09 December 2005

Katrina reminder

Katrina satellite imageAfter Katrina hit Mississippi and Louisiana, I was flooded with e-mails from people looking for suggestions about how to help.

The sense of urgency in the media and elsewhere seems to have dinminished somewhat, but this is the point where Christians need to show that they are serious about seeing the disaster relief through to the end.

My friend and fellow FIRE member, Eddie Exposito, whose congregtion was dealt a staggering blow by Katrina, sends me this update. Just in case some of my readers are looking for special needs to meet during the Christmas season, Eddie reminds me that our brothers and sisters in the damaged regions still have some urgent needs for vehicles, heavy equipment, and compassionate people:

Friday, December 9th, 2005

Dear Phil,

Here is a quick note to you of some specific needs we have identified in the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts here in Slidell, Louisiana:

Family van or similar vehicle
Family with four children (and temporary care of an in-law's child) has no vehicle large enough to carry the entire family after the floodwaters and a tree wiped out their family van. The floodwaters also ruined a Honda Civic that the husband used to commute to work and an old Oldsmobile they had planned to let their teen-age son drive to school and work. They were underinsured for these losses.

Small used car
We have "adopted" a 57-year-old man who has a heart and lung condition who has no means of income except welfare and no vehicle. His home was flooded and he will soon get a FEMA trailer to live in until he is able to repair his home. A small vehicle would help him get to church, the pharmacy, grocery, doctor's visits, etc.

Used 12-passenger van
We at Sovereign Grace Fellowship are in the market for a 12-passenger van to to ferry relief crews and supplies and pull a small trailer with equipment, among other things. We have received some donations to help us make this purchase, but will need either more funds or a special deal. If you have a van or know someone who has one we could buy, please let us know.

Heavy equipment
All heavy equipment - a stump grinder, a backhoe, trackhoe, or Bobcat-type machine. If you have contacts who could possibly arrange to loan one to our relief effort for a few months or could bring one down for use, there are LOTS of stumps and trees and debris still left to move.

Depression, suicide, angry rages ... the newspapers continue to report on symptoms of the spiritual problems evident in a population that is heavily Catholic and where biblical counseling is a rarity. More than 100 days have passed since Katrina and many people have not been able, for various reasons, to begin rebuilding. Counselors can help us mount an outreach effort to evangelize and/or minister to the overwhelmed. We will follow through with those who need to be discipled.

"For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen."

By His grace,

Eddie Exposito and Charles Busby
Elders, Sovereign Grace Fellowship

Phil's signature


Mike Perrigoue said...

Thanks for the reminder, Phil.

I've been attending Bruce Ray's service's on Sunday evenings at Juanita Community Church. I am amazed at this fellowship's perspective on this disaster. My home church had long stopped talking about Katrina so I was surprised to find that JCC was still talking about and helping victims of Katrina weeks after the event. They have graciously sent their other pastor (Steve Harris) to help out with construction type stuff. I believe he's been sleeping on a cot in the church for the past two months. Amazing. In fact the first evening we visited JCC I helped load a huge van with canned and dry goods for Steve's trip down Louisiana.

Again, thanks for the reminder.

Nathan White said...

Thanks for posting this Phil. Great point about seeing disaster relief until the end. Another Church affected by the hurricane was Lakeshore Baptist Church, pastored by Don Elbourne (elbourne.org), and is just a few miles from Slidell. My church has been organizing relief work in Lakeshore for several months now and have put together a webpage called Rebuild Lakeshore. I encourage everyone to remember that the rebuilding process is far from complete. Please help where you can.

Eddie, I have never met you personally, but I hear good things about you from Don and the guys in Lakeshore. Press on brother; we're praying for you guys.


Suziannr said...

I am glad to see you post this here. I have sent this email to the small number of people I know who might be able to respond. Its heartening to know you will reach many more. We all need to continue praying for those folks and for what He would have each of us to do for them. Eddie and his church and many many others are doing an amazing job in the area. May the Lord continue to bless and to keep them.

Dustin said...

I'm a member fo a small FIRE church in Texas and recieved the same forward from my pastor. He reminded our congregation that, even if we don't have the resources to meet these needs, we should PRAY that the Lord will provide for these people. When the wake of a disaster is no longer on the front page of the paper and we have given all that we are able to give, we often lose our passion to pray for those still feeling the impact of the disaster.

Chris Whisonant said...

Our Sunday School class is considering some sort of mission trip to do work either in late spring or summer. Do you have anyone I can contact about help. We're thinking of possibly a revival-type trip or either assisting in building projects.

My email is topherssgtp at gmail.com

Nathan, I will check out your church's site as well.

Carla Rolfe said...

Thank you Phil. It's good to see others who haven't forgotten Eddie's church - and all the other churches and needs down there. It's easy to let these things slip our minds with the passing of time - especially this time of year when our own lives are so busy with holiday festivities.

Let's not get so busy we forget the needs of our brothers and sisters that have been uprooted down there.


Chris Meirose said...

Cancun and surrounding region were hammered by Hurricane Wilma, which parked itself on the Yucatan for a day and a half while at Level 4 hurricane status. By January, Cancun will be at 75-80% recovered from all estimate. Obviously there are a lot of differences in the two situation, but I still think there is something worth thinking about.

Big Chris
Because I said so blog

Tim said...

Thanks for thinking of us. I'm living and blogging in New Orleans right now, from a part of town that didn't flood--we call it the "sliver by the river." What New Orleans needs is real hurricane protection. Rebuilding our homes and businesses without that is crazy--like building a house on sand instead of rock. Please keep reminding everyone of that fact. We can rebuild our city on our own, but we need help with the levees.