I'm on my way home. We have a 45-minute layover in Dallas, where there's supposed to be T-Mobile access at every gate. Every time I have ever passed through here, the service barely works, which is really irritating when you're already in a hurry anyway. We'll see if I can get online and hold the connection just long enough to make a post.
So close, and yet so far
We were traveling through Dallas at the same time Katrina was coming ashore earlier in the week. I had anticipated the possibility of cloudy or stormy weather and flight delays here, but it was mostly sunny in Dallas that day, because Dallas was just outside the periphery of the storm system.
Of course, today Dallas is one of the hubs for relief activity. The airport is bustling, and there's a serious, somber tone in the air. In the airport lobby in Tulsa and on the plane to Dallas, I read several newspapers and magazine articles about Katrina's devastation. It's the first print news I have seen on the disaster, which means it was my first exposure to any in-depth personal accounts of all the human tragedyand the magnitude of it all is overwhelming.
Again, for all my friends in Christ who have been affected, and for anyone in the disaster area who may read these words whom I'm not even aware of, our prayers are with you, and we are determined to do everything within our power to help with the disaster relief.
Speaking of anonymous readers...
While we were in the departure lounge in Tulsa, a man introduced himself and said he recognized me from my blogpicture. Turns out he's a frequent reader of PyroManiac and therefore knew I was in Tulsa.
He was on his way to Baton Rouge. He's an emergency specialist who works for an insurance company and lives in Tulsa. This is already his second tour of duty in Louisiana since the hurricane hit. He'd been in Louisiana most of the week, then came home for a day, but now was returning to the disaster area. I asked where he would stay, and he said his company has rented a conference room in a Baton Rouge hotel, and the disaster team sleeps in sleeping bags on the floor.
The work is difficult, I'm sure, and he is dealing daily with people in the throes of the deepest kind of grief, and as his work takes him further from Baton Rouge, I suppose he'll have to make do with whatever accommodations he can find.
It reminded me that there must be tens of thousands of people like him whose lives have been disrupted by the disaster, even though they don't live in the disaster area. They are a lifeline to the dispossessed who now have to rebuild their lives. They all face months of extremely difficult work.
I forgot to get permission to post this man's name [Sunday update: It's Brad, and since he posted a comment here, I'm going to link to him], but please remember to pray for him and his colleagues as they labor on the front lines of the relief efforts.
I'm planning to do a little research when I get home and post a list of relief charities I recommend. I hope you'll do all you can possibly do to be part of the effort to help people whose lives have been torn apart by this tragedy.