Make sure you read the full newsletter first so the extras make some sense.
The trip to New Orleans was simply amazing. I’ve never seen so much poverty, destruction or hope in my life.
Working on gutting 7 apartments, a home, a corner market and Beulah Land Baptist Church reminded me of how much we place our lives’ values on the foundation of temporary material things. The joy that we saw on people’s faces was not when we pulled out thier clothes or when the rotten piece of drywall finally came down, but when they talked about how thankfull they were that thier wife was alive, or that every member of the congregation survived… the times that people were thankful for material things were only when they were connected to far more important memories.
Mr. Johnson was the man that owned the house that we gutted and cleaned the last two days we were there in the Ninth Ward. Going through the house we could see that he and his wife were pretty well-off compared to their neighbors – there were clothes, furnature, electronics and the like all over the house (now ruined from the floodwater), even the hottub and indoor sauna was ruined. They weren’t concerned about any of these things, he only really cared about finding his lost saxaphones so he could make music again.
As I pulled the cardboard box aside and the familiar shape of two saxaphone cases came into the light, I couldn’t wait to see the look on his face. When I was able to show them to him, Mr. Johnson smiled a smile only comparable to that of a new father seeing his child for the first time – huge and radiant.
Also, the students… in a week I watched almost 50 people bond together like a family. The entire time, I didn’t witness any fights or yelling matches (which is incredible in light of the closeness and muskyness of the living conditions), but I did watch as night after night they laughed, prayed, played and worshipped together.
I’m very proud of the students that came with us and those that are considering going back… please continue to pray for them and the residents of NOLA – whom God most definitely loves!
Here are some pictures from the trip (for the all of them, go to http://westernpacru.com/gallery/.):