Tuesday, September 20, 2005

EVACUEES NOT REFUGEES!!!

I spent last night at our church
sort of playing host to some new friends from Louisiana. We have a family of about eleven people living with us at St. Paul at the moment. About three weeks ago, we all knuckled down and prepared to recieve about fifty evacuees from New Orleans. We began stockpiling supplies, bedsheets, food, toiletries, etc... Two weeks later, eleven people is all that we have taken in. I think some people have preferred to stay with family, others in hotels and still others have returned to Louisiana to search for loved ones. There is a possibility, however, that we'll start taking in more people as they get turned out of their hotels and their money runs out. We'll see...

I had a great time. Besides talking about the horrors of the flood and the even worse horrors of the aftermath, we talked about much more pleasant topics like eating rattlesnake and just how bad the Saints suck. They've been here two weeks and I think that they are starting to get a little frazzled. Willie, the matriarch of the family, is showing signs of stress related discomfort. The teenage boys, Jamar and Derrin are having a difficult time adjusting to a new school and new life. They never know from one day to the next just what fate is going to throw at them.

Still, they love to visit and talk and laugh. After a few minutes, I felt like I was sitting around the table at my grandmother's house in Orangeburg, SC. I bored all of them to death with the latest ultrasound pictures of my son and we talked about all kinds of stuff that had NOTHING to do with the flood or Katrina.

At about 12:00 midnight I went to rack out in one of the sunday school rooms. I slept great except that I woke up in the middle of the night convinced that someone was in the room with me... I swear, I think that they got ghosts up in that church!

2 comments:

blogalarm said...

James, please tell all your guests that the country has not forgotten about them, and that we won't forget about them.
After 9/11, we all trusted that government programs had been put in place to handle such catastophes--natural and man-made.
The example of Katrina scares us all, because it revealed that federal agencies--old and new, such as Homeland Security--designed to handle disasters are woefully inadequate.
I wish we could do more than comfort those whose lives have been damaged.
Give them our good wishes and our hope for their restoration and for a bright future.
Love, Mama

Aunt Marg said...

James--Thank God for your church and its people. I'm so glad the family that is staying there is all snug with Hurricane Rita coming. My heart aches so for all affected by Katrina and I pray for those soon to be affected by Rita. Our church has been busy sending supplies etc. Jim and I gave to the Red Cross---but I feel I have done nothing. It is a feeling of helplessness on my part. A drop in the bucket surely isn't very much. The only other thing I know to do is to keep all affected in my prayers. The family or families staying with ya'll are a fortunate group. They have you.