David Jordan

When Hurricane Katrina destroyed the Mississippi Gulf Coast we were shocked, saddened, amazed, overwhelmed. Like everyone else, we did not know what was going to happen … how we were to recover from such destruction. And then people started coming to help.

One of those people was David Jordan. David was married to Mae, who is Elaine Kilbern’s sister. The Kilberns were key to the recovery effort, stepping up to the task to lead the way. David Jordan lived in Pensacola. He was a military man. Tough. Sure of himself. Big hearted. Relentless. Multi-talented.

David and Mae had visited the Central Church of Christ a few times to visit family. I always enjoyed chatting with him but didn’t know him well. That all changed when he arrived after the hurricane to put his talents to use. I have never seen a human being work so hard, so long, and with such intensity as David did. He was fair minded, but compassionate. We had several talks along the way, and I enjoyed hearing his thoughts about various things in life.

One of my favorite David Jordan stories relates to a time when we had a big tent in the

back of the church property. This was before there was any storage available and we had donated cleaning supplies under the tent to give away. People would stand in line and we would help them as much as we could. David would ask them what they needed. Sometimes they would say, “whatever you have”. David would say, “no, tell me what you need and if we have it, it’s yours!” I remember one particular lady who asked for bleach. So David handed her a gallon of bleach with a smile. She then said, “I wanted the Clorox bleach, not this off-brand.” David looked her in the eye, smiled, then looked over her shoulder and said, “Next”! When she objected he instructed her to go to the back of the line and think about it. She did!

When the relief effort finally calmed down after many months, I did not see David very often. I heard through friends and family that he had a lung condition that was only going to get worse with time. Recently the news through the grapevine was that he was becoming sicker.

On March 29 I received the following from David.

Dear friends,
I am writing this letter to better inform you as to my current condition.  There have been rapid and drastic changes in my condition over the last couple of months.  The doctors have no timetable concerning my demise.  So while I can, I love you and GOD BLESS YOU ALL.  Further reports as time permits.
Your friend as always,

Early this morning in my email was a note from David’s daughter that he passed away peacefully in the night next to Mae, which was what he wanted.

David Jordan came into our lives at a time when we were devastated, helpless, discouraged, hopeless. He brought a quick smile, boundless energy, and confidence. I’ll always be glad I knew David, and I know that he is in excellent hands right now.

Jesus said, “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” David served well.


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