Hurricane Katrina

Welcome back.

Thanks Anne for alerting us to how your church is mobilizing relief for the city of New Orleans. Check out the letter from the pastor of her church ( Anne’s church) to get an idea of what they’re doing.

A couple of my friends, Tim and Stacey Bagwell, emailed me to let me know that they’re giving a portion of the revenue from their church marketing and web design business ( Dream churches) towards New Orleans relief between now and the end of the year. Niza walked into my office and told me we’re giving a portion of our CD sales ( doSul ) to the effort.

For fellow journalists (bloggers) on the ground check out

Both of these guys are students at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. I’m an alumni. Amy made an inspirational post on Niza’s blog about the opportunity that awaits the city in the wake of the storm.

Seize the moment.

Into the Mystic…

Alex McManus

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11 thoughts on “Hurricane Katrina

  1. Alex,
    I am part of a small group from NOBTS, including Joe Kennedy and other people on my xanga subscriptions, (didn’t realize you were alum. Is that how you know Jason? I interned under him this past summer. What an amazing guy.) that is helping Vieux Carre BC. It is in the French Quarter, one block north of Bourbon. When we began at the beginning of the semester, I think there were five members (my membership is still at Franklin Avenue BC under watch-care, and at home with Rolling Hills Community)

    You can e-mail the new pastor at VCBC, (He started in January) Greg Hand:

    From :
    Sent : Thursday, September 1, 2005 10:34 PM
    To :

    “Amy,

    Glad you are safe. Don’t depair… this is the first step in the revival
    process. There must be a purification to receive the Glory of God. Katrina means
    “pure”. Keep in touch through this and let’s see His glory come.

    Pastor Greg”

    We are also working with the guidance of the Day Center of Church Planting and Revitalization director at NOBTS, Dr. Jack Allen. The e-mail server is down for all NOBTS.edu addresses… so that’s not an option right now, but stay tuned.

    Thank you for all you are doing in the States and beyond. What a blessing. You might want to also call Jason Dukes. I know he still has a lot of contacts in NOLA.

    My heart is overwhelmed by the opportunities and needs and I’m thankful to be any part of it. I am so grateful.
    -Amy

  2. The Mystic Warriors are out there. Yesterday my sister called to tell me her friend, a home missionary, to the inner city of Dallas called her with a request. Jaime received a call from somebodycaresdallas.org. They told her they were going to be bussing people to Dallas as well and needed her help with accepting and distributing donations of water and food and to use her mission’s storage. So Jaime called my sister to get her to help write a press release. My sister Angie called me because neither of them have ever written a press release. I was chatting with Ginny and told Steve at the same time. He saw Sally online and started chatting with her. Within about an hour we had several people all over the Mystic helping a home missionary get the word out in Dallas. It’s happening….

  3. Isn’t it great to see something move from the abstract to the reality? the Mystic may be many things but praise God it is at its most basic a movement ready to respond to God’s leading and humanity’s need. I was thinking of Alex’s thoughts about the last 6 months. If he hadn’t seen the vision for this none of this networking could have taken place.

  4. My church is in Plano north of Dallas. Refugees are pouring into our area. Please be praying for a couple of outreaches… on Sunday one of our small groups is leading a cook out to supply a meal on Sunday to the 150 hurricane refugees staying at a hotel in our town.

    The other big deal here is that our church worship center may become a shelter for about 80 people. In our wealthy, comfortable, suburban city that would be a really barbaric thing for our people to step up to. I hope it happens so that we can help people in need and be changed ourselves in the process.

    I went to Red Cross training today for the relief effort. I wish I had been prepared BEFORE the event, but at least I’m ready to serve now. I was stuck by how the Red Cross is not afraid to ask a lot of people. They cast their vision and call people to serve in a big way. When is the church going to realize the importance of our mission and call people to volunteer for 12 HOUR SHIFTS?

  5. my friend mike had this idea at his site today(www.emergingpensees.blogspot.com):
    what if every church that has the money and space rented buses, sent them to the affected areas, filled them with people and housed them until they could get on their feet?
    what’s stopping us?

    i agree with him. right now the most immediate need for most of the stranded victims is food/water and REMOVAL from the area so they can begin to rebuild their lives. think of the impact on so many lives if followers of christ responded in this way on a massive scale. i know the idea needs developing(it would certainly present challenges), but this seems like one of the most immediate/effective things we could be doing as a community right now. what do you think?

  6. Alex,

    I have a friend who pastored a church along the Gulf Coast. He was working on a doctorate degree at NOBTS.

    He and his family were able to evacuate to Baton Rouge, but as far as he can tell, most of his church families lost everything. The church building is most likely gone, too.

    He wrote a little about it on his site http://www.elbourne.org.

  7. I think people just started hearing the word “refugee” and it stuck. I have changed my vocabulary over the weekend to “survivor” and if we host survivors in our church we’ll call them “guests”. I think many people just started using the word “refugee” without thinking. If people WERE thinking about the use of that word, I think they had the good intention of providing “refuge” to people– not the intention to make these precious people feel like they don’t belong in our country.

    Webster’s defines “refuge” in this way.

    The label that bugs me alot more than “refugee” is the following that I saw on a church website:

    “We are partnering … to provide food, shelter and other assistance to “the least of these.” ”

  8. On the Sunday, before the storm, I had gotten a ride to Houston out of New Orleans and was flying out to my paretns house. At the ticket counter I had to get them to put my laundry basket in a bag and explained, jokingly, that I was a refugee and had no opportunity to pack, but it’s obvious that we don’t fit the true definition.

    “The least of these” is definitely inappropriate for the context. Nothing like making yourself feel benevolent and “helping the little people”. I like to think that they didn’t mean it that way, but they didn’t think it through. Sigh

    I was talking to a lady with Baptist Desaster Relief and she said that the official term for them was “displaced desaster victims”. I think plan old “evacuees” is fine. Although displaced people fits, too.

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