July 1, 2010
Now it all has changed. Last weekend -- over two months in to this disaster -- oil washed up on Mississippi’s mainland for the first time. Tar balls, tar mats, and thick gooey globs were spotted in several places along our coastline, and the rhetoric of our elected officials immediately became more heated and more adamant. The disaster that had in some sense been “out there” was now undeniably right here with us.
Now the platoons of beach cleanup workers are everywhere, battling this major technological disaster with nothing more than simple rakes and garbage bags. Wearing neon orange and yellow vests, they canvas our beaches in huge numbers, painstakingly collecting what they can, knowing more will likely replace what they've just removed. Yesterday our local newspaper, the Sun Herald, reported the oil waste was being collected literally by the ton. Today that same newspaper asks in front page headlines, "Where will oil waste go?"
As the disaster's impact on our neighbors and friends and wildlife grows, our feelings of helplessness loom large. We have somehow been here before, all too recently… this place where disaster consumes completely, overwhelming us with its total demand upon our lives. We do not want to be in that place again, but here we are even so.
Prayers of support for the ongoing work of Back Bay Mission are requested as increased numbers of clients appear on our doorstep in need of assistance – there is no work for the fishing community. Our thanks to supporters of the One Great Hour of Sharing special fund, Emergency USA from which Back Bay Mission is receiving $5,000 to provide direct aid to these folks who have so little.
In faith, we trust again that God will work us through this. In thanksgiving, we are grateful for your prayers and concern.
Rev. Shari Prestemon, Executive Director