Sunday, August 31, 2008

EDOLA and EFCA on Gustav

Here is another update from the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana about Hurricane Gustav, as well as one from another organization I served with down that way, the Evangelical Free Church of America. I just don't know what to think about Gustav. It looks like it may well be worse than Katrina, and if NOLA takes another blast like that, maybe we should give up. I absolutely hate to say that, but I just don't know what to think. I'll tell you this, though, as much admiration as I may have for Governor Jindal, I am appalled at the state and local governments, especially Mayor Nagin, for offering no Shelter of Last Resort for those too disabled, too slow, too handicapped, or too out of touch to be aware of the official bus evacuation plans. It's inhumane. Nagin shouldn't have been reelected, and he should be kicked out of office.

My heart and my prayers go out to the Gulf Coast tonight.

Subject line: Safe in Baton Rouge

August 30, 2008
Hi all -

As you have probably heard, New Orleans is evacuating in preparation for Hurricane Gustav. We wanted to let you know that all of us in the rebuild program are safely in Baton Rouge. We have plenty of food, games, movies, and internet to occupy us, and building itself is bunker-like, so we should be fine through the storm.
We spent yesterday packing things up at the warehouse, checking with our homeowners to make sure they have a plan to get out of the city, and boarding up houses that we're in the middle of rebuilding. Several of our homeowners are relying on the city's buses and trains to evacuate and it sounds like that plan has been working well so far.

Of course, this is hard for our homeowners, for us, and no doubt for all of you who have helped New Orleans clean-up and rebuild. We know that there will be more work to do after this. We don't know what the city will look like when we get back. We're seeing exactly what you're seeing on TV, so we know about as much as you do. Hopefully, we will be able to go home soon.

We will keep you updated as best we can. You can check our website at to see how you can help. Right now, all we can do is hope and wait.

Sitting here, we've been thinking about how much we have done together over the last few years. We are lucky to have met and worked with all of you, to have built relationships with so many homeowners, and to have been part of the kindness that all of you have given to the city and its people. Whether we are able to go home next week or not, that kindness, and the knowledge that people from all over the country care for them, remains with our homeowners and with us. We'll keep hoping for the best, and please continue to keep New Orleans in your thoughts and prayers.

Katie, Pete, Amanda, Ross, Liz, and the rest of the rebuild team

We started early this morning with serious packing of our response trailers with chain saws, generators and everything you'd need for an evacuation and a hurricane aftermath. Our team met at 9am this morning for prayer and spent about an hour and a half finalizing our logistics. We are evacuating our staff of 18 adults and 12 kids. We expect to send an advance team to Grace Community Church in Pensacola later this afternoonthe remainder tomorrow morning.

We believe that there is a mission field that follows every crisis. Pray for the harvest. pray for workers. pray that we would be the eye of the storm, a place of calm and peace for those around us who are in turmoil.

Mark Lewis, Director

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