Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Devastation in our part of the world

When we watched the tsunami victims last December, our eyes were opened to the power and destruction that water has. The destruction was halfway around the world in places that many of us have never been, in a culture that is foreign to us.

This week the destruction happened in our part of the world. Water and wind were the culprits to destroying lives and structure, in towns built along a part of the country we love - for its inviting beauty and recreation. A week ago, people's lives were routine with no thoughts of a hurricane destroying lives, property, and livelihood. Our television screen is covered with heartbreaking stories of what happened to them because of Katrina.

There are people who will not have a home when they return to what WAS home. People have no jobs to go to to make a living. Children were uprooted from schools. One teacher who had a new job in New Orleans got in contact with her principal. Her principal told her that she didn't know when school would open again and not to worry about coming back. Some children and teachers will be absorbed by school systems. Some will never return back because there is nothing for them to return to - no home, no school, no job.....

Churches, businesses, schools and homes will need to be rebuilt.

Some people evacuated and are here at our doorsteps in the motels in this area. Many of the car tags are from Mississippi and Louisiana. They are fortunate they have the resources (and they may be minimal at best now) to be here. Others had no place to go with no means of getting there. They are the ones in the streets, in the superdome that was ill prepared for taking that many people at short notice, and with the many needs of the people. Though it was set up as a special needs shelter, little did they know of the MANY needs that people brought. Now it is unfit for them to stay and thousands must be moved to other locations.

We have much to be thankful for today. We have much to share to those less fortunate. There are ways we can help. The American Red Cross is familiar to us all. Another is Episcopal Relief and Development. On their web site "ERD provides assistance in times of disaster; rebuilds devastated communities and offers long-term program development solutions to fight poverty." These two are one of many agencies that can provide resources to those during times of crisis, of times that many of us have never experienced.

Last Friday, Katrina was headed in our direction. It could have been us. However, it IS us - our brothers and sisters in this part of the world, at our doorstep.

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