I’ve been putting off writing about where I have been the past few weeks. It’s not that I don’t want to tell about it, it’s just that there’s so much to tell.
The week before the trip (the week of July 4) was a whirlwind of laundry, work, packing and errands. It was almost a relief to show up at the church early Saturday morning for the actual trip.
A group of 15, ranging in age from 12 to 89, made an approximately 20 hour trip over the course of the weekend to arrive in Pascagoula, Mississippi, ready to work – and work we did! As the homeowner said, “They ain’t playin’!”
Yet with as much as we accomplished last week there is so much more to do, not just at the home at which we worked, but all along the Gulf Coast. The destruction still visible there is so unbelieveable that it staggers the imagination to think that it has been nearly a year since Hurricane Katrina ripped through the area.
We took a side trip on Friday down the coast to New Orleans where the destruction had a different look and feel. It was sobering to think that the areas in which we were driving had been underwater and that the highway on which we had been driving had actually been a place where people had been stranded for days as they made the climb from the waters below.
Each day had its brighter sides – getting to know the homeowner, visiting the ice cream shop, going to beach (such as it was) to watch brilliant sunsets and generally hanging out with the group.
One thing that I think I will remember forever is the little insight into the storm that our homeowner shared with us during our devotion time one morning. I read the passage from Genesis in which God describes his covenant with Noah and places the rainbow in the sky as a sign of the covenant. I said that I didn’t know if there was a rainbow after the hurricane and, before I could finish the sentence, our homeowner said there was – and she was very emphatic and enthusiastic about it.
She also seemed enthusiastic and appreciative of the next observation that I made – we are seeing the rainbow today in the people of different sizes, shapes, colors and whatever who are coming to help the coast recover.
In a way, we, too, have become the rainbow living out the promise of God.