This response came as a “comment” to a previous post. Because those are easy to miss, and because of the positive nature of his report, we reproduce here the comments by Kurt Miller, GBNAM’s national director of church planting, who is currently in Louisiana.
As an update, everyone needs to know how wonderful the people of Ruston, Louisiana, are during this disaster. The volunteer force of leaders and worker-bees are tremendous. Hospitality is genuine and faithful.
One evacuee in a wheelchair told me last night, “I have never been treated with such respect and dignity as I have been here at the Ruston Civic Center Shelter.” Mrs. Judy Burt, the center director, is a model of civil servanthood and can really get things done! Anything we need, from bus tickets, plane tickets, luggage, food, etc. are being secured through her capable hands.
We are beginning to see residents move into homes in the community, or into homes of family members and friends around the country. Some are accepting offers into homes of strangers, but that is equally as fearful to the evacuee as it is to the person offering the help.
Many evacuees have received financial help from FEMA now. Once they receive their Red Cross financial assistance, we anticipate many leaving. In my shelter we have organized evacuees to volunteer in food service, children’s reading programs, art programs, janitorial services, elderly care, door monitoring, etc.
There has been a real sense of community established and although everybody looks forward to the opportunity to leave, there is a sense of loss when they do leave because they are leaving new-found friends.
There have been many opportunities to speak to folks about God’s love and to pray with them for God’s provision. Please continue to pray. I will be here for probably another week.