Relief efforts

Would someone please ask Jason Barnard if it's okay if I post some of his emails -- 'cause I am!

I'm sure the men that travelled to south Louisiana this weekend can verify that there is simply so much to do. I'm also sure it's tempting to do nothing. I've seen blog after blog of efforts to help folks. Little pockets of people being Jesus to hurting people. "Believing Thomas" from Mississippi can tell you how people can help. "Out Here Hope Remains" is a minister in Mississippi and also has opportunities for help -- in his home as well as his church building. These folks and lots more have stories to tell of servants coming their way. Jason Barnard reported some from the weekend trip:

There was plenty for us to do but we were frustrated in not knowing who to help
first. We ended up cutting trees off of homes and and out of the yards of
brothers and sisters. We delivered generators from WFR relief ministries. We
were unable to bring enough gas for them to operate long. The gas lines at the
few stations that are operating are unbelievable. The damage was mind-boggling
considering cost and how much life has changed for them.

I was very impressed with the Tammany Oaks preaching minister, Todd Voght. You could tell he was great at counseling and praying with those who were distraught. Their needs are overwhelming. Messages we were asked to convey from Slidell and Mandeville were that they had plenty of food and water at this time. They need people that can come with campers(self-sufficient), electrical knowledge, GASOLINE!!(to go home on and LEAVE), Ice, chainsaws, rope, ladder, etc. Tractors with front-end loaders would be very helpful in some areas. Bobcat skidders would be very useful as well. They are busy and overwhelmed. One elderly lady needed someone with special equipment to remove the tree off her house. One guy wanted to charge her $4,500!!!! If someone has a cherry picker or that type of equipment
it would be very useful in the Mandeville area. I didn't see the Slidell area
because we were told that you couldn't enter. The brothers from Slidell that
came over and got supplies from us said that is not true. We already had some
commitments and couldn't help them. They said brothers and sisters who had 6
inches of water in their homes were thanking God that it was not 7. Those who
lost their homes were thanking God that they didn't lose their lives. . .

So many seem to be in disbelief at the amount of work that is needed
with this catastrophe. We were sad that we couldn't do more and Micah Harper(one
of our elders) challenged us to remember that in this disaster each one of us
can only do a little but as we continue to unite God will do so much more. Let's
encourage one another to do what we can with love for our Father and for one
another. Let's be very thankful. Those of us who went down to Mandeville feel we
have returned to a paradise. Thank God for coffee, water from a faucet, sewage
system, gasoline lines that do not require a half a days wait, hot food, a bed,
and air conditioned shelter to rest where there is no fear of looting.

May God
Open Our Eyes in Knowing How Best To Share That Temporary Paradise with

Jason Barnard

Forsythe Church of Christ

P.S. There are numerous great
ministries assisting the many efforts to bless those who are suffering from
Hurricane Katrina. If you desire to send funds to assist our efforts, our elders
are willing to oversee those funds being channeled to the numerous needs that we
continue to encounter. Contributions can be sent to Forsythe Church of Christ
Hurricane Relief 2101 Forsythe Avenue, Monroe, LA 71201

People are still going and coming from devastated areas -- leaving jobs and families to help people that need it. Keep those people and their families in your prayers as you pray for the victims, as well as the guidance to know what God is calling you to do.


Anonymous said...

What an awesome God we serve. . .we see the outpouring of love, support, and humanity here in Houston now bursting at the seams with an approximate 250,000 evacuees being housed in Mega-Shelters, smaller shelters, churches, and private homes. I was unable to attend church Sunday a.m. due to being home with Victoria, but there were 25 responses and one baptism--all refugees who are staying in the family life center at church--all needing prayers.


An elder from Montana gave me a card after I had left there the summer I did missions. It had a picture of Holly Hobby holding a kitten. In two different colors of print was written the opposing conversation. . .

I wish I had a million kittens.

What would you do with a million kittens?

I would love them and feed them and take care of them.

How would you take care of a million kittens?

One at a time. . .

We can all help one person at a time.


Anonymous said...

Sarah -

Believing Thomas found you somehow tonight and emailed me your blogsite to tell me you posted yesterday concerning my home congregation, Tammany Oaks, in Mandeville. I came here to "check you out" and want to sincerely and profusely thank you for doing YOUR part to share with those you know our needs at Tammany Oaks and surrounding areas and the efforts being made on our behalf.

I was forced to leave Slidell (where I live) due to serious health problems, but am doing everything in my means from here at my mom's in Abilene, Texas to help all of those I left so reluctantly behind (including my dear husband who is just up the road from Slidell in Picayune, MS).

If you and your readers will go to my blog, "Finding Direction, and read forward from Saturday, August 27 to today, you will follow my journey through the darkness and stsorm to find God's light in all of this.

I am up late this night (it's nearly midnight), still working away trying to do all I can do to help all of those back home who so desperately need help (including dear JD at "Out Here Hope Remains."

Thanks for all you are doing. Keep it up. God will bless you for doing so.

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