August 29, 2012

7 years ago and TODAY

7 years ago today, Hurricane Katrina made landfall.

Katrina DEVASTATED the Gulf Coast and left massive damage in her wake.

People chose to stay to ride out the storm, levees broke, flooding happened, people died, people lost everything, roads were destroyed, history was lost, and help came late.

I remember vividly watching the destruction of Katrina, on CNN at my first job. I was 3 months out of college temping and struggling to keep it together as I watched the wrath of the storm batter NOLA, MISSISSIPPI, and TEXAS.

I can still feel the knots in my stomach, the tears in my eyes and the overwhelming feeling of
"I MUST DO SOMETHING TO HELP"!

That feeling stuck with me day, after day, as I read about the destruction,
death, fear, hurt, and sadness. I remember telling my best friend L,
"I don't know how, but I will go down there and help"!

Little did I know, God was stirring my heart for good.

2 weeks after the storm, my mother told me my church was sending a
team down to Gulfport, Mississippi to help those affected by the hurricane.
I immediately signed up and started to prepare.

Luckily, my temp job was ending and I was living at home so I could take
the week off. The $500 was a tough pill to swallow because I was making peanuts
and didn't have another job lined up.
But, I knew this was something I HAD to do.

Our team arrived in Gulfport the 2nd week of October.
That's barely a month after the storm hit.

Another church committed to sending teams in EVERYWEEK until the end of the year. Including Thanksgiving and Christmas time. God is so GOOD!

I could write a novel about my experience in Gulfport, but I don't have the time, and frankly don't want to break down in tears right now.

I was blessed enough to be able to do mission work four different times in Gulfport and once in New Orleans. Each trip was amazing in itself and I have so many fond memories.

But, nothing will EVER top my first trip.

I remember:
The curfews, tping doors, the bus girls, amazing food, gaining weight, tears, smiles, stories, being in charge as the youngest volunteer, playing games, making friends, my college pastor, God's love everywhere, tiling, singing, dancing, walmart trips, getting lost because of no street signs, SONIC, sparkle shoe laces, government passes to go past the tracks, I-90, the broken road, the oil, the 6 blocks of NOTHING where homes used to stand, trailer park city, LOVE, HOPE, REBIRTH!

I cried driving to the church from the airport.

IT WAS DEVASTATING!

There are no words to describe the destruction I saw.

I cried after talking to people because of their HOPE!

I cried when people thanked me for helping.
Humanity truly is GOOD at the heart.

Here are a few pictures I found from my first trip.




I wish I had more pictures. I'll have to look on my old computer.

There is still SO MUCH to be done after Katrina.
Supporting communities rebuilding after the hurricane has become my cause.
We haven't forgotten you Katrina victims, we are still here!

*********************************

As I write this, stupid hurricane isaac is making landfall in the SAME path
Katrina took 7 years ago.

MY.HEART.HURTS!

People have already rebuilt once, they don't deserve to rebuild so soon.

But, I'm ready to help!
God is good and will protect them.
I HAVE FAITH in Him!

My work boots are ready though!

Please, take a moment to pray, send thoughts or good vibes to those who are and will be affect by the weather. I know every good thought and prayer will be heard.

7 comments:

Ashley said...

i love this post big time pinky!! and i love your giving heart! praying that isaac stears away into the coast!!

Carolyn said...

You're seriously such an amazing person!! :) Love you! My heart hurts for those people too! :(

Jamie said...

How awesome. I love that you stepped up and made a difference.

Erin said...

Good for you lady! The world goes on because of people like you that stand up and help.

Shayna said...

Lump in throat. That is so awesome & amazing that you were able to go & help out with the destruction! My thoughts & prayers have been with those since I learned of Isaac coming through. My heart just hurts knowing what everyone could go through, all over again!

Janna Renee said...

You have such a big heart and I love ya for it!! Katrina devastated my home town too, so I know exactly how bad it was. So far everyone I know is doing well down there, so lets keep up hope!

Megan said...

You are amazing!! I think it's absolutely inspiring that you went and helped. If everyone does a little something, so much can be done to help those affected!!