Five years since Katrina, recovery still underway

By September 1, 2010

USA (MNN) — Five years ago, on August 29, 2005, Hurricane
Katrina pummeled the U.S. Gulf coast from Florida to Texas, breaching levees in New
Orleans and taking almost 2000 lives.

Causing an estimated $81 billion (2005 USD) in damage, Katrina
was the sixth-strongest recorded Atlantic hurricane, according to the National
Hurricane Center.

Before the storm even struck, as it gained force in the Gulf
of Mexico, the North American Mission Board assembled team and readied
themselves to aid in relief.

NAMB's Mickey Caison explained their response after the
storm hit: "For the next sixth months, we were heavily involved in
responding in the disaster response capacity: almost 200,000 volunteer days,
more than 500 mobile units, 15 million meals prepared, and somewhere around
18,000 homes we actually worked on."

In addition to physical relief, NAMB sent chaplains to
partner with local churches and ministries, as they administered spiritual and
emotional counseling.

Even after those months, they continued to help with
reconstruction and have had teams there up until recently, as they now readjust
their efforts and plan on empowering residence to continue the work.

Thus, even five years later, recovery is far from complete.
Caison said: "There's still a great many needs: a number of churches
closed, a number of schools and businesses closed. Those have not rebuilt
because the population is not there to support it at this point… The
spiritual needs are still there; great needs of the love and support that comes
out of the Gospel."

Though tremendous strides have been made in physical
recovery and many trusted in Christ after their world was turned upside down, anniversaries
and the threat of other hurricanes once again destroying homes and
livelihoods racks the nerves.

Especially in light of the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, many
emotional wounds have been reopened, reminding victims of "the
pain that came in Katrina, when people lost business or lost homes, things like
that. There is a high emotional stress that is going on down in that
area."

Therefore, the Gulf coast still has a long road of recovery
ahead of them.

Caison said, because of this, believers need to continue to
diligently pray: "The need for prayer is always. Especially as believers,
we do not want that to be our last resort. That needs to be our starting
place."

Pray for continued healing in the lives of those affected by
Hurricane Katrina. Pray that even in the midst of the uncertainty the oil
spill and hurricane season produced, individuals will lean on God and entrust
their futures to Him.

Call NAMB at 1 (800)634-2462 if you would like to donate
your resources or time to their continued assistance in Louisiana and
Mississippi. Or you can visit their Web site at namb.net.

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