Herald Journal Columns
July 3, 2006, Herald Journal

Mississippi will not be forgotten


It was exciting for me to write another article about a mission trip going down to help those who are still recovering from Hurricane Katrina.

It’s good to know the victims are still on people’s minds. First Baptist Church’s youth pastor Steve Stahl, brought in photos for me to look through from their youth trip.

Although so much had changed, like the removal of the debris, there was so much that still needed to be done.

It was nostalgic looking at the photos, many of which were taken in Waveland; the coastal town I toured last March.

The photos in which many of the kids had taken were of the same damaged places and buildings I saw when I was there.

Adam Sarff, youth pastor from Elim Mission Church, went down for the first time. He, like many, couldn’t have imagined the scale of damage just by the pictures. You have to be there to get the full effect.

One of the ladies who went along had been to Waveland/Bay St. Louis before the storm had hit. Unlike any of us, she got to see what the city was like before Katrina took it away. Needless to say, she had a hard time with the devastation.

Camp Katrina will always be a part of me and I hope to return in the fall. August 29 will be the one-year anniversary of Katrina. It will be interesting to see the media coverage surrounding that date.

What worries me now is the upcoming hurricane season. What kind of storms will the coast suffer this time? How will the residents react?

I’d like to believe there were lessons learned from Katrina. Number one, understanding how dangerous and unpredictable Mother Nature can be and that we must be prepared.

Second, is the collectiveness and unity our country can have in a time of great need. This was definitely a test of how people can come together and help one another.

The other lesson learned should have been with the government response system. Even after 10 months, people are still struggling and will probably continue to for years to come.

Schools lost, businesses lost, jobs lost, roads lost, homes and lives lost. Much of this even money can’t buy.

I gained a lot from that trip. The things I saw, the gracious people I met, and most importantly, the handiwork of God.

What many may have long since forgotten, will stay with me forever, and for that I am grateful.

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