One afternoon our mission team drove into New Orleans to see the city. We had a self-guided tour that led us through some of the sections that had been devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Wow, seeing pictures in magazines or on television does not begin to convey what those parts of the city look like.
In the Lower Ninth Ward we were struck by the emptiness and the loneliness. A few homes had been rebuilt and reoccupied, and a few were empty, waiting to be reclaimed. Most of the area was empty lots with maybe the remains of a concrete slab and a back step.
It was so sad to see an area where so many used to live. All I could think of was how irrevocably the lives of those people had been changed in just a few moments.
When we saw how close the levee is and how high it is above the homes, it was easy to understand why so many people died. Other neighborhoods had recovered more, but there were huge contrasts in the homes there too. Some homes were fully restored and beautifully landscaped, ready to be on the cover of a home-decorating magazine, but next door would be two or three homes with boarded windows and the yellow water line from the flood up high on the outside walls.
It is important that we not let New Orleans and the tragedy that occurred there fade from our memory—the people need all the help we can give.
By Carla Hedstrom
Meaningful Meanderings Blog