Monday, July 30, 2007
On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast region of the United States of America including the Slidell, Louisiana area. Katrina's eye passed directly over Slidell, located on the eastern edge of Lake Ponchartrain, north of New Orleans. An estimated 90 percent of homes were either damaged or destroyed. The Weather Service reported that Slidell had sustained winds of 176 mph and gusts of 190+ mph during Hurricane Katrina. In addition, Slidell was hit by a 26' storm surge that devastated much of the city.
Many of the saints who gather unto the Lord at the Slidell Bible Chapel lost everything they owned. However, none of the saints were killed or even injured (most had evacuated on Sunday, August 28, 2005). Recovery is slow and still ongoing (even 7+ months later). Through it all, "...God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of all mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforts us in all out tribulation,"* has "...supplied all our needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."**
The Lord has blessed us abundantly through it all! Not even during the roughest times early on was there any lack for our daily needs. Through His saints the Lord provided in ways that we could never have planned in our human wisdom. The outpouring of love was tremendous from believers all over the world. And their prayers sustained us. The Lord has sent many messengers of mercy (120+ so far!) from all across North America to be tools of reconstruction in His hands.
We have had more opportunities to share the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ since Katrina than ever before. It has become very apparent to many people in this region that the things they had spent their lives on were wiped out in a few short hours. They see the light of Christ in the lives of believers who, while suffering just as they are, are full of "...the peace of God, which passeth all understanding."*** And when they ask us we tell them of the Lord Jesus Christ and His love for them.
Reconstruction of the region will take years. And F.E.M.A. will continue to help us through it all. By F.E.M.A. I don't mean the Federal Emergency Management Agency. No, no, I mean the Father's Eternal Merciful Abundance!
Pray for the saints of the area and their efforts to reach others with the good news that the Lord Jesus Christ is The Rebuilder of broken lives!
* 2 Corinthians. 1:3&4