The Chronicles of The Best They Ever Had

Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. -Acts 2:43-47

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Spring Break

So, i just got back from a wonderful week in Louisiana, gutting houses near New Orleans and hanging out. Fifteen of us from ENCM went down to a camp with Samaritans Purse where the government was running a volunteer operation to clean out peoples' houses destroyed by the flood. It was an incredible experience. The houses we were working on were under 10 feet of water for around three weeks and the insides were totally destroyed. So before people can rebuild, we had to go in and rip out everything except the concrete floors and the studs. It was quite a big and tiring job--people have lots of stuff plus there was a couple of inches of mud sitting in every house. The nastiest parts were hauling out refrigerators that have been fermenting for six months and bath tubs filled with sewage. It was very cool to see the change in the houses, but also amazing to think about the incredible amount of work still left to do down there. What we were doing was only the first step for those home owners to get their houses back, and this is after six months. They were all VERY gratful though and some members of our group were able to spend some time ministering to them. Needless to say, it was a very eye-opening experience.
The even cooler part was that we got to have a TON of fun and see some col stuff outside of gutting houses. We got there late saturday and found out that we didnt have anything to do on sunday, so we went to church and decided to spend the day in the French Quarter. We walked around and saw some cool and crazy stuff and ate dinner there. The thing we all noticed though was just how you could feel the spiritual darkness there. New Orleans is not a place I'd travel to for just vacationing again unless i had a specific plan to do ministry.
Anywho, throughout the week we had a crrrrrrazy but awesome bus driver named JR. He was THE MAN! He wasnt saved, but we had a good time with him and were able to minister to him some. He was really funny and lived in the French Quarter. He even invited us to his apartment (which was built in 1850 and BEAUTIFUL) for hamburgers and gumbo one night. We were even able to bring Reed, this dude who worked for SP at the camp and was beginning to go crazy b/c he had only left camp two times since the flood. He was lots of fun and was sooo glad to be able to get away. We also went to the Quarter friday night before we left to hang out at a coffee shop and next to the Mississippi. Reed came again and it was a great time again. AND, to top it all off, we sort of made world news. NBC and one of FoxNews' primetime shows did a segment on what was going on down there because the number of volunteers made it the biggest disaster relief effort in american history. Because our group was the most racially diverse they chose to tape us doing some stuff. They definitely did not do nearly as much as they originally told us, but some of our groups members were around for a live interview of Franklin Graham and NBC did a story on one of the guys whose house we cleaned.
ANYWAYS, this trip was incredible and much more than we ever could have expected. God really gave us a lot of favor and made our time down there hugely blessed. I hope all is well with everyone else and please gimme a call or something sometime so i know whats goin on!



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