I feel almost desperate in my attempt to educate people about practical ways they can aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina. I am so grateful for people, such as Lori Gonzalez and her family for their tireless and selfless efforts to bring supplies and people to the Gulf Coast.
Following is another e-mail I sent out (a few minutes ago):
Hey everybody! The video attached was taken by the team from Hope Chapel in Gulfport, Louisiana. When they set out on Tuesday, they had no idea what to expect. They just brought what they could and now are doing as much as they can to help. Unfortunately it's not enough. You can see the devastation in the video. And at www.Ugo4god.blogspot.com there are a couple audio posts with appreciation from Pastor Troy (our team brought him and his family a motor home to live in) and local people. There is also an evident need for more! One man was simply appreciative for dry shirts, but also explained some practical items they are still going to need for clean-up and rebuilding. Such as chainsaws, shovels, trashbags, gas and oil. Rudy (one of team members) called his wife during the church service tonight and when she asked if there was something she could relay to the rest of the congregation from him, he said "(Tell them to) Get Here!" The other thing they have seen is that the Red Cross is nowhere to be found in Gulfport, but the relief effort is being done by churches from all over the country who have rented RVs and trucks and trailers and brought as many supplies and workers as possible. (I also heard from my sister, Heidi, in Robertsdale, Alabama, that the Red Cross came and opened up shelters for refugees in her town and then left--the churches are truly doing the relief work: housing refugees, laundry, offering supplies, sending supplies by the truckload to other areas--she says that all the churches are coming together in this effort.) Hope Chapel intends to continue to send more teams as possible. If you can, GO!
Please check out the blog (www.ugo4god.blogspot.com). There is so much still needed. Not just clothes, but all sorts of everyday practical items, such as diapers, carseats, chairs, toilet paper, feminine products, sheets, garbage bags, towels, soap, shampoo, brushes, gas cans, and the list could go on and on. Also needed desperately: people and vehicles (please let me know if you can or know somebody who can donate or drive a vehicle or trailer with supplies).
If possible, I think I will try to go.
If you can help in any way, please contact me, I will be glad to connect you with the appropriate person, pick up donations, whatever.
Continue to pray, please.
God, continue to rain your blessings down. Lord, we are amazed that even what we normally think of as set backs, are blessings in disguise. Lord, we are so amazed that so many people have given that we are desperate to find vehicles to carry all the supplies to Gulfport. Please, please, please show us your way.