Wednesday, March 29, 2006

2nd trip to the Gulf Coast

We sent a second team of people from Crossroads down to the Gulf Coast to help out with the relief effort.  I stayed behind this time and playeed Mr Mom so Gail could go on the trip. 

I asked my friend Michael to share some of his thoughts on his trip.  Here it is:

So we were down in New Orleans, in St. Bernard Parish, where some of the worst flooding occurred when the levee let loose Lake Pontchartrain, leaving hundreds of homes under 9 feet of water for over 2 weeks.
We were heading to a distibution center run by a group called Pastors Resource Compassion. They have a huge tent sitting in the middle of a Wal-Mart parking lot where they're handing out food, clothes and other basic necessities to anyone from the area in need. I say anyone in the area, not anyone living in the area, because the area, for all intent and purposes, is destroyed. The 1000 to 2000 people coming through each day are either living in small FEMA trailers on ttheir devastated property or coming in for the day from friends' or families' homes or apartments outside the area salvaging, cleaning, or just staring at what they once had - a home.
 On our way to the center we drive a mile o! r two down the main drag - business after business, store after store, gas stations, grocery markets, banks, car dealers and barber shops, chuches and ice cream shops, you name it, all closed. Not because of a lot of damage, but because there aren't any people to buy anything. The few people in the trailers - they don't have any money - and if they do - they don't  have anywhere to put anything.
 But it's the streets off the main drag, whole neighborhoods, block after block, as far as your eyes can see - devastation - destruction - like I've never seen, like World War II news clips of the Allied bombing of Germany, an all to real episode of the Twilight Zone, like the End Times. House after house after house - total ruins - if it's still standing it's an empty shell - 9 feet of water - 2 weeks - that's a foot of water on the second floor of a 2 story home. Most of them were ranches. Some of the homes have been gutted, ev! erything that was in, is out. Look down the streets and you see big piles of debris in front of empty shells. Big piles of debris in front of empty shells? Hell! It's peoples lives, thier stuff, their valuables, their trinkets, their memories, their hopes for the future their home held for their families, for themselves, for their community - picture frames - the photo washed of its' image, broken dishes from family meals, a basketball, a little pink Big Wheel like my daughters we gave away last year, t.v.'s, couches, tables, towels, clothes - God it's like somebody ripped all your insides out and threw em on the ground in front you - its literally sickening to think what these people must feel when they see this, I'm feeling sick all over again telling you about it. Can you imagine what these people must feel? Can you imagine? God only knows. Only God will heal them. Let's pray. Let us all pray.

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