Hurricane Katrina was a huge, overwhelming, natural disaster that effected the lives of millions of people. On August 29, 2005 Lynette and I along with Abbi were nervously waiting to find out if we had a home to return to. As news and videos/pictures flooded the news stream we could only watch and pray when concerning those we knew were still in New Orleans. We could only pray and wait ’til we were able to return to find out if our home and possessions had been washed away with the tide. Two weeks after Katrina made landfall I began the long journey into New Orleans to get only to Jackson, Mississippi and found out that they were closing the city again, this time due to Hurricane Rita. The following week (3 weeks post-Katrina) I made it back into town to meet with my Pastor, who had also been evacuated. We were coming back to assess the damage of our homes, our church, and our community. Fortunately, we did not experience the flooding that the majority of the city experienced. However, a few months later we found ourselves without work and without a home due to some situations within our church family.
Through the gracious love of my Aunt and the help of many friends from New Orleans we made a the move to Tallahassee, Florida where at 1:30 AM several deacons and men of First Baptist Tallahassee were waiting to help us unload our moving truck and all of its contents. At the time, we felt lost and bewildered as many different events began unfolding in our lives. Through the guidance of some godly men and women from First Baptist Tallahassee Lynette and I found healing and renewed faith. During our time in Tallahassee God poured out himself on our family in many ways. Though without income and a full-time job, for nearly two years, God provided many blessings both financially and spiritually. I was very blessed to have served on staff with folks I will consider spiritual mentors and friends for the rest of my life.
Now, we find ourselves 5 years past Katrina’s landfall but still only moments away from the lasting impact. In many parts of the gulf coast, families and communities are still struggling to rebuild and resume life as it once was. Since that dreadful date five years ago, God has added many blessings to our family. Eli and LilyGrace were both given to us while we were Tallahassee. We formed lasting relationships with many folks from the FBC Tallahassee family and lastly we formed a great bond with my Aunt Rhonda. We are so grateful for all that our First Tallahassee family did for us and all that they continue to do for my Aunt.
Since 2008 our family has relocated to Alton, IL to serve as Worship Pastor at Heartland Baptist Church. God has blessed with a home & a mortgage, a great church family and many new friends. However, we are just now beginning to crawl out of that financial darkness that once held a grip on our family. We see light at the end of the tunnel. There is hope in the midst of all of this disaster for it’s in the middle of all of this turmoil, our weakness, that Christ is made stronger. It was through these past five years that Lynette and I have grown so much spiritually and together as husband and wife. Within the first ten years of our marriage we have experienced disasters and many life changing events that most couples will experience within their first 30 – 40 years of marriage. Through God’s grace and His never-ending provisions we continue to experience His blessings. God provides in our darkest and uncertain times just as He does in the easy-going times. Unfortunately, as humans, we tend to forget that God is the Provider when everything is good.
I guess the reason for this post is to share how God has been working in our lives since Katrina reeked her havoc. Even though life’s circumstances and happenings can destroy what you know as familiar God can use to build a new life. “All things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purposes,” Romans 8:28.
Thank God for His neverending love, grace, and provisions!
Isaac, Thanks for sharing! I plan to share this with a nephew who with his wife and 5 daughters are struggling right now. He feels the call to the ministry and is doing what he can to pursue that goal.