Aug 27 2010

Katrina 5 Years Later - Hope, Healing & Heroes

It's been 5 years since Hurricane Katrina devastated areas of Louisiana and Mississippi.  While the recovery process is still ongoing in the Gulf Coast, we know God has been doing some amazing things in the lives of the people who are there and in the lives of those who have and continue to help rebuild the region. 

We want to remember those who lost their lives from Katrina and honor the heroes who jumped in to help and restore the area.  Maybe you or loved ones were there ... or maybe you responded by helping ... if so, what has God done in your life in the 5 years since Katrina?

Comments (30) -

8/27/2010 6:34:30 AM
Stacie Brown United States
Stacie Brown
http://www.photosfromkatrina.com/
Please take a look at photos on this link.  I know that New Orleans was so very hard hit by Katrina.  However, I so often only hear about New Orleans when Katrina is mentioned.  My beautiful state and its wonderful people were affected deeply.  Please be sure to notice where folks have written encouraging words in spray paint on the wreckage of their homes.  Also, the patriotism was incredible.  Mississippians bonded together and helped each other do what was needed to get through.  Please remember the people of our state that were devastated on this anniversary.  
8/27/2010 6:38:44 AM
Claire United States
Claire
It was very horrible. I was 20 miles away from the damage. And, I will say-God had his hand on me. I am very thankful for it!
8/27/2010 6:41:40 AM
Stacey United States
Stacey
Please pray for the people of the Mississippi Gulf Coast as they also recover from Katrina. Many Mississippians did not have even a shell of a building to renovate. They returned to slabs of concrete where their homes and businesses once stood. A group of volunteers from my church discovered a Bible wedged into the corner of a home on the coast. The pages were plastered open to Psalm 23 -- "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil..." The key word of that passage to me is "through." God will see us through.
8/27/2010 6:43:44 AM
Stacie Brown United States
Stacie Brown
http://www.photosfromkatrina.com/
Please look at pictures on this link.  I know that the people of New Orleans suffered greatly.  So often when I hear Katrina mentioned, I only hear of New Orleans and the devastation that took place there.  Mississippi's Gulf Coast and it's residents were hit hard and there were many lives lost.  The people of Mississippi were positive and banded together to help one another get through.  Please note the encouraging words written in spray paint on the wreckage of some of the homes.  Of course, the show of patriotism is always wonderful to see, as many display a new American flag.  Please remember the people of our wonderful state on this anniversary.
8/27/2010 6:56:53 AM
Kenneth Childres United States
Kenneth Childres
I am from central Arkansas and was actually up in the Yukon Territory filming when Katrina slammed into the gulf coast. We didn't find out about it until we returned to Whitehorse more than a week later. 18 months after Katrina my church family at Lake Valley Community Church in Hot Springs sent 45 people including myself to Bay St.Louis MS. Bay St. Louis was ground zero for Katrina and was all but erased from the map along with nearby Waveland MS. Unfortunately these coastal towns were somewhat neglected by the media in favor of larger cities. We were hosted by Lagniappe Presbyterian Church in Bay St. Louis and spend a brief but productive two days down there. My purpose down there was to document the trip on film in order to promote it to other church members. Our trip was the first of 4 scheduled. Here is a 10 min video I chopped together (actually a cut down version of a 1hr video)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQVYOz0tPw4
8/27/2010 7:08:52 AM
Shelby Singleton United States
Shelby Singleton
My name is Shelby Singleton and at the time of Hurricane Katrina I was 14 years old, a freshman in high school, and I had just given my heart to God. I grew up in church and I always knew that we are not promised tomorrow but I never really understood that until Katrina came.

I live in a city called Kenner and it is about 10 miles west of the city of New Orleans, and my house was flooded with about a foot and a half of water.

To most people who were affected by the storm it tore their lives into pieces, but in my moment of pain and being up set God revealed Himself to me. I learned that God has the power to give us things as fast as he can take them away, but if we are faithful to Him, He will bless us. My family didn't have flood insurance and no extra money to rebuild, we were maxing out credit cards on evacuation needs. My family was looking into loans from banks because we had to rebuild our home, then we applied for Road Home, and we were blessed with about 50,000 to rebuild our home. Hurricane Katrina was a blessing to my family because before the storm our home was slowly falling apart, there was barely any instillation in the attic making summer scorching hot, the stove wouldn't work half the time, my grandma needed a walk-in shower because she was getting older and it was getting harder for her to step in and out of the tub.

Now that it is 5 years later, I am still so thankful to God that he blessed my family. I am now a freshman in college as a visual communications major. I am involved in my campus ministry called Ignite, showing others that God is there with open arms and wanting to take them out of hurt and into joy. I am also involved in my church's youth group called NuNation which is reaching 500-800 youth from 3 different cities on a weekly basis and anywhere from 1,000-1,500 at our once a month rallies. I am so thankful that God revealed himself to me 5 years ago, and hurricane Katrina is a very important part of who I am today.
8/27/2010 10:25:57 AM
Joan McMorris United States
Joan McMorris
We live in Baton Rouge, La, During Katrina, we experienced some power outages for a good while and had some wind damage here and there, but nothing like the coastal areas received.Our city was like a huge relief center.There were helicopters going over head 24-7, like in a war zone, bringing in the flood victims.Stores couldn't keep enough stock to supply the demand. The traffic was horrific with the influx of so many new people.
The wonderful thing that came out of it was the outpouring of help from all our townspeople. A local TV station had a drive up donation area for things like toiletries and pillows for the shelter needs.
We reached out to a family of 8 in a small tent in a campground who had lost everything.They didn't know if their other family members were alive. We finally found them.We gave them a car,found a home to rent,got them clothes and food.We brought Thanksgiving dinner,all the trimmings to them, they were so depressed and it was the first time the matriarch of the family had eaten more than a few bites she had been so distraught.We have kept in touch since then. They went back to St Bernard Parish and rebuilt their home.
We also met some wonderful Red Cross volunteers. We stopped by a shelter that housed about 100 volunteers in a large gymnasium.We went in to see if they were in need of anything and the woman we first met called to the shelter manager, she said "Rick, you must have been praying" and he had been, as he didn't have anything but bologna to feed these people who come in so hungry and tired from working out in the field. We went and got a couple hundred pieces of fried chicken and a huge pan of fried rice to serve them that night. One woman about cried when given a hot meal, she'd only had a granola bar all day.So, for the next 4 months we made sure they had hot meals, with the help of some wonderful church people and local chefs. It was the least we could do for these brave people who came from all over the states to help us. We are still great friends with Rick,Jackson,Steve,Pat etc... we made some bonds that will last a life time and have even vacationed with a few.
Gustav hit Baton Rouge hard and we were in dire straits ourselves for awhile but again,the Red Cross and local churches came though. Ice and water were precious commodities. It sure makes you realize what the important things are. We had a very ill neighbor with a heart ailment, we waited in a long long line to get him a generator so he could have cool air.It makes your own miseries seem small when you reach out and help others.God is Good!
8/27/2010 11:27:49 AM
Stephanie United States
Stephanie
I am from Pensacola, Florida, and we were not hit with Katrina like Louisiana or Mississippi, but I know what it is like to go through a hurricane after experiencing Ivan.  My story about Katrina though, didn't happen 5 years ago--it happened 4 years ago.  Me and my husband of 3 months, along with his brother and fiancee, were asked to sing at a church in Mississippi for the one year anniversary of Katrina.  Yes, I know Louisiana was devastated by Katrina, but i had no clue how bad it was other places, Mississippi being one of them.  When we arrived, I couldn't believe the destruction I saw, and one year after the storm!  Houses still had the famous blue roofs, and fields were torn apart.  The church we sang at was a tiny church, but it was full to capacity that day as people gathered to remember those lost that day one year ago.  As the names were read, a bell was sounded, and you could hear the anguish of family members as their loved ones names were read.  Until that day, I had never really understood how much God cares for us, and spared our lives during the storms, but I was also struck with the fact that these people had to move on with their lives, and no matter how hard it is, day by day, they could run to God for comfort. After the names were read, they brought out a cross that had survived the damage to the church...it was beaten up and almost destroyed, but it reminded me that no matter what storms come to our lives, the cross still stands, and we still have Jesus to lean on.
8/28/2010 5:27:29 AM
Tina Rankin United States
Tina Rankin
I live in a small town just south of Jackson, MS.  The effects of Katrina weren't nearly as devastating here as they were on our Gulf Coast.  We had to have he roof replaced, went without electricity and water for about a week, etc.  Some homes had trees through the roofs and other structural damage.  Our High School Gym was a Red Cross Shelter, housing hundreds of people.  Since there was little we could do at home except burn up, we went to the shelter just to talk to those who had come seeking shelter.  There were many locals who were dropping off truckloads of water, diapers, canned foods, and we had someone donate an 18 wheeler, driver & all to truck these supplies to South Mississippi once roadways were cleared.  Our foods were ruining in our freezers, so we took everything to our church, (First Baptist Richland) to put it in a donated ice cream delivery truck.  We cooked the food daily (lots of variety) and put a sign out front "free home cooked meals".  Not only did those in the city eat well, but so did those who were not from here that were living in a hot gymnasium.  Anyone traveling Highway 49 (major highway)could stop for a meal.  We never ran out of food.  In fact, we also cooked breakfast for volunteers from the Indiana National Guard who set up camp at our Community Center.  It was such rewarding "work".  We cried lots of tears - tears of sadness for all these people had lost, tears of gladness that it wasn't any worse for us, tears of appreciation for all the people across the US who came to our rescue and most of all tears of joy that we serve a loving God.  It was an experience my family will never forget.  My husband worked for the City of Richland and had to stay through the night moving trees out of roadways, rescuing people who were trapped.  He has since passed away....he had a heart transplant at age 48 on June 14, 2010 and died on July 5, 2010.  I am glad he got to experience our community and state coming together, serving the Lord, before he passed away.  Ya'll do a GREAT job on KLove!  I love listening to you throughout the day!  Take care and God Bless.
8/28/2010 5:53:36 AM
Judy Chiappetta United States
Judy Chiappetta
My name is Judy Chiappetta and I was living in Violet, Louisiana, in St. Bernard Parish until Katrina hit and changed our lives forever.
The Saturday before Katrina hit, I called my landlady to tell her that Mama and I were leaving for my brother's house in Livingston Parish.  She told me "Judy, I don't think we will have a house to come back to."  She was right.
We stayed with my brother until we got rental assistance and an apartment.  The two priests at Immaculate Conception in Denham Springs had an evening for those of us who lost in the hurricane.  That evening turned into 3 years of a Hurricane Katrina Support Group.  There we met other people from St. Bernard whom we did not know until we all ended up at Immaculate Conception.  We formed close friendships with each other.
The people here opened their hearts to us and truly showed us the love of God. They have shared so much with us.
A film producer from Australia had friends in Baton Rouge and came to Baton Rouge to form a Hurricane Choir.  He said that music has an important place in healing.  The choir was a healing force in our lives.  We thank God for the Hurricane Choir and the people we met in it.
There are so many of us from St. Bernard who have relocated here in Livingston Parish as well as East Baton Rouge Parish.  Now when we meet someone from St. Bernard, even though we didn't know them in St. Bernard, there is an instant bond between us.
  I do miss my church community of Our Lady of Lourdes in Violet, but God has given me another wonderful, welcoming, Spirit-filled community.
  Out of disaster, God has given us many wonderful blessings!
8/28/2010 5:55:13 AM
Linsey Moses United States
Linsey Moses
I have never been to New Orleans, or anywhere in the South; at first I thought I had no positive stories to share here.  Then I realized that, its not my story, but my older sister Tressa's story.  She has been affected by a great man who has helped many many children.  She was living in Chicago when she met Paul Vallas.

Paul became the Superindent of the Recovery School District in NOLA in 2007.  He was central to rebuilding not only the schools (literally the buildings) but the school system in NOLA after Katrina.   I have never met Paul, nor seen his work firsthand, but there is no denying the good he brought to the region.  He affected many children by providing them a place to learn and turn away from the devastation, giving them hope for the future.  It was also a primary goal not to just return things to normal, but to actually improve on what was there pre-Katrina, using both new technology, and training for teachers and school staff.

Five years later, Paul is no longer working in the Recovery School District.  He has instead moved on to Haiti doing much the same thing there as he did in NOLA, yet on a grander scale.  Though the earthquake's devastation was comparable to Hurricane Katrina, Haiti previously had no public school system at all, so there is quite a bit of new work to be done on top of the physical repair.   My sister Tressa is now living and working in Haiti, working with Paul on all that is to be done there.  He is not only a champion for the kids, touching many lives, but he also gave my sister a job!  All in God's good grace!  

Thank you for allowing me to share how I have seen -from a distance - God's work be done in multiple locations, and for allowing me to tell their story.  God Bless!
8/28/2010 7:36:45 AM
Amanda Bryant United States
Amanda Bryant
It is very hard for me to talk about Katrina without tearing up. I want to share one story that pulls on my heart to this day.

The week after Katrina I received an e-mail from someone in Illinois who was looking for me for a mutual friend from New Orleans. We lived at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where my husband was a student. The seminary, as I am sure you know had massive flooding. Everything but the last 10 inches of our home was under water. This person wanted my contact information to pass on to our friend. A couple of days later she calls me herself. She tells me that we have been on her heart and is there anything that she do for us. I told her," I know this is going to sound frivilous. But, the biggest thing on my mind was that my son had no toys. I can justify buying clothes and shoes. I could not bring myself to buy toys. Not knowing that what we had with us was what we had." She told me she understood and asked what his favorite toys where. A few days later I sat and cried as my son continued to pull toy after toy out of this huge box we received. I don't know how many stores they had to go to but they sent him EVERY toy even the electronic video game for megaman. At that moment watching my son a peace washed over me. I knew God was watching over us. God was not done. He continued to amaze me. I kept a journal of God greatness. Because of Katrina I know God performes miracles. I know He meets needs before we can ask or think. I know of His greatness! I know not because I have faith in the Bible stories. I know because of what He did for me!

8/28/2010 7:52:16 AM
Blair United States
Blair
I lived in Metairie, Louisiana when Katrina hit, which is right outside of New Orleans. Needless to say, we lost everything. With my parent's being divorced I was in and out of two houses. My dad's house was submerged in the flood and my mom's house got a few feet of water and roof damage. In the end though we were all safe.
two days before the storm hit, my siblings and I evacuated with my dad while my mom stayed to work at the hospital.We ended up loosing contact with my mom for a few days, which had to be the scariest thing I have ever been through. We were out of the state for at least a month. My dad moved to Virginia, and because we didn't have a great relationship we stopped talking to him for a few years. It was so easy to forget about him when I never had to see him. My mom, my sister and I moved to Lafayette, Louisiana. Where not only did my mom get remarried, but I first came to know Christ. I could be angry and blame Katrina for taking away the life I had but if I had never moved here I can honestly say that I would not have a relationship with God. Through building a relationship with God, my relationship with my dad has been restored.

8/28/2010 8:09:25 AM
Pat Waters United States
Pat Waters
I live in WV and remember the day that Katrina hit.  My husband kept responding that he would like to go with his chain saw and help any way that he could.  That wish became a reality about a week later.  He was a pastor and the church agreed to allow him to go for two weeks.  Being the wonderful husband and father that he was, he also asked me what I thought.  I said that if God was prompting him to serve, then GO!!!  
My husband, William Waters, went for 2 weeks and spent that time working with a crew removing trees from people's homes.  Most of his days were spent in very tall trees cutting them off of peoples homes in 95 temps and 100% humidity all for the love of helping others.
My dear sweet husband passed away suddenly in 2007 and during this time of Katrina's anniversary I remember with a proud heart of his sacrifice to help others and the legacy he has left for his now 15 year old son Nathan.
William, I loved you so much for helping the victims of Katrina.
8/28/2010 8:27:13 AM
Dianne Weber United States
Dianne Weber
At the time of Katrina, I had a transitional home for women in N.O.  My act of sale to sell the house and buy a larger home for the ministry was to be the day after Katrina, and we worked hard to renovate the house. We all evacuated, in different directions, exhausted. Katrina found me and one of the women in a hotel in Jackson, and we awoke to no electricity and soggy carpets. We then made our way across La. to my cousins' in Houston. As we drove, in and out of radio coverage, I heard at first that one levee had collapsed, then on another station, another levee was said to have collapsed. I wished they could decide which levee it was! We made it to Houston, and my cousin sat me down in front of his laptop and showed me the pictures of the flooding in my beloved hometown, the city of my fathers, and I cried.

I prayed about where to go, so that we could get closer to town, and I thought about my old college friends from LSU. We had all become Christians together. It had been so long since I spoke to any of them that I had to call directory assistance. I called my old friend, Vicky, and got her answering service.I didn't know what to do next. A few minutes later, Vicky called and said that as I was leaving a message for her, she was leaving a message for me... except that my phone was probably floating through my house at that time!
She welcomed me and 2 of my women, and our totally dysfunctional dog into her home, and her church, The Chapel, in Baton Rouge, reached out to us with wide open arms. One of my elderly neighbors who has polio, now lives with Vicky permanently.

We made forays into the city, to salvage what we could from my home before looters could help themselves (we had packed up everything for the move). And - while waiting for my insurance money to come in - we put together groups from around the United State - including a group from Hawaii - to come into my neighborhood and empty and gut over 30 homes in our mixed-income, historic neighborhood.

I met true servants of the Lord who helped me and my neighbors in our time of need. As I worked on my home, I moved over 8 times in 2 years, but always was so thankful for Vicky taking us in. I promised myself that if my homeless situation ever ended (which I didn't think would), that I would help someone destined for homelessness. And this past month, I adopted a wonderful teenaged girl who is such a blessing in my life.

I have been young, and now I am old, but I have never seen the righteous begging for bread.
8/28/2010 9:51:03 AM
Billie United States
Billie
Well I have to say that my life was changed forever by Hurricane Katrina.  At the time of Hurricane Katrina I was living in Gulfport, MS and in a very bad place in my life.  I was in a bad marriage, pregnant with my son and away from God.  Katrina destroyed my apartment.  My husband and I had about 6 1/2 feet of water in our apartment and we lost everything.  I started having complications with my pregnancy due to the stress of the situation and almost lost my precious baby boy.  After Katrina my husband and I moved back to my hometown and I was able to make amends with my family who I hadn't spoken with in about 2 years.  My church family and family were wonderful and helped us to rebuild.  I know have a beautiful 4 year old little boy, I have rededicated my life to God, and I have my family back.  I lost everything in the hurricane but my God has given it back to me over and over again.
8/29/2010 10:40:45 AM
Dennis United States
Dennis
In October of 2005, our church (Emmanuel Church of Greenwood) took 18 of our teens down to Katrina Relief. We stayed in a church in Mobile, AL, and helped with mostly private residences from Bayou La Batre, Mobile, and Gulf Port. we also had the priviledge of helping a VietNamese church haul awat debris so they could start their bebuilding process. It is something I will NEVER forget. The devastation, the stench, the brokenness, but also the thankfulness for the supplies and water we were providing. But the greatest blessing was to watch 18 teenagers giving their blood, sweat and tears (literally) to help those in need. I will never be the same after that experience. And what a blessing to know that those teenagers are a part of the future of our church, and other churches they will end up serving!
8/30/2010 5:06:25 AM
Carol United States
Carol
I was blessed to be able to make three trips to Bay St. Louis, Miss., with volunteers from my church. The first was the week between Christmas and New Years. The devastation was worse than anything I could have imagined. But the attitudes and resolve of the survivors of the wall of water that destroyed or damaged every building in that town was amazing. I was there to volunteer but I had the humbling opportunity to talk with folks on all three trips (I'm a reporter so I documented their stories for my paper and for a presentation at church). They were so humbled by strangers willing to help them start to rebuild their lives. The first family we helped on the Christmas trip thought they were going to drown in their home as the water level continued to rise. They said their goodbyes to each other and prayed and when they were done praying the water stopped rising and they were OK. The underlying common thread with the folks in Bay St. Louis was their faith -- they knew that God had gotten them through Katrina and that he would continue to be there for them. A pastor my husband talked to a pastor who came to the church that was the base for many volunteers. The pastor broke down and told my husband that he never asked anyone for anything and that coming to ask for help in demolishing the what was left of the church building was the hardest thing he ever had to do. But he said that although the building was destroyed the church was as strong as ever. I talked to people who were angry at loved ones and friends who refused to leave Waveland and were killed; those who didn't know when or if they would ever return to their homes but praised God because they were alive. My second trip was six months later and a few days before we arrived, more bodies were found a couple miles from were we were staying. One family, who lost just about everything they had, were so greatful for the volunteers that they provided lunch for us every day. They had very little, but they selflessly gave what the did have -- and did so with a smile on their face and praises on their lips.

It's not hard to find the heroes of Katrina. It's the folks who survived storm and whose faith kept them strong. The folks in Bay St. Louis were -- and are -- an inspiration. I went to give what little I could to them in helping them rebuild, but they gave so much more to me and I'm sure all the volunteers that have been there in the past five  years.
8/30/2010 7:22:32 AM
jennie templet United States
jennie templet
Lisa & Eric

Five years ago right before Katrina blew in I decide I needed a better life-I pulled up at the Dream Center in Donaldsonville, LA and my life changed-God wanted me and I could feel it no matter how hard I fought he wanted me and finally accepted him and as my Saviour  my life has never been better.

Well I went to church and a few ladies nights in the weeks leading up to Katrina.  We opened a shelter at our church for our people that lived in trailor houses and such--it was really a moving night of prayer and then the next day our town did not take a diret hit but the Dream Center is a campus of the Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge.  I got home the next day and saw New Orleans and all I could do was cry--I knew then I had to do something I went back to the church and we opened a shelter that housed around 475 displaced people New Orleans-i served there every night for I can't remember how long-till it closed and I have never been the same-I serve a Awesome God-All my life worrying about everything and doing horrible things to forget or not feel pain and all I ever had to is give it to God!!  I still live here in Ascension Parish and all of our lives have changed because of all the people moving to our town-but it is awesome!!!  I try to serve God in any way I can everyday!!  please let everyone know that God will provide what we need!!  God Bless!!!
8/30/2010 7:32:49 AM
Amanda United States
Amanda
God used Katrina to prove to an unbeliever that not only did He exist, but he loved me more than I could even imagine. I was living in Biloxi MS when I heard Katrina was coming, but having just moved into my new house I had no cable. I was planning on staying in my home with my then 2-month old daughter because last I had heard Katrina was a category 1 off the coast of Florida. Sunday morning before Katrina hit, and only through the work of God, our cable came on suddenly. The only thing I saw was an enormous category 4 hurricane ready to barrel down on us in the next 12 hours. It was the only reason I left our new home. After the storm had passed I went back to our home to see how it had fared, and it was gone. The only thing that remained were a few support beams and the roof. It is because of Him that my daughter and I are alive today.
8/30/2010 8:07:12 AM
Laurie Edwards United States
Laurie Edwards
"Praise You in This Storm" was released by Casting Crowns on August 30, 2005.  What a God Thing!  
8/30/2010 11:20:03 AM
Ginny Ziegler United States
Ginny Ziegler
Through a series of very difficult circumstances my husband and I moved our family out of New Orleans three months before hurricane Katrina made landfall.  We questioned God...New Orleans had been our home for 37 years.  We have three children and the transition was very difficult.  We moved to Jackson, Mississippi which is about three hours away from New Orleans.  We watched as the hurricane approached and the phone began to ring.  The night of the storm we had 31 people in our house.  Over the next six months we had people in and out.  We watched the church step-up and help us feed and support the friends and family that God had dropped in our lives.  U-haul trucks backed up to our house with clothes, food, blankets, pillows and all of the other things that people who have lost everything need.  Words cannot describe the blessings that we were able to be a part of.  The next time you wonder why you are going through a difficult time remember, God could be putting you in a position to be a major blessing to others and in turn you will be blessed also.
8/30/2010 12:10:16 PM
Sara United States
Sara
I live about an hour away from New Orleans. My house received some roof damage from the storm and we were without power for a week. I was just diagnosed with asthma, so it wasn't under control. That was hard because it was so hot and humid, and one day it go bad. Only problem was there was no hopsital to go to! I was 16 at the time and had given my life to God over six months ago. I prayed to him often to have his hand on me, because that was all that kept me from having a horrible asthma attack.

But I also remember going to church that Sunday, my mom went with me (she doesn't usually) but I couldn't drive and she didn't want anyone else to be ride just incase stuff go to bad with people evacuating New Orleans. Traffic was at a dead stop and I remembered watching all those people piled tight in their cars with as much stuff as they could get. No one expected this storm to be as bad as it was, and when it hit and I asked my mom, "What about all those people we saw leaving? Where will they go when it's over, there's nothing left, and you know they didn't think to grab everything!" I was so heart broken for others but do to my medical condition I was not allowed in New Orleans for clean up efforts. However, my mom and stepdad both worked full time and then on the side was in New Orleans at every free moment cleaning up people's houses that were condemned, cutting up trees, clearing garbage, and helping sort through the sentimental(sp) stuff that was destoryed. Thanks to Katrina my step dad has his own business, but Katrina tore my heart.

I hear often how people were just lazy, and chose to stay behind, they asked for it. Our Mandatory evacuation warnings came so late, and so many just didn't have a way to get out on their own. Also my city had a voluntary evacuation, there was no way for us to get out if we wanted. Roads were dead stop and it was literally hours just before the storm hit. Luckily we weren't hit hard. Flooding was bad but my street didn't flood, at least not in the middle. It was sad, no one was prepared for a storm like this and it showed where our government (democrat or republican, it doesn't matter) wasn't prepared. I am glad this has shown light and things have changed in getting warning out sooner and stuff. But it was a sad break down. And even though recovery is underwa and it's been five years, I hope it's not something that is forgetten so easily. If anything this needs to be remembered, so no other state or federal government program makes the same mistake. New Orleans and all the Gulf Coast people came out of it. It was hard but we did. That is the miracle, God had his hand on this. He didn't make the storm to wipe out the sin. He doesn't cause tragedy but he surely used this tragedy to show His Glory and that he can truly bring Beauty out of ashes!
8/30/2010 3:07:24 PM
Kathy Milner United States
Kathy Milner
I lived in Baton Rouge at the time of Katrina.  A few weeks before Katrina hit, our church received a gift of about 70 mattresses.  At first, they thought the mattresses could just be given to people who needed furniture for their homes.  Then Katrina hit, and our church realized that God had given us those as a way to shelter people from New Orleans!  How awesome is God to provide before we knew we needed it!
8/31/2010 10:00:07 AM
Kristy United States
Kristy
I was listening to all of the Katrina recollections yesterday as I was driving to meet a friend.  I personally was not effected by Katrina because I live in upstate New York...My husband and I were traveling back home from South Carolina where we had gotten engagedSmile I did realize though that my current situation is nothing compared to what others went through and are still going through.  I thank God every day for my wonderful husband and my son.  I also thank him for reminding me that he is in control of every situation and will be there all we have to do is ask.
9/2/2010 5:35:11 AM
Jennifer Jones United States
Jennifer Jones
We live in Tennessee, and Katrina was the first time in my life I remember having Tropical Storm force winds in our area.  What I remember about Katrina is the birth of a tiny, special baby to our family.  Tatum Elizabeth Kelly was born to my cousin and her husband during the wrath of the storm here in Tennessee.  She was born weighing 1 lb. 13 oz. and at 28 weeks gestation.  Her mother's health was also in jeopardy for days after her birth.

This year, Tatum started Kindergarten.  She's a healthy, happy five-year-old and a reminder to our family of how God carries us through the storm.  Her mom says she was her first real lesson in faith.  God is so good!
9/2/2010 8:26:03 AM
Scottie Burchett United States
Scottie Burchett
My son-in-law,Tony Knight wrote and sings a song called "After the Rain" that God put on his heart during the devestation of Katrina. The song will bless the hearts and be an encouragement to all who were affected by the storm as well as others just going through a difficult time. You can find the song on i-tunes by going to "The Revealing". As I listened to stories on K-LOVE earlier this week I wanted to tell you about this song so maybe it could be played on K-LOVE for all to be blessed! Thanks, Scottie (aka Grandie;)
9/6/2010 7:02:36 PM
randall harbin United States
randall harbin
I started helping families in bay st louis in 2005 we made about 10 trips to the coast and we have taken down damage sheet rock to rewire and plumb homes. all the time we were working there we also saw so mamy lives changed through our ministry plus our own lives has been changed forever. we were able to help one lady who lost everthing a local church built her a new home we had the honor to wire and do the heating and air conditioning in this home. another team came and sheet rock her home what a joy to be a part in this then in 2008 we got to go back and finish all the things that was not finished we spent 6 days on this trip. what was great we got to move her in her house this time this really was a blessing  our ministry all begun because of 8days of hope from tupelo ms we volunteered through this ministry to begin helping lives in need. now i want to tell you about a project that 8 days of hope is doing nov 20 2010 in nashville tn please pray for supplies and workers to volunteer to do a work in many lives we need 1200 people to show up help us get the word out for all the flooding victims there if you have any questions you may call me 731 926 6964 or email harbin3@e1w.com
9/10/2010 9:25:58 AM
Emilie United States
Emilie
I have gone down to Ocean City Mississippi for the past two years. The people I have met and the places I have seen are an inspiration to me. The people are so generous, gracious, and wonderous people. This Feb I will be going to Louisiana for the camp I went to in Mississippi has closed down. Please keep all who suffer from loss, loneliness, despair. Keep these people in your hearts and pray that God helps more people to come to others in need.
3/29/2011 6:33:50 PM
Mitsuko D. Edwards Kenya
Mitsuko D. Edwards
Interesting. I love reading your posts. Smile
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