A Story from The Gulf Coast

From Alan Cross:

“Andrew, I am from New Orleans originally and my family lives near the Mississippi Gulf Coast in Picayune, MS. I embarked on an effort to get to my family and hometown as quickly as I could, but it took me several days. In the doing, I took around 30 people and several trucks full of supplies. We opened a shelter on the Gulf Coast with the Red Cross that is now one of the most effective shelters there and is servicing 2 hospitals and 6 nursing homes. The shelter has fed around 1500 people and is housing a 150 in its first couple of days. I was able to rescue my aging grandmother from evacuation to unknown parts, repair my father’s house from damage from 4 trees falling on it, and evacuate him to Montgomery, AL, where I live. I just got back and we’re going to keep at this for the forseeable future. I say all of this to say, that it started with me deciding on Monday I had to get to my family and help them. Others heard and wanted to come along. God was in it.”

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“When we arrived at the Red Cross headquaters on Friday, they told us to set up a shelter at a Lutheran church. I asked them how they wanted it done. They were completely overwhelmed and just said, “Make it happen.” I want to encourage everyone to trust God and act. Don’t wait. Don’t sit around. Whether it is with Hurricane Katrina relief, or local work, people are desperate everywhere and need believers who will, with God’s help, “Make it happen.”

One last note: In the shelter on Friday night I gathered believers together who had lost everything. About nine of us had a time of sharing, opening God’s word, and encouraging one another. I encouraged them to rejoice in the Lord despite their circumstances. I was humbled and awed at God’s power to give joy in the midst of such despair and loss. One fourteen year old girl said her birthday was the other day, but it was her best one yet because she was still alive and she thanked God. May each one of us know Him in our sufferings.”

See Alan’s many comments on this blog here


Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • A Story from The Gulf Coast

    A Story from The Gulf Coast

  • Alan Cross says:

    I hate to comment on my comment, but I wanted to add something. The stories of faith, perseverance, and banding together are absolutely incredible in the midst of this tragedy. People are working so hard and are completely undeterred. Churches are stepping forward like I’ve never seen before to help and provide massive assistance. This is the institutional church, by the way. Those involved and partial to the emerging church should be heartened by fact that our brothers and sisters in the old forms are reacting so quickly and effectively to the opportunity to give a cup of cold water in the name of Jesus. I shed many tears over the past couple of days as I saw the destruction to my homeland and the human pain from loss of everything, but I am encouraged that the church was, in many ways, the first to respond. God be praised.

  • andrew says:

    thanks alan
    at times like these, there really is no dividing line between emerging and institutional churches.
    Emerging churches are setting up make-shift institutions, and institutional/traditional churches are watching new initiatives “emerge” into being from the bottom up.
    And the One church moves forward to do the job.
    Also amazing how the church is NOT criticizing the government as much as other groups, because, i guess, they have the networks and resources in place to act on an emergency rather than wait around for someone else.

  • Katrina Round Up

    Andrew Jones (aka TallSkinyKiwi) has an email from Alan Cross entitled…A Story from The Gulf Coast Inman News reports…Katrina could impact up to 360,000 real estate loans For a bunch of stories check out the DrudgeReport.

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