“…Gurlfriend, since we escaped from the storm I just had to call you and let you know hows wez been.
Wez been living in this here Cajun dome on cot number 257.
Me and my chillens was so frightened. We stood on the roof for days shouting, wez needs help! Wez needs help! And they finally rescued us and transferred us to this here dome.
And gurl…I can’t tell you how scared wez been. My mamma, you know she’s got the diabetes and she can’t get her insulin and wez don’t know if she’s gonna live or die!
But there was one bright spot, wez got our FEMA checks. So I gots my hair done. I gots my nails done and I gots me a new Louie Batton!
But since the storm I have found myself in a most unfortunate circumstance. I done learned I am pregnant with twins! I have decided to name them Cajun Do’me….that’s D-O comma to the top M-E and FEMA, cuz it’s gonna take them both 8 months to get here.
So gurlfriend, if youz wants to be contacting me, just come to the Cajun Dome, cot number 257 and there’s might just be a little something under the tree from my FEMA check to you!”
…and actual conversation overheard by a nurse friend serving at the Dome.
We laugh every time she reenacts this conversation with her Cajun accent. We need the laughter!
Since Katrina, escape has become an obsession. Escape from the traffic. Escape from over crowded stores. Escape from the destruction. Escape from reality and unfortunately escape from life. The real death toll in the aftermath of Katrina will never be recorded as storm related in the annals of history.
Katrina has shaken the foundations of the Gulf Coast. Doctors are prescribing anti-depressants to nearly 89% of their patients; people who have never taken an aspirin are clinging to hope artificially. Tragically, many are no longer fighting, they just quit. We now have the highest suicide rate in the nation.
How do you help? How do you tell people who have lost everything and see no future, that Christ is their hope? How does the Church bring life in the midst of so much death and destruction?
I do not know.
My own faith has been greatly challenged. When we evacuated and heard the initial reports, we did not know what we would find when we returned. We found we had lost our home. The reality of loss rises each day. Our entire community is gone. Our area is forever changed. It is no longer the place we had become familiar and comfortable with. What we knew as “normal” is gone.
And honestly, that is good news!
But how do you rebuild? How do you put together so many lives in an “instant” mind-set society? Everyone initially saw Katrina as a minor inconvenience, not a life altering event. Now that the reality of life after “the storms” has had time to set in, how do you reach people with the life-giving hope when they are so angry and bitter? How do you inspire people who have lost everything and trudge daily around a mountain of insurance claim red tape?
I do not know.
I do know this, despite everything, I am so thankful to be living in America. If this had been any other nation, any assistance we received would have been foreign aid. But because a few individuals gathered together over 200 years ago, prayed, fought and paid a high price, a new nation was conceived…a United States was born!
When tragedy hit the Gulf Coast, within hours hundreds of church members came pouring into our area however they could get here with supplies to help us begin again. Where else could that kind of relief effort been amassed before any government intervention?
Only in America!
We in America have SO much to be thankful for. Our founding parents paid an unbelievably high price to escape the clutches of tyranny. Only people of faith and vision could have had the endurance to birth a nation.
Thank you for your prayers, your aid – both financial and physical – and pray that the local church will help survivors find hope and that our local politicians divine direction and vision to make this “reconstruction” the greatest in our history!
…and maybe those twins can be renamed “Faith and Hope!”
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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