Sunday, March 05, 2006

Sunday in Pascagoula -Katrina plus 6 months.

Note: Where I have put in a picture, you should be able to get it full size by doubleclicking on it although I have found at least one were that doesn't work -- not sure why.

After only 2 days of working at painting Sunday morning was a time to sleep late so I stayed in bed until 7:00!
We had been eating in the "mess hall" but we decided to "eat in" for breakfast. Partly because we weren't ready to face other people and partly because a busload of 65 college kids arrived Saturday evening and the lines have gotten much longer.

We went to services at 9:30 -- it was really neat having the bunch of "kids" there -- singing was great. It was multi-denominational group -- worshiping in a non-denominational service. Our common faith in and commitment to serving Jesus made it a very encouraging and uplifting experience.

In the picture, we are in on the left side about 3/4th's of the way back. Note the clothing in the back. The church is open most days for people to come in and get any clothing they need. It is well used and much appreciated in the community.

Following services they had "dinner on the grounds" so the lines for food took a while with around 150 people here. We had someone take a picture of us and John Sanders (the young man from Rhode Island that we had met on Saturday). We are standing on the steps of the kitchen/cafeteria. You can just see on the right the end of a long row of tables they had set up outside.

After eating I was talking to one of the members here - Rick - who works as an instrument repairman for the Chevron refinery. He lives a little north of Pascagoula so he escaped relatively unharmed - a rarity since many of the members live in a area that was flooded to some degree or another.

We had met a lady (Ann Lane) on Saturday who is a member here but lives in Ocean Springs -- note sure how far that is but it is right on the coast. Their house was at 25' above sea level and only experienced 3 inches of flooding -- but it was enough to require redoing the bottom half of the drywall and needing to replace a lot of furnishings. They have a Winnebago and we chatted a bit about RVing. After we had eaten on Sunday I was chatting with her husband Harry and he asked if we had seen the beach area. We said "no we hadn't although we were thinking of walking there (about 2 miles)" so he offered us a tour. What an experience. We had heard from a number of people that this had been a real showcase. Lots of older homes, fixed up some with special lighting. It was part of an evening out to go and take a drive along the Beach boulevard (shown above) and look at these homes.

To-day in about a 1 mile stretch there are perhaps a half a dozen of these homes still standing and the ones that are have sustained serious damage. Theysurvived because the water "blew through" -- knocked out the walls and just went through. (Look carefully at the picture on the left -- behind the tree on the right -- the whole first floor wall is gone and you can see clear through to the back yard.

If the walls held up against the storm surge - 25 foot wall of water is what I'm hearing - then the house was simply knocked over by the pressure. All that is left of most of them now is a cement pad or the occasional fireplace. It is interesting that the 150 year old oaks mostly survived. The ones that came down did so because they were uprooted by erosion from the flood waters (not by the wind)

Speaker at evening service was Rick Alligood who is a Campus minister for Campus Christian fellowship at U of North Carolina. He is associated with the Christian church. Gave an excellent talk about the need to tellpeople about the danger they are in, the need torespond to thatmessage and the full cycleofGod'scompassionwhen people do respond -- bassed on Jonah's preaching to Ninevah.

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