Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Need in New Orleans

August 29, 2011 marks the 6th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. After six years, it's easy to forget what happened and it's easy for the rest of the world to move on. This week was an undeniable reminder that Hurricane Katrina is still hurting many families across the city of New Orleans. A few of us from the construction staff went out to assess homes this week and the stories we heard touched our hearts.

We talked to Ms. Corin, who lives in the 9th Ward. She has been the victim of fraudulent contractors who came in, said they would fix her house, took her money and left. She has even had thieves come in and steal her plumbing, wiring and A/C unit. Ms. Corin has done what she can to fix up the interior of her house, even hanging drywall by herself. Now she needs someone to come alongside her, love her and transform her house into a home.

We also met with James who is doing what he can to restore his house for his mother and two nieces, Esther Ruth and Emmanuela. He is struggling to balance his job and the work he does on his home. James has done an amazing job with the inside of his house, but when he looks at the outside, he is reminded of the catastrophic damage that Katrina brought to his family, home and city.

The hardest part was realizing that these families have waited almost six years for the rebuilding of their homes. What's worse is telling them they must wait even longer, because we do not have the volunteers and staff needed to serve them. We need volunteers to come serve! After six years, the flow of volunteers has slowed down. The need is still there and the people of this city are still hurting. Yes, our heart breaks for the unfinished homes, but our hearts break even more for the lost souls who need to know the love of Jesus Christ. Crisis Response will continue to live out Matthew 9:38 and "pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest".

If you would like to invest in what the Lord is doing in the city of New Orleans or send teams, please email katrinarelief@efca.org or go to www.efca.org/katrina.