So today was really a wake up call. It's been 14 months since hurricane Katrina and there are still total neighborhoods that are like ghost towns. Houses full of people's belongings, furniture, clothes, appliances, toys, books, photos... All devastated by water damage, mud, mold... Abandoned and rotting... Full of rats, roaches, spiders, lizards... Left behind...
We cleaned out two houses today. The first had water damage from a leaking roof. The second had been totally flooded to the ceiling... At least eight feet of water, maybe more. We found the remains of a pet that had been left, a cat or small dog. It was just bones and fur, laying on what was left of the bed.. The clock on the wall had stopped at 12:39. The closets were still full of clothes. The couch was upside down, where it came to rest after floating in the living room. The cars were still in the driveway. Abandoned. And the house next door looked the same. And the house next to that...
What amazes me is that volunteers from all over the country are coming to New Orleans and cleaning up the place. 14 months later. And the city is still a wasteland. How long will it be? What is the city doing? What is the state doing? What is the federal government doing? I'm sure they're doing SOMETHING. But its not enough. Can they do more? I don't know. I'm not in a position to know. Part of me thinks "This is America?" Then part of me realizes I don't even know what that means.
What I DO know is that I had no idea before today that things were still this bad. And I'm shocked that I didn't know. How many people like me around the country are oblivious to what it's like down here?
Minister of Music & Administration
Our Place Christian Church
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