2016-06-30

Children Lost--and Found


The Los Angeles Times reported this amazing story out of Baton Rouge: "In the chaos that was Causeway Boulevard, this group of refugees stood out: a 6-year-old boy walking down the road, holding a 5-month-old, surrounded by five toddlers who followed him around as if he were their leader...They were holding hands. Three of the children were about 2 years old. A 3-year-old girl, who wore colorful barrettes on the ends of her braids, had her 14-month-old brother in tow. The 6-year-old spoke for all of them, and he told rescuers his name was Deamonte Love."

The children, who were feared to have either lost their parents or been abandoned in the storm, have been reunited with their parents after days at a Baton Rouge shelter. It seems that with the water rising and no food left, Love's parents had made the wrenching decision to put the children in a rescue helicopter whose pilot promised to return for them. It never came back. The 6-year-old took care of the others until they were found. Derrick Robertson, a Big Buddy mentor, said he doubted the children would be traumatized by the events. "I think what's going to stick with them is that they survived Hurricane Katrina," he said. "And that they were loved."

Making a Difference


Beliefnet user angelinbecoming posts that her church, Coral Baptist Church in Coral Springs, Florida, has found ways to contribute to the Katrina recovery effort beyond purely financial contributions. She writes:

"We have RV's that are basically huge kitchens on wheels, that travel to places all over the world where needed. The volunteers in these RV's make and produce 25,000 meals a day for all the victims, for all the rescue teams and provides them with all 3 meals for the day.... They also asked the entire church to come together and provide supplies for people such as generators for those that can afford to do so and for the rest of us we are asked to put together hygiene kits. These kits included anything from hair combs, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, famine products, wet wipes, tissues paper, trash bags, flash lights, batteries, candles, matches, hair bands, razors, shave cream, bug-off wipes and chap stick. I got together with a group of women yesterday to help them put together tons of these hygiene kits. I was so excited to see it come together. I dropped off two large tub full to the church. When I got there I saw many, many other's from members who also provided. The truck was filling up fast.

I pray all the time for God to use me for his good. Just use me where I am needed. God has placed this on me to be able to help out with my hands, my mouth and my heart. What an awesome feeling in such a sadden time."

Remembering the Smallest Details


Residents of Lafayette, Louisiana, which was largely undamaged by Hurricane Katrina, have mobilized in an inspiring way to help the victims of the storm. Barbara Hoffpauir, a Lafayette resident writing for Heartwarmers.com, describes the generosity of residents of time, money, and supplies. Hoffpauir's brother Henry and his wife Betty provided bedding to displaced persons seeking shelter. Betty said, "I went through and washed all the sheets to make sure they smelled nice. One lady said, 'This smells so good. It smells like home'."

Leaving on a Jet Plane


NBC News anchor Brian Williams reports on his blog that he was moved to see the Baton Rouge tarmac crowded with private jets that had been sent to evacuate families from the storm-ravaged region.

The Church Lives On


Rev. James Bo RobertsBecause of Hurricane Katrina, members of St. Mark's Church in Gulfport, Mississippi no longer have a building in which to worship. But, as they showed at a Sunday prayer service amid the rubble, the members of the Episcopal congregation are still a cohesive religious community. The Very Rev. James Bo Roberts, St. Mark's rector, told the more than 50 parishioners who had assembled for the service, "You are the spirit of St. Mark's Church. It's you who have to stand for Jesus. It's you who will bring us back as we once were."