Saturday, December 28, 2013

We've Arrived!!

We have made it safely to New Orleans!! 
We are all so thankful for safe travels!!  
After we made it to the mission house and settled in we got to meet the "house mom" Rachel. She's the one that helps take care of the mission house while no one is here. 

Now Rachel, is one amazing woman. 

Not only did she bring us a HUGE pot of her tasty gumbo, 

but she shared her story with us too. 

Rachel and her husband Cliff had 2 children, and one on the way when Katrina came. They, and their close family evacuated together before the storm hit. They ended up in Texas, disconnected from the media during the hurricane. They heard through the grapevine that the leveys had broken, but they weren't sure what that meant. 
It took weeks before Cliff was even allowed back into New Orleans. Rachel had sent a list of things for Cliff to grab from the house while he was there. They had no understanding of what had happened. Their house had been under 9 feet of water. All of their belongings dislodged, destroyed, damaged. There was no bringing belongings back to Texas with him. 
It was 8 months before Rachel was able to see her house again. Even then, it was still under a foot or two of mud and debris. Yet when Rachel gave birth to her daughter,  she insisted on bringing her "home". To their home. So that's what they did. They went straight from the hospital to the house, stuck the "It's a girl!" sign in the mud, snapped a picture, and kept on driving. They had a long road ahead of them.    

As their family moved from place to place, God was watching over them through it all.  It was amazing to hear Rachel tell us the story of how they literally tore down, and rebuilt their home. Bulldozers clearing away the mud, so folks could get to their homes. The piles of trash, taller than houses lining the streets. Truck after truck towing away debris. Power washing every stud and acid washing the floors. From every stud, brick, wire, piece of Sheetrock, and shingle, to now new additions of extra bedrooms for new children!  Now, almost 9 years after Katrina, they are now a family of 7, living in THEIR HOUSE in New Orleans. They continue serve God by serving others who come to help rebuild this relentless city. 

As Rachel was finishing her story she said, "We are unnaturally attached to our house."  Of course you are Rachel, but what I see, is you are also unnaturally connected to our God! And that is what makes you and your family amazing.  

I am so thankful to Rachel and Cliff for sharing their story with us. We are all excited to start our work for the week! 
We just learned about a new opportunity to serve that we didn't plan on! And we are gonna take advantage of that! But you'll have to stop by the blog tomorrow to find out more about that. ;-) 

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