I started this blog to keep my church, friends and family updated on my year volunteering in Katrina recovery with the Presbyterian Church (USA). I've now signed on for a second year working in disaster recovery and another year living in Mississippi. It's getting good....

Friday, October 06, 2006

Home Visits Take One (10/5/06)

I left the comfort of 1304 Pass Road today to start my mission down here. Armed with a pile of yellow intake folders, I went out to visit 6 families that had called the Presbytery seeking structural assistance back in May or June. I didn't have much luck finding the homeowners today- missing address info, missing homeowners, missing street signs, etc. I was wandering around talking to neighbors and dropping off my little "Sorry we missed you" signs and I had all but given up on finding anyone, when I decided to go for one more stop: the home of an older gentleman who lives just a few blocks from HPC. I got to talking with him for a while....all about how he's lived in Gulfport his whole life, ridden out every storm that's hit these parts, and how Katrina scared him enough that he promises to leave two weeks before the next one hits. It was powerful to me- this man that had seen it all over the years, but that this one storm, this big one had changed him and so he had no desire to see it all again. I still don't know when or if we'll be able to help him rebuild his home, but I felt like today's visit certainly helped us both to rebuild a little of our faith. He needed someone to talk to- you could see it in his eyes. And I needed to feel useful. I needed to believe that we volunteers had been called down here to connect with folks and do more than hammer nails in walls. I have no idea what the plan is for me or for this community, but on days like today, I think it is enough just to have faith that there is a plan and that maybe we can get there together.

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