Good evening! Hopefully all of my Pennsylvania people are not up as late as me :)
We finally moved into our new house! We're loving it and it's definitely a blessing :) This weekend Katie, Ronnie, Jen and I walked around the French Quarter and ate amazing food! We walked a block of Bourbon Street and that was more than enough for me. That would be the last time I go there. Yikes.
This week I got a real picture of what New Orleans is like 6 years after Hurricane Katrina. I was privileged with the opportunity to go to job site assessments with Katie and some of the construction staff. Job site assessments are made in order to meet the homeowner, survey the damage that needs to be fixed and give them estimates on what the materials will cost. With Crisis Response, we provide the labor and the homeowner provides the materials. My job was to take pictures and listen to the homeowner's stories. What I heard was incredible.
I met Ms. Corin, who has been ripped off by contractors and has had thieves break into her home and steal her plumbing, wiring and A/C unit. As Katie and I walked through the house Ms. Corin showed us the traps she's made to keep out intruders. She has done everything she can to fix up her home by herself but she has reached a point where she needs outside help. She lives in her room upstairs and has almost all of her belongings in one bedroom where she sleeps on a mattress on the floor. Ms. Corin was so kind and so grateful. She is so excited for her house to be rebuilt and she wants her home to be in one piece again.
I also met James who has been doing his best to provide a nice home for his grandmother and his two darling nieces, Emmanuela and Esther Ruth. He repaired and restored the inside but he can't tackle the huge job of the exterior. The entire two story house needs painted. And it's a big house. I was able to play and hang out with the two little girls who were just so cute and outgoing! Emmanuela is going into 5th grade and she plays the sax. In fact, she's going to band camp this week. Esther Ruth was a sassy little thing who jumped rope with me. They were just so adorable and I enjoyed talking to them!
It is so hard to see these homeowners in their destroyed homes. They've waited so long for someone to come along side them and help them. Some people say that the people of New Orleans have no motivation and if they really wanted their houses fixed, they would do it themselves. The truth is, they look at their houses and yards that are filled with trash, debris, water damage and mold, and they see a job so big that there is no way one person can handle it. The hardest part of our job was telling the homeowners that they have to wait even longer to see their houses rebuilt. Crisis Response simply does not have the amount of volunteers and staff it needs to keep up with multiple job sites at once. After 6 years, the volunteer response has slowed down considerably. When the rest of the country has moved on and assumed that all is well with New Orleans, there are still 50,000 homes that need to be rebuilt. 50,000 people that need to be loved.
Please pray for more volunteers and long term staff for TouchGlobal Crisis Response.
"Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Matthew 9:38