Sunday, August 29, 2010

Greetings 5 Years After Katrina: August 29, 2010, Blessings

A years worth of hard work on a new dream home - all lost. All tools, supplies, materials, every bit of paper work, certificates or memorabilia that indicated that we were in business for 35 years - gone. 85 years of anything belonging to my newly widowed mother including her home - gone. And over 100 years of buildings and family "treasures" stored in them that could never be replaced - gone. Family and friends - devastated as well. You could say all was lost.

As for Waveland and surrounding areas, we have a long way to go to be restored. And it will never be restored the way it was. We are still somewhat devastated. Our main shopping areas have not been rebuilt and the buildings remain gutted. We had at least 4 grocery stores before the storm and still there is only one. There is no bowling alley, skating rink, nor movie theater and shopping of any kind is very limited. Our roads are completely torn up with so many pot holes they have ruined our shocks on our cars and everything else in it rattles. We still are waiting for new sewer lines and water lines to be installed and the pipes lay everywhere along the roads so the grass cannot be cut. People just left their homes or land where homes were and the grass and trees are out of control. All in all it is pretty ugly and nothing like the beautiful little seacoast town it once was.

The area has 5000 families still without housing. And a recent poll showed that more than 30% of the people on the coast are either stressed or very depressed. And now enter the BP oil spill. Dead fish, sea turtles, dolphins and other sea life washed up on shore along with birds covered in oil all over the news. All fish and seafood suspect for contaminants contrary to what they tell us. And so many people out of work with the recession and the oil spill. They are asking, what next? They cannot take anymore. An area that was not fully recovered from one storm - hit again.

But if anyone had told us on August 29th that that hurricane would turn out to be one of the greatest blessings of our lives - well, we would have been very skeptical to say the least. Now the Lord did hint at it right after the storm in some of the scriptures that He gave us in Jeremiah 29-33rd chapters, but He also wanted to surprise us. Isn't that just like Him! He takes our tragedies, our sorrows, our "storms" and turns them into pure joy. Miracles. Wonders. Blessings. Awe. That's what the past 5 years have been watching Him at work. And we wouldn't trade it or go back to life before the way it was for anything. We are so grateful for being able to take this ride on the wings of our Lord.

And it isn't over. No. God is still working. He isn't through with Waveland yet. And we are so thankful that we are a small part of what He is doing. We are fully ready to be used by Him to continue the work still left to be done. Are you?