Katrina Relief Update

I wanted to share some things about the Katrina relief because I do not write about this daily any more. We are still involved in housing work crews, finding significant needs, and using all resources to see that these repairs are made. There are still three thousand FEMA campers on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. This is one measure of the extent of the need. There are many people who are living in damaged homes, or with family / friends.

David Kilbern continues to direct work crews. It is his desire to do so every other week, but often he does not get the break in between. You can email him at dkilbern@cableone.net to ask about when you can come and bring a crew if you desire to do this.

We are reaching a crucial point in the recovery effort, however. As you can imagine the funds for this work have nearly come to a halt. We do still get monthly checks from a few churches and individuals, but these are not nearly enough to continue working as we have. One church sent David a monthly finanical help to keep his bills paid, but this has come to an end. His bills have not. David has sacrificially given up his retirement in order to do this work full time. He and Elaine are true heroes and I pray that some leadership somewhere will adopt this mission and keep David in full time relief work. Funds for materials and for David are essential for us to continue to do the work needed. Central Church of Christ simply cannot supply these funds. I recently have resigned, and one contributing factor is that the church is no longer able to pay our salary.  Without help, we will soon be unable to continue to help Katrina victims in Pascagoula.

We have volunteers here this week from St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Yorktown, Virginia. A mixture of skilled workers and teenagers, they are hard at work in the community. You might be interested to know that this is this church’s 18th visit to the Gulf Coast. They have been in Gulfport for the 17 previous visits. This is their first stay in Pascagoula. Awesome people with the heart of service!

We will have several crews of Mennonite workers from Pennsylvania in the month of January. We look forward to this association in service.

Some work crews are scheduled into 2008, and we appreciate the interest. Teen Missions USA is also working to send teams down to the Coast once again this summer.

From the beginning there were two crucial needs: manpower and money. Both are necessary for the ongoing effort. Please be in prayer for us as we serve until we can no longer do so.

Finally, our hearts are broken this weekend at the news that a 16 year old Katrina relief volunteer from Kentucky was found dead in Pascagoula yesterday morning. His father and brother are here with him doing work out of the First Presbyterian Church a few blocks away from Central. He passed away in his sleep, no foul play is suspected. Please pray for the family of John Mark Adams.


john dobbs

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