Our youth pastor, Raul Figueroa, has organized a short term mission project to New Orleans this June. I’m greatly encouraged to see our church doing something tangible. And what an incredible opportunity for all the youth who are able to go!
You can’t believe what a mess New Orleans still is
I’d seen mile after mile of neighborhoods with trash piled high outside. I’d talked to residents, prayed with them and felt the heartsick
tones in their voices describing what it meant to lose everything. And I’d heard about the lower 9th Ward.
But nothing prepared me last weekend when it came time to actually drive across the river, and to see where the barge had broken through the levee, sending a wall of water gushing through neighborhoods, lifting dozens of homes off their foundations and depositing them together in heaps.
Most surreal were the houses that came to rest on top of cars or with walls completely removed exposing interiors.
Most heartbreaking are the personal belongings and children’s toys still inside.
The really crazy thing was the thin concrete levee they’re erecting in place of the old one that’s supposed to hold “Old Man River” in his banks. I imagine Louis Armstrong chuckling and saying, “He’ll see you next hurricane season.”
In the face of such unrelenting devastation, it is heartening to see the Church rising up and driving down by the thousands to clean up the place. Without the Church, there is no physical manifestation of Jesus in a place where the tears have flowed hot and thick like the mighty Mississippi.