I have lots to say about that trip: my emotions and feelings when the plane landed - putting me on the same ground as my kiddo, the beauty of the Colombian people we were with, how my only hope was a 10 year old little girl when we hopped in the car with a ridiculous cabbie, and my short stint in a local Colombian hospital. The LORD used all of these things for His good, His glory - and I can't wait to tell you about each of them.
I remember in the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina (no, I haven't switched gears - hang with me, please). I honestly didn't know what was going on - all I knew was that my husband was supposed to travel from Tennessee to NOLA on a Sunday for a Monday morning job interview, in anticipation of moving to NOLA a few months earlier than we had planned. We were informed that there wouldn't be an interview that day because Katrina demanded a city-wide evacuation.
We waited in anticipation and fear and worry for the next several days/weeks...pulling up any and every bit of information from the internet of what was going on in the place we wanted to soon call home. I remember working with some evacuees who were brought by Greyhound bus to the next country over from mine and feeling the emotional shock as one after one, broken people stepped off of a bus having lost everything - some having lost everyone in their family. I clung to my computer and television in those days craving any bit of information. I already had a love for the city I knew little about.
And now I find myself there, again. I spent the weekend worshiping, teaching, serving, loving, and being loved by these people...
And I wait anxiously as I hear about waist-high flooding, 25,000+ people in this town and church being displaced - having lost everything. As the rains keep pouring down in the mountains, causing the river to rise continuously.
I remember after Katrina, that all I wanted to do was get to NOLA, help some how, do something...and now all I want to do is get on the first plane back to Colombia and go serve my friends, my brothers and sisters in Christ. I want to hold them, love them, and cry with them.
I pray for the church and Pastor Manuel who have opened the doors as a shelter. I pray for at least one family...a mom, her son, and grandchildren who lost everything. I pray for a new Christian - "J" - who was to be baptized this weekend. at the church....and has now lost everything in the waist high water in his neighborhood.
I remember what it looked like when my husband and I came to Slidell on a rebuilding mission trip a few months following Katrina...and I have those same pictures in my mind of that same type of devastation and loss and heartbreak now for this beautiful town.
"Brothers of the Louisiana Church."
That picture was on the prayer wall of the church.
And now, we pray for "Hermanos de la Iglesia Colombia."
Please join us in that prayer.