Reflections on Faith and Community
In this blog, you will find weekly reflections on life and faith. My hope is that, in some way, they will prove helpful to you in your daily living. May God bless you on the spiritual journey.
Andrew S. Odom
Many of you were part of the relief Canyon Creek helped provide part of Baton Rouge in the wake of the flooding a few months back. John and Sandra Hurlbert, along with many others, helped coordinate and deliver the supplies. They have written a word of thanks and a relflection on some of the experience. I would like to express my own gratitude for you as well, a church that reaches out when we can and where we are called. -Andy Odom, pastor-
"Flood Supplies Thanks"
John and I want to voice our thanks for the generous outpouring of supplies for the folks in Baton Rouge after the flooding. Also, I want to express a special thanks to Ann and Doug Turner for offering to drive but ending up spending hours organizing and loading the supplies. I was trying to get Natalie off to college and couldn’t have done it without them. Thanks to Jaycee Bryan who came over before LSU started and helped clear out a kitchen. Lastly, thanks to Michelle Niven for re-arranging her schedule right before school started and taking a load as well.
It’s hard to imagine the devastation unless you see it. In front of every house in entire neighborhoods, people’s houses are turned inside out lined up across the yard for trash. John’s brother David’s house had 5 feet of water in it; his sister Mary’s house had 4 feet. These are areas that had never flooded.
However, the words that keep coming to my mind are community and family. Through texts, emails and Facebook, our community here surrounding Canyon Creek answered the call to do something. We loaded up a SUV, a Tahoe and a trailer with all the supplies and clothing that was donated. We had to drive the trailer leisurely down the road it was so full and heavy. What a different ride that was from our usual hurry and get there!
In Baton Rouge, John’s cousin Jeanne took us in and we became another family. Her household of 3 was suddenly expanded to 12. Mary and family (4 adults and an energetic 4 year old) had been there since being rescued by the National Guard. John returned Tuesday once people were let back into their houses. Cousin Steve returned from Maryland after getting his luggage soaked from the flooding the weekend before. Then Charlie Moore and I arrived with that trailer full of stuff. Jeanne was determined that we all eat dinner each night together no matter what time and was blessed by members of her church with food.
With the supplies unloaded at Mary’s empty rental house, Charlie returned to Plano and I was left with distributing supplies. Some supplies went to David and Mary. Some went to neighbors getting Red Cross food from the food truck roaming the streets. A good portion went St. Thomas More church. It is the closest church to John’s siblings’ houses right in the midst of the flooding. They were so gracious to receive supplies and sent a note thanking us. Some went to the Red Cross station set up at the Cortana Mall. Cars snaked around the mostly defunct mall waiting to get supplies and again free food. Lastly, some went to Jeanne’s church Trinity Episcopal which was doing lots to help the flood victims. None of the places were taking clothes, but Jeanne came to the rescue again. Four caregivers at the nursing home where her mother had been had lost everything in the flood. Three of them had directly cared for Jeanne’s mother. The clothes were so appreciated there.
We saw lots of instances of community coming together to help in a variety of ways. Friends brought food while we were working at David’s house. Friends and family were helping clear David’s house and trying to get the power back on. High school teachers and coaches came to Mary’s house. Her son Michael is a Junior college now. A tree service company owner came with his crew to volunteer to clear out the house across the street of a retired couple.
I came back with the sense of the closeness of family and have been intentional in contacting mine. I also look at all the stuff we have at home and in our lives and have been trying to de-clutter in lots of areas. The main idea is the goodness of a community of people helping others. These are people they don’t know and probably never will but have been impacted by the outpouring of such love.
The clean-up continues. Charlie went back last week and was working on houses in Denham Springs that hadn’t been cleaned at all yet. Mold had started growing in closed cabinets at Mary’s house after a week. Now, it has been a month. Please continue to keep Baton Rouge in your thoughts and prayers.
Love in Christ.
Published on 10/31/2016 @ 8:03 PM CDT