South Central Conference Disaster Ministry - New Orleans

September 2, 2009

Update on 2005 hurricane recovery from South Central Conference

 Rebuilding Homes, Rebuilding Hope

 

 

   

Staff updates:

 

Sarah McAllister, volunteer coordinator began graduate studies at Tulane University in the fall of 2008.  After a year of part-time classes Sarah has chosen o concentrate more on her continuing education and is no longer employed by the ministry.  We thank her for her service for the last three years and  wish her well in her career path.

 

Rob Swanson graduated in May from Olivet College in Michigan.  Olivet College has brought students each year during the Christmas break to New Orleans to work with this ministry.  Rob was a part of two of those trips.  Upon graduation Rob spent the summer with us working as a Partner in Service volunteer.  He has recently returned to Michigan where he plans to attend Veterinary school.  Our thanks go to Rob for his willingness to spend the summer with this ministry.

 

 

  We’re halfway there

Those words were quoted in a recent article by an unnamed person working in faith based disaster recovery in New Orleans.  The article entitled, "After 4 years and $25 million, local Katrina relief groups say they are about half finished," appeared recently in the Times Picayune.

This ministry continually receives calls for help.  One recent call came from a couple that has lived in Houston since Hurricane Katina.  The man is 80 years old.  When I met them at their home in New Orleans east the man was cutting weeds in his back yard.  The only tool he had was a machete.  No mower or weed wacker.  Their story is unique as is everyone's.  They hired a contractor, paid him to do work in the house.  He began work but had a heart attack and died in their house.  The owners now are out of funds and still have a gutted out house.  The city of New Orleans is taking the owners to court for blighted property.

I visited with the owners on two occasions.  The first initial meeting to look at the house and do an estimate of repair and the second time to give them a letter from our office to hand to the city stating that we will be doing the repair and rebuild work on the home.  As we met on the second visit the man told me he did not evacuate for the storm.  The water came in with such force that it knocked his dead bolted door off the hinges and knocked him to the floor.  He managed to get into his attic space where he spent the next five days.  He alternated between the roof and his attic.  The roof was too hot to stand on, (he didn't have shoes on when the water came in) and the attic was too stuffy. He periodically jumped in the water in an effort to cool off.  On the third day he saw an old pair of his shoes floating in the water and retrieved them.

There is a lot more to their story but the point is, we can't refuse to work with them as a Christian agency.  For this family and so many others, faith based organizations are their only hope.  Our list of rebuild projects is long.  With this article is a photo of the family's boarded up home and another family's home completed home on the day of dedication.  Your support for this ministry is greatly appreciated. Your work allows this ministry to take a boarded up empty home to a home filled with family, joy, and love.  We invite you to come and help rebuild homes and hope in New Orleans.  God bless you.  Rev. Alan Coe

 

 

 




 

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