I was fortunate enough to make my second mission trip to New Orleans. This time I worked in a home that has been unoccupied since Hurricane Katrina. That’s almost 5 ½ years ago! My co-workers during the week were Lorraine Dee, John Ahonen and George Thomas. We were led by our young crew chief David, a 23 years old from the mid-west. I was impressed once again by the leadership and commitment of the young volunteers that have worked for a year or more on this rebuild project.
During the week we installed window sills, molding and kitchen cabinets as well as painted walls and ceilings. As the week went on and we got more accomplished, I felt excited and so greatful to be part of this group of people- including the whole St. Michael’s family that sent us-which was helping to get Miss Johnson back into her home after such a long time. When we left this home it was just a few weeks away from completion. She could be in there now!
Even though I saw some of the devastation that Katrina did to this city and its neighborhoods, I cannot feel inside what Miss Johnson and the other people of New Orleans have felt.
Can you imagine? Living in your home one day, and the next day everything you own is gone! You don’t know where to go, where to turn or if and when you will be back.
It is a frightening thought. Miss Johnson has been living in Atlanta since the hurricane. Her daughter stopped by the house while we were there and she could not stop thanking us for our help.
We did not need to be thanked. We were sent there to assist and comfort the people in need. I feel I was serving God and we all were serving God in our actions there.
The readings today talk about wealth. I feel richer having gone on this mission trip. I gained the wealth of the Holy Spirit in my soul.
If we help feed the hungry and the homeless you are wealthy where it counts, in God’s eyes. And that’s what really matters.