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Katrina Memories

Rode out Katrina’s aftermath in Waldheim, LA while planting Hope Church, between Covington & Bogalusa, LA. The community lost about 30% of its trees. A few memories still stuck in my head:

  • The weatherman saying, “a little jog to the west.”
  • Preaching Sun, Aug 28, 2005, to a small group of people who mostly had their bags packed for a nervous trip north.
  • Seeing my family drive away into the endless stream of cars heading north.
  • The sound of generators running from miles around.
  • The smell of pine sap, sweat, and chain saw bar oil. It’s forever burned into my nostrils.
  • The trees. So many trees….
  • 10 weeks without electricity.
  • MRE’s and Southern Baptist cooked pastalaya.
  • Countless volunteers (I wish I could remember all their names) who cooked, cut, constructed, & deconstructed, hugged, cried, sweated, & bled with Gulf Coast folks for more than a year.
  • Rice crispy treats!!! Our church received a call, “Can you take the contents of a truck from TN?” “What’s in it?” “Not sure.” It was a 40′ truck load of rice crispy treats. Took forever to get rid of them. Still have night mares about rice crispy treats.
  • Saying good-bye to friends who had to move away.
  • The heart breaking sights and sounds in the city of New Orleans & the Gulf Coast of Mississippi.
  • Seeing the heartbreak of St. Bernard Parish residents as volunteers pulled the flooded, molded contents of their homes to the curb.
  • The day my family came home :)).
  • Laying down in my bed for the first night with electricity and realizing the trees were no longer there to cover the street lights. Couldn’t sleep for a week.
  • Hearing my atheist neighbor ask, “What is God trying to tell us, Pastor?”
  • Hearing people say Katrina was a good thing because it helped me realize I needed God and needed others. (Also, see my post on What’s worse than a Cat 4 Hurricane).
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