I tried to write this last night. I wrote about six paragraphs and hit the “send” button and, since my computer had disconnected from the internet without my knowing it, everything was erased. I turned the computer off and went to bed. Tonight I’ll give it another shot.
We are working in the little town of Pearlington, Mississippi. Before the hurricane there were over 850 homes standing, after Katrina there were 30. Only five houses did not have standing water as the result of the storm. The eye of the storm made landfall here, the devastation is amazing.
We went on a tour of the most devastated areas Sunday afternoon. One sight that will stick with me is of a small stick-built home, maybe 1000 square feet, in the immediate area where the levy’s broke. Every window was broken out of the house, the front door was broken. Trash littered the yard. It was, for all intents and purposes, an abandoned home. But as we drove by I look through the broken front door and saw an old man sitting in a chair looking outside. It was a normal day at home for him. Most of the places where houses stood are cement slabs. We’ve heard some incredible stories we’ll be able to share with you when we get home.
The one thing that has impacted all of us is that the three year anniversary of the storm is approaching and there is still so much to be done. Precious few of the homes lost in Pearlington have been rebuilt. We are presently working on four. Our group has been subdivided into four teams, each working on a separate project.
One team painted the interior of an entire house, over the last two days. They are in close contact with the elderly homeowner. He is so excited about moving into his new home. Last night, after our crew left, he came in and primered three rooms so our team could finish their painting today. He is excited to move into his new home in the next few days. It will be his first new home.
One team spent the last two days finishing the kitchen on another home. They installed cabinets, countertops, appliances, and finished the interior trim. Another team has sheetrocked an entire house.
My team spent the last two days finishing the upstairs of a home that will house a new preacher and his family. He is coming to plant a new church in Pearlington. So many seeds have been planted here for the kingdom, and those who have been blessed are responding. Ron (our supervisor) told me today that “Pearlington is on fire for the Lord.” This young ministry family is the next step in creating a long-term presence for the kingdom here. He and his family are planning to move in within a month. They will be sheltered by a home that we helped build. They will be surrounded by passages from God’s word we wrote behind the drywall. They will be blessed by a ministry made possible by YOU. Thank you for making it possible for us to be here – we’re doing our best to be a blessing while we are here. Keep us in your prayers. More later…