Friday, July 07, 2006


We're back. Five days of mucking out flooded houses and two days of driving, followed by July 4th to help smooth our re-entry into normal life. How was your holiday?

The devastation in New Orleans has to be seen with your own eyes (and in some cases smelled with your own nostrils) in order to be fully appreciated. There's really no other way to explain it - it simply defies description, and we're talking 9 1/2 months after the storm/flooding. Nevertheless, we'll post pictures soon.

Despite the seriousness of our team's task, we generally had a good time. The hospitality was wonderful, and the people were grateful. We listened to a lot of survivor stories, ranging from minor inconvenience to personal tragedy. Friday's work day was the hardest from an emotional standpoint - we were cleaning out the personal possessions of a house that had at least 8 feet of water, and the house was basically untouched since the storm. It was a day we needed to remind ourselves that our work wasn't futile, that it would make a difference to someone. It was a starfish kind of day.

The conventional wisdom seems to be that the rebuilding process will take 15-20 years, so we'll have plenty of opportunities to return and offer more assistance. I'll be back.

Meanwhile, the world doesn't stop or even slow down. I have labs and a Dr. visit next Tuesday, and yesterday we learned of yet another person in our church who's been diagnosed with cancer. That makes five twelve (according to the Rev) in the last two years, if my counting is correct, in a church with an average attendance of 110 or so. No rest for the wicked.