Four months after Katrina

One of the counselors I work with came into the office this morning and told the director, "...they really feel this will bring on one of the greatest mental health crisis' ever in our country because of the long term homelessness, loss, recovery work..." She was referring to her meetings with the head of the American Association of Christian Counselors. She orchestrated a meeting of counseling facilities here in the Katrina affected areas and got them all brain storming about how to deal with what is just now beginning to show-up; sever Post Tramatic Stress. I don't know all the details but hearing her say that just affirms what I have believed ever sense the day I went to the New Orleans airport to help that one time; this will leave a lasting effect on people that many around this country can not even imagine. People like Denise, (that is the counselor I have been referring too) get it and want to hear Gods voice on what they are to do. Organizations like PRC Compassion, which was formed due to this tragedy, they get it. And it is overwhelming most of the time for those working to meet the needs. Christians are being His feet and hands like never before.

One story; PRC got a hundred or so volunteers together to go down and help rebuild a church that was completely destroyed by Katrina. After the volunteers left, the insurance adjuster came and estimated that the work done by the volunteers saved that church $750,000. dollars! That is a lot of money saved on the road to rebuilding. Imagine your a little old lady, you lived in New Orleans and your church family was all you had, the hurricane came, you had to be shipped off to a distant relative in another state and then a couple days later you find out that not only is your house gone but your city is destroyed and the church you have been a member of your entire life, is gone. The staff and members are scattered all over the country. I saw this, I looked up a church that is affiliated with PRC, the lead pastor is in Memphis, a P.O. box in Atlanta is where you could send correspondence,the youth leader in Texas, etc. If that had been my little grandmas church she would have felt completely lost. How many little old grandmas and grandpas are living this right now? We all need our church body, but that is just one example of what this storm took from so many people. I heard a staggering statistic the other day from a high ranking government official; 250,000 homes have to be completely rebuilt! Did you catch that, two hundred and fifty thousand!! That's hard to get your head around, at least it is for me.

I know it's now back to life as usual for most of the country and there is need everywhere but as my pastor asked the people who read his blog, I am asking you, would you consider a missions trip to New Orleans? If your a high schooler, college student, church group, anyone, you can hook up with PRC and get dates to bring a group down to work on churches, houses, clean-up etc. We are always willing to house people and I know of many others that are too.

The mental health issue may be the worst this country has ever seen because of Katrina, but I know God is gonna shine. He is using this to make us serve Him as He asked in Matthew 25:35-40 and to show those in need His great love. Race, economics, all that are things men use to divide but God see's none of it and God's children haven't either. We just have to continue to take care of business, get what needs to be done done and it will be a shining experience for all.

A year from now when politicians are busy trying to place blame, remodeling offices, and trying to get reelected, we the church, have to be meeting the mental, physical and spiritual health needs of the victims of Katrina. I strongly believe the church can handle the task God has put before us.


"The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it."
John 1:5

Comments

Anonymous said…
Carole,
Good entry, very interesting.
I have one question, what is the
diagnosis code for Post Traumatic
Streeee Syndrome? :)
Anne Smith
Ellen said…
I believe the victims of Katrina would feel a little better knowing that their lives are still recognized as important and should continue to be featured in the media and that they are NOT forgotten. Where is the media? The waters receded and so did the coverage?

Here in south Florida we were hit by Wilma; nothing compared to Katrina of course, but does anyone know how many people have a blue plastic tarp on their roof?

I can't even get an ESTIMATE for the damage on my house, roof, screen enclosure, privacy fence yada yada yada. Insurance adjuster wants the estimates faxed because he's not coming out and this is ALLSTATE, not some fly by night insurance company. I don't know if my screen enclosure which tore the fascia off my house, will come crashing down with the next gust of wind. I can't get a screen enclosure person out for an estimate even if I pay them. Forget getting a roofer here...unless I have $40,000 and need a new one. And I'm one of the LUCKY ones.

My friend lost part of her roof and called FEMA immediately after Wilma, and was told "she wasn't in a disaster zone" OMG! Did they think she blew the roof off her house herself? A single mom of a child with diabetes who has the biggest heart of anyone on the planet. Victim of Wilma and then victim of FEMA. Thankfully she persisted, was resourceful and managed to get some protection from the Army Corps of Engineers.

I love how Oprah has the "registry" to buy people who are in need very concrete gifts. While everyone obviously needs the emotional support, knowing someone out there has something to give, may help. I have 20 boxes of books I can donate...do you know where I can ship great children's books that will be welcomed and loved?
Carole Turner said…
Ellen, You could contact PRC Compassion, the link is on here, they may could either take the books or find out who could. A school in N.O. might want them too and they may know how to get ahold of them.

I was shocked at how many homes in Florida still have the blue tarps on their roofs. You guys have got hit so many times it's crazy!
Anonymous said…
Your right Carole when you say God is MAKING us serve. That was the first thought that came to my mind when Katrina hit. The comfort zone is being removed and i dont like it!