Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ike Day 75 - Thanksgiving

We returned home last evening after spending a great week as a family in Texas. Denise and the kids were able to help serve over 125 families on Tuesday's food distribution. We also had a donation for Thanksgiving baskets for Galveston Bible Church members, and extras to enable them to bless a friend or neighbor. Our family along with the Watterson's helped distribute these as well. I was able to get several more rebuilding projects lined up for the coming weeks, and continue to respond to request for clean up.

On the way home, we took the ferry across to the Bolivar Peninsula. This was my first trip to this devastated area. It was a good preparation for Thanksgiving Day. Below we have attached some pictures of what things look like there. In many respects, it looked like areas we saw in Galveston only days after the storm, except this is now 2-1/2 months later. Debris was strewn everywhere. Broken houses. Cars buried in sand.

Below is an email

I got yesterday from a Bolivar resident:

"The people in PortBolivar have been put on the end of the list for everything. Most of the people that live there are older folks such as my mom. A lot of the folks didn't have insurance or had very little. My mom's home still sits full of appliances, and ruined furniture. The local Government has told folks over there that they can not repair their homes unless they raise them from 14-18 feet. Folks such as my mom can not climb stairs such as this and since they own the property in Bolivar they are being forced to leave and find other means of survival.

FEMA has helped to some extent those who DIDN'T have insurance, but those who had some insurance such as my

mom....FEMA won't help until insurance has settled and then I feel won't help anyway. My mom lived 57 years in her home with my dad who just passed away in March. She is now forced to make a decision to demolish the home because it would be too expensive to repair and impossible for her to live in at the requirement for elevation. She says she is to old to continue to run from hurricanes.

My home was also flooded in Galveston. I rented a 4 bedroom home there for me and my 2 grown sons. The cost of rental property in the area as I am sure you are aware of is Out of Reach.

If you can take a visit to Port Bolivar and see what I am talking about. Port Bolivar is right after you get off the ferry. Crystal Beach and Gilchrist is further up the road. All of these areas need help."

Seeing this yesterday made our Thanksgiving so much more real today. God has blessed us and given us the opportunity to be part of His work in making an eternal difference in people's lives. We have much to be thankful for. As we went around the table today, the kids said it best, " We are thankful for our family and our friends". Amen.

Please consider how you can make a difference in TX and LA. Pray. Give. Serve. (Click these links for more info).

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