Homeward Bound

Friday 25 November 2005, 9:03 pm

Because of a family emergency, we'll be coming home early from our mission here in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. It's now about 11 pm and we'll be leaving here around 4 am to catch a 6 pm flight back home. Another large group has been here since Monday and they are also leaving tomorrow. We'll be traveling with them as far as Houston, but then we split up because the last-minute travel changes put us on a different flight back to California.

While we're home, I hope to continue to collect information about the situation here in Mississippi and post it here in this notebook. It might be news that I find in the newspaper, and it might be news that I obtain from continued contact with CityTeam or new contacts with Calvary Chapel Relief.

We hope to come back here after the holidays, possibly as early as the first of January. By then, the group might have transitioned into doing "mucking" work instead of the food back. Mucking involves removing the damaged sheetrock from homes, and treating the frame to remove and inhibit mold growth. But based on conversations I've had with many people here, it seems the mucking stage is about done for most, and the next stage is actual rebuilding of the homes.

I talked to one gentleman today whose home has been cleared, but he needs to rebuild it himself. He can't afford to pay anyone to do it. He is 62 years old and in poor health. The only help he has to rebuild his home is his older brother, who is 65 years old but in better health. He figures that he will be living in the FEMA trailer for another 8 to 12 months before finishing his house.

This will probably be my last post from Mississippi for now. Mary and I still have about an hour of computer entry that we need to do before we can go to bed. We both got showers today so they won't toss us off the plane tomorrow. But we can't wait to get back to a real shower at home. I hope Mary finishes her shower soon ... I feel like I'm up all alone and everyone else has gone to bed. The lights are out. Everyone's bracing for a very early morning tomorrow.

Good night ...