Guest Post: Katrina – I Saw Jesus

(Note: There were several things written about the 4th anniversary of Katrina’s landfall, but I liked this one best of all. It is written by Eileen Logan. Eileen and Gene Logan are members of the Ocean Springs Church of Christ on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Their work in disaster recovery in that location is legendary.Notice that she gave credit to everyone but herself … don’t let that fool you. She was tireless. jd)

I have been kind’ve gloomy all day and just realized that it is August 29th. Just another day for most folks, but to those on the coast it is something we can never forget. Mind you I didn’t say we didn’t want to forget it, but it’s like those tragic things that happen in our lives and we can remember where we were and who we were with and what we did.

It was a time that heros were born; Al Sturgeon our minister who lost everything in the storm and yet stood in front of the church on the church lawn and held our 1st Sunday sermon post Katrina. He’s heard me say this before but it was one of those days that you never forget. He opened by saying that over the years he’s had people tell him that they think people should wear their best to church and others say that it’s okay to wear your everyday clothes. Well, today I am doing both this is the best that I have and I guess you would say it’s casual because everything else is gone. He began by reading from the book of Job…The Lord giveth and the Lord takes away, Praise be the name of the Lord. There was not a dry eye, we all weeped not for what we lost but tears of joy for what we had….each other….but more importantly we could see Jesus in each other. But Al could not have done all he did without his biggest fan Jody, His wife, partner, friend. They worked side by side, if anyone was going to leave this would have been the time but Jody dug her heels in and kept us going with her hugs, great ideas and “heavenly” biscuits…..sweat and tears, smiles and prayers. they were such a blessing

There was my husband Gene Logan who was brilliant in handling all the unexpected requests, who showed compassion and love to all those who came to the church for help. It was months before he went back to work. We would get to the church at 5:30am and not leave until 10:30pm. It was work hard all day, I watched him put his arms around people who could not stop crying and watch him cry with them. I watched him give up a corner on the floor to those who had come to help us and sleep on the lawn hoping for a breeze….He, Al, and David Fain were the first to go and check on those that we knew lived alone to make sure that they were okay and to see what they needed. He has been such a blessing in my life. He decided he would not shave until all of the churches families (27) were back in their homes….He just shaved in June when the Lawlers were able to move back in

Their was my daughter Shannon Dearin and the youth ministerJoe Chessar from 6th & Izzard Church of Christ who were the first to show up at church with supplies to help us and brought us a much needed Generator and Gas….there was no gas available for at least 100 miles. Shannon and Joe cried when they saw the coast and saw that her sisters, Stephanie and Samantha had lost everything. but came back soon and helped us pick up our lives…. and I saw Jesus

Their was Jody’s family from Paragould Arkansas church of Christ who showed up with an 18 wheeler full to the brim with supplies that were so desperately needed. they brought campers for families to sleep in and everything else you would need to put your life back together. and they came and worked, and they came and worked and they came and worked…..so many times and I saw Jesus everytime they were here.

There were churches from every corner of this nation, complete strangers who took vacation and came to help us. who stood shoulder to shoulder in the muck that was once your home and helped you shovel it out, helped you save what little you could, helped you find humor in your pain, and when necessary stood there and cried with you and held you up. and I saw Jesus

There were those who could not come but gave so that we could get the supplies we needed to help others rebuild their homes….I could not believe how giving everyone was nor how people would give up or put off some of their own plans so that they could stand with us on the coast. and I saw Jesus

My favorite part (if you could have a favorite part of something like this) was the fact that all boundaries were gone, there was no Lutheran, catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian, etc….it was just do what you could to help each other…if we didn’t have something that someone needed we took them to where they could get it and the name on the door didn’t mean anything….we were working together….and I saw Jesus….

I still see Jesus and I find it easier to see him now then I ever did before. I look at people differently than I ever did before and I am so proud to live in a country where people help each other. we are not perfect, we are better than we were and in our Journey here in America we will be better in the future that I know, cause you see…..I see Jesus

Katrina changed the life of everyone who survived it; changed the life of everyone who came and worked it; but most of all I’ve got to tell you that I go to church with Heroes and I see Jesus in them all.

By Eileen Logan of the Ocean Springs Church of Christ.

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