Katrina relief: Beginnings, Nov ’05

Since we are now about five weeks from wrapping up our time here in Mississippi, I wanted to go back a ways in time and fill in some background about how we got here for those of you who don’t know us yet, or don’t know the story.

On August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast region. At the time, we noticed this from our homes in Colorado but other than saying a few prayers and donating a few dollars we really didn’t respond to it. It just wasn’t real to us yet. A few days after the storm a good friend of ours named Chadd came down here to help on a chain saw crew and to help distribute food. It was through his emails from Louisiana that we began to understand how devastating this storm had really been. When Chadd returned, I asked him to let me know if he heard of more teams going down from our home state of Colorado. Shortly after, he told me that his church, Crossroads Church of Loveland Colorado, was organizing a team to go in November. I was able to go on that trip in November of 2005 and it is no exaggeration to say that it changed my life forever. I remember it like it was yesterday; I was completely broken by all of the devastation, but even more so by the response of the church. I’d been a Christian and heavily involved in the church since very young, but I had never seen the church like this. As we drove along the beach one day, we kept passing church camp after church camp, semi after semi of relief supplies. Finally, my heart just broke at the movement of the people of God. I wept at the movement of the Spirit of God to bring all of these people and all of these resources down here to the Gulf. I knew that God was calling me and my family to be a part of what was happening down here. I knew that His calling for us was more than just a one week short term missions trip. I felt that He was calling us to move down here so that we could be more fully committed to the relief work that was happening. To say that this one week trip in November of ’05 was a turning point in the life of me and my family would be a huge understatement. Indeed, it was more like a fulcrum point in our lives, in which God used the weight of the events to move us dramatically closer to Himself and to change us into a missionary family.