Herald Journal Columns
March 1, 2006, Enterprise Dispatch

'You are blind if you can't see God down here'


This is becoming quite the experience.

I have never been on a mission trip. I’ve never been on a week-long trip with 21 people I just met.

I came out of my comfort zone into a camp it Mississippi. I had no idea what to expect.

The camp is more sufficient than I thought it would be. It’s based in what used to be a NAPA store. We sleep in bunk beds in the back.

A kitchen is set up with refrigerators, grills, and ovens. Bulks of food have been donated so we never goes hungry.

Every night after dinner, people talk about what happened during the day. What they did, whom they helped and what they learned.

Al Nagel said it best, “You are blind if you can’t see God down here.”

Amongst the disaster and the people’s livelihoods dwindled down to a 12-foot FEMA trailer, how could a person not feel lost? But the people do find hope when a team comes to help them with a job that is so overwhelming.

People may wonder why it’s taking so long for the clean-up. Some people are still waiting for a FEMA trailer six months after the storm.

They have nothing. They don’t have tools. They might not even have neighbors anymore because they abandoned their homes.

I can’t stress enough, how bad it is here. This week is the six-month anniversary. Katrina hit August 28. The media doesn’t talk about it anymore but it’s all over the news down here. No one wants to hear it anymore.

Well, just because you don’t hear it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. And not talking about it, makes it seem it’s all been done with and it’s all been taken care of. It’s so far from being taken care of.

I wonder, with the hundreds of thousands of troops in Iraq, why can’t there be some here. Even a hundred troops could do so much is such a small amount of time.

This is here, in America. These are our people. Yet they are being forgotten. It boggles my mind to think what people could be doing if they were only here to see what has happened.

All I know is if this happened to me, I could only hope and pray that someone like this team would come and help me. It’s about helping your neighbors, even if they are a thousand miles away.

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