Minister's Study

Ministering, writing, and wrestling in a land flowing with sweet tea and deep-fried food

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Providence and Katrina

September 12th, 2005

We've all been hearing a lot about the devastation caused by hurricaine Katrina lately. I've gotta say that I'm surpised, pleasantly, by how few are being found dead so far. Each one is a tragedy, but we were prepared for these tragedies to be counted in the thousands, or tens of thousands, rather than the hundreds. Houses and cities can be rebuilt. People cannot.

Of those whom we knew in the area, the story is even better. My brother resided in Gulfport. At the last minute, he and several friends evacuated to Panama City. It turns out that although the building in which he was living is now condemned because of flood damage, the waters only reached the top of the first floor -- his apartment on the second floor was unharmed, and all of his possessions were fine. He has now reported for training for the National Guard. A family from our church had just moved down to Mississippi a few months ago, and both husband and wife were in the Coast Guard. But he had been sent out of town to Jacksonville, FL for training when the storm came, and she had been at a family reunion. When they returned, they found their house with only minor damage. Our evangelist friend Paul Funchess had flown out of New Orleans for meetings in Baltimore before anyone knew the storm was headed for New Orleans. His pickup was left there. We feared the worst -- how many cars are there that went through the storm in New Orleans that weren't damaged or destroyed? But his was parked on the top level of the airport parking garage, and when he went back for it a few days ago, it was still there, completely unscathed. Almost enough to make a guy believe in providence, huh?


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