Hi Pastor Gary, big wind, big waves- bigger God , thats the way I see it. I am a member of a awesome church in the Metairie area - Victory Fellowship. Right after the hurricane all our pastoral staff took themselves off of salary until the church was back on its feet. When trouble come many moved on but the ones with a true shepards heart moved in. I have seen unity in the Christain churches that I have never dreamed possible before Katrina . Brethren from all over God's kingdom came to help and or sent donations. Just thru our church over seventy million dollars have flowed into the New Orleans recovery effort- gutting and cleaning houses, restoring churches, building missions, feeding and clothing the people- it is obvious that the church is doing far more to rebuild the area than any government and what a testimony to the love of Jesus this is. What an opportunity to share Jesus with the people in this city, I believe we are on the verge of a major revival/awakening in this area.
As far as personal impact my mothers home was completely destroyed and several family members had major damage. My home suffered only minor damage (about $17,000.00) and was used as a hub around which we could rebuild others. I personally know of many people who lost family members .
It took 12 weeks at eightyfour hours per week to get my place of employment back on it's feet (whew!) A short drive thru the area reveals destruction on a massive scale with a estimated rebuild time at fifteen to twenty years and that only if the levees don't fail again. Please remember us in your prayers as we have a long way to go.
It seems as though even the mildest lambs before Katrina are now snarling like wolves, people are short tempered but I attribute it to stress.IT IS TIME TO LET GOD'S HEALING POWER WORK IN ALLOUR HEARTS.God's word promised that if we trust Him He will bring a blessing out of any situation no matter how dark it looks. No matter how big the problem my God is bigger still.
I would like to close with this- I spent two years working in a ministry in a New Orleans area project, the people there called the place the belly-button of sin, but most of the people there were warm, friendly and loving folks. It is unfortunate the the one half of one percent who live thier lives in a way that is lower than any beast were the ones the American people saw on tv. This is not represenitive of the people down here.