The reality of Katrina is starting to sink in more and more. I knew it was bad before, my parents had told me so. When I heard stories from friends, when I watched the benefit concert on TV tonight, I knew it was bad. But when I went online just to see if I could find pictures of Moss Point and actually found some and saw them, “bad” took on a whole new level. I went to the SunHerald website and looked at 2 picture links specifically: one for Moss Point and Biloxi, and one for Pascagoula and Gulfport. Suddenly things became more real than ever as I saw pictures with captions about how the Escatawpa River (mind you, the river right beside my dad’s church) had flooded. In the Pascagoula section (Pascagoula is where our area Wal-Mart, hospital, etc. are), it mentions Chicot Road. Chicot Road is where the Christian bookstore is where I got CDs right before I came back to school. I remember because my dad had dragged me along; I had thought the bookstore wouldn’t be decent, due to the fact that it was in Moss Point and there were little old ladies behind the counter, but it took me pleasantly by surprise. I’m just stunned. Oddly enough, this is the same type reaction I had when my grandfather passed away a couple years back. I knew he was gone, or so I thought. Once I actually saw him lying in the casket, the reality of it hit me. Though I definitely haven’t inhabited Moss Point long enough or frequently enough to really grow attached to it, actually seeing pictures of my parents’ new hometown lying in the casket, so to speak, brought things into a whole new light. Part of me is tempted to go home, just to see what I can do, but I know there’s not much I really could do. The damage is already done. And I get the feeling that the town I’d arrive in would be so devastated it would be a hollow shell of what I knew as I left. How did our house not get pulverized? Or even flooded? It seems so unfair, though I’m still grateful. I’m just sitting here absolutely beside myself. My mom said that my dad’s been going around the area, checking in on people and praying with them. He’s got an invaluable job ahead of him. I want to do something tomorrow. I’d been wanting to anyway, but I’m going to really investigate something to do. Father, guide me to where you’d have me be You.
Just wanted to say that I spent most of my afternoon today at the Red Cross shelter at Morrison Heights (they’ll be housing people til Tuesday). Only one thing they asked me to do involved interaction with those who were there, but I did talk to one lady for a few minutes. She said in New Orleans the helicopters that are flying over can’t even see roofs of houses because they’re underwater. She said they can’t go back because they have nothing to go back to. (I couldn’t help but wonder how one goes about rebuilding an entire life from nothing…even children accumulate stuff over the years and are gradually prepared to make their own way. How do you do it from scratch as an adult?) One of her relative’s houses split in half…she hasn’t heard from 2 of her family members yet, so she’s staying glued to the TV in hopes she’ll hear soon. Yes, it was sad to hear. Still, it was a blessing to be able to go and serve them today. Those we were helping were very grateful and helpful. I think some of them did almost as much work as we were doing. So, if you know of a way to contribute–especially personally–I encourage it. These are strong and brave people, and you’ll be better for seeing their determination firsthand.