. Bevere said...

Thanks, James. I hope folks will take advantage of the links you provide.