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What We’re Learning in Louisiana and Illinois

Again, you may click “Continue reading” below), or bookmark the new “what’s new?” page of the Morning Star Relief & Hospitality Ministry website (globalgracemissions.org), in order to follow the latest news about our efforts.

Weds. 9/7, 3pm
Patience and flexibility

The one main lesson that Pastor Bixby is learning and says that everyone (especially those who have been willing to host evacuees) must learn is patience. We who live beyond a certain radius have a hard time comprehending why the evacuees aren’t here yet. We know many want out, we know that transportation and housing are the two greatest needs (along with financial gifts). And we’re preparing our hearts and homes to help. The fact is, Pastor and Mark are learning, that even though we’re eager, we probably won’t be able to start for another couple months. In the refuge centers, things are very fluid. The number of people in a facility may fluctuate drastically from day to day. These are free citizens, looking for jobs for themselves first, wanting to stay close to home. Even cities close to home are filling up fast. Baton Rouge, which is closest to New Orleans, already has a surplus of 400,000 evacuees. Lafayette had a population of 110,000; now they have 150,000. There are also problems with establishing identity, since many evacuees have no ready access to proof or paperwork. And there
are often nuances and emotional stakes that are difficult to discern. Proving legitimate family units, for example, is a delicate thing. Pastor reported in his letter yesterday that the Cajundome is still struggling to get things in order. The logistics of transporting whom and what and where are complex.

Register-Star article on the city’s preparation for 200 still-awaited evacuees: “Rockford’s relief efforts put on standby”

Register-Star article on New Orleans evacuees whom a local woman has taken in: “Evacuees’ road leads to Rockford”

Weds. 9/7, 12noon
Before vs. after

To get an idea of the kind of situations that these local pastors are facing, you could view the blog of Pastor Don Elbourne, where he has posted photos of his church, Lakeshore Baptist in Lakeshore, MS. Their buildings are wiped out. Their congregation is scattered (all lost their homes). Pastor Elbourne’s wife got robbed this week, as well, which added to the losses. Their spirits are good, but this is the kind of suffering that’s going on. These are the kinds of people with whom Pastor and Mark are attempting to minister. In fact, they were going to try to contact Pastor Elbourne himself, but at the time, they were heading in the opposite direction, toward a camp full of evacuees.

One Response

  1. Pastor Bixby, I just wanted to let you know that I blogged about our interview today! It was a blessing to speak with you. For those of you in the Rockford area, the interview will air Sunday night (September 11)at 9 PM on Radio 91 (91.1 FM).

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