Pass Christian Mississippi - Aug through Sept 2006
This trip happened quickly and very few probably even know it occurred as it was not planned. We were asked by Restoration Ministries to come down and not to broadcast it and to keep it small. Thus, Micah, Josiah, Nathan Kissiling and I left Sunday evening August 27th 2006 for Pass Christian. We worked primarily on Leonard & Patsy Jordon’s home. We put in the sinks, toilets, overhead lights & ceiling fans, put on the trim, door & electrical hardware, a little drywall taping, sanding, and double coated the entire interior. Leonard had just had a heart operation and Patsy had survived being hit by a train in her car a few years earlier, so neither would have been able to all that needed to be done. They are a wonderful couple who are trusting the Lord, for the restoration of their home, as well as their health. Leonard and I had a great time listening to many teaching tapes as we worked on their home. Leonard kept trying to help us, but we frequently had to say, “Thanks Leonard, but please sit down and do what the doctor told you, Patsy is really going to get mad if you have another heart attack.”
We were also able to obtain enough tents from AmeriCorp to house 300 people in future disaster relief efforts. These tents come complete with plywood inserts and heating & air conditioning units. Praise God, we have been given provision for the next time disaster hits. These took a very long time to take down and we are storing half down South and half up North, so that we will have two points of departure nationally.
The reason we had to keep it quiet was because there was the possibility of President Bush coming to one of our job sites and the White House staff does not want to broadcast the president’s whereabouts until right before he arrives. I met Air Force One along with Jim Sullenger head of Restoration Ministries. We transported the Bush stenographer to where Laura Bush was speaking and Jim went on to a special event in Gulfport. I got on a bus and was the tour guide host for many CEOs and Charitable Organization heads. As we drove around Pass Christian I described what had happened when Hurricane Katrina hit and many of the personal testimonies and stories, which had been shared with me. I showed them many of the homes we had worked on and introduced them to the families we were able to help. We spent the majority of time at the Jordan home, where I made a short speech commemorating the one year anniversary and testifying to the brave and tenacious spirit of the Pass Christian people. I also announced that Isaiah 58:12 had received a $1000 check from Alticor in Grand Rapids, which we used in the Pass Christian effort. During my speech I was asked, “With only 18% of the people back in their homes after a year’s time, how do you deal with such devastation?" My answer was, "One home, one family, one soul at a time."
When reflecting on this trip, I find it amazing that with all the tremendous effort that went forth to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina by so many people, and organizations, most of which are much larger and better financed, than Restoration Ministries and Isaiah 58:12; that the White House would even have been aware of us. Now that’s a miracle. It is a testimony to what a group of churches and committed believers can accomplish, when they are simply obedient to listen, to that small soft voice of the Lord suggesting a course of action. This all sprang from four pastors and myself sitting at a breakfast in a small church the Saturday after Hurricane Katrina hit. One of the pastors responded to that small voice and suggested why we don’t go to where the government isn’t able to respond. All of us sensed that what was what God wanted, but didn’t have a clue where to start. Five days later, 18 people, 3 cars, 2 trucks with trailers filled with provisions were on our way to Mississippi. When the Lord gives us a vision, He generally does not include a Mapquest. We need to simply walk out that vision in faith, step by step. We should never despise small beginnings or compare ourselves to the task he calls us too, because it not about us. Whatever He calls us to, He will give us the provision we need to accomplish it. Thank you again, to all who have contributed to Isaiah 58:12 and the continuing relief effort. Apparently, even the world has taken notice.