Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Gospel Relief

We just returned form our trip to New Orleans with our students. It was truly an amazing time where God opened our eyes to many different things. We used 2 Corinthians 8:9 as our theme verse while we were down there "You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that though he was rich, yet for your sake became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich." We talked about how we have been given everything in Christ and we should follow His example of going to those who are less fortunate than us. We helped gut (remove everything down to the studs) 2 houses that had not been touched since the storm. It was eye opening to see everything down there. The biggest things for me (Charlie) was just seeing all of the devastation, giving me a realistic picture in my head. I could not imagine losing everything like so many of those people did. I am so thankful for what I have, but do not want to hold on to it too tightly, knowing that God could take it at any minute. We are stewards of the things that we "have" in this world. I was also hit hard by many of the verses in scripture that we studied that talked about giving to the poor. We see so clearly that God has a heart for the poor, so we are called to the same. I want to always be characterized as a person who looks to others' interests and gives freely to the poor (even when I don't think they deserve it). The parable of the Good Samaritan teaches us to care for the less fortunate when it is uncomfortable, inconvenient, or someone that we do not necessarily like all that much. Throughout our time down there, we read through Theirs is the Kingdom by Robert Lupton. I want to encourage you to look at a few verses in your free time. Matthew 25:31-46, Galatians 2:10, James 1:27, and Hebrews 13:1,2.
Now for the pictures:

Our team in New Orleans

The inside of Elvin's house...you can see the mold on the wall (6-7 feet flooding)

The pile of stuff outside of Elvin's house after we cleared it

The finished product...a gutted house

Devastation in lower 9th Ward

More Hurricane damage

House number 2...flooding up to the ceiling

Group in second house gutted

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