Looking Back >Katrina Refugees: August 31st, 2005

Day 3

As the shock slowly fades, reality becomes overwhelming. Emotions are fragile and bubbles of grief fracture the feeble attempts I make to maintain composure. I found myself this morning and throughout the day, on the edge of tears. Just when we think we’ve seen the worst, more stories pour in.   The needs of masses of humanity become overwhelming, the enormity of the situation engulfs us, tragedies are discovered, but miracles are also found. We’ve found links of video footage of our neighborhood, of the surrounding towns. My composure crumbles as I see the devastation and not only the devastation, the death.   Please pray for those who have the horrible task of searching the devastated homes. They will need more strength than is humanly possible.

I want to thank each of you that have emailed me. Your thoughts and prayers mean more than you can know. They give me the strength I need. I am so very thankful. I know there is a long road ahead for so many people. I have found strength to pray and long to be with some of you that we might pray and cry together.

Today Jon and Bob drove up to Mullen Texas, to Bubba’s home, Jon’s brother. Bubba has graciously offered to allow our 100 lb German Shepherd to stay at his farm until we are in a position to bring him home again. While Jon was there, he picked up a trailer Bubba has. When we are able to head back to Mississippi, we don’t plan on going back empty handed. We will load up with food, water and whatever else we’re told is needed.

Right now, we’re waiting to see what we will do. We’ve heard from our commands and will be in contact with them each day as they assess the situation of each command member and their families. We’ve heard from our Pastor. He and his family are safe. He headed back to Mississippi today. His home and our church seem okay. I’m sure he is checking on many of the church members who remained during the storm. It just occurred to me that many of them may very limited contact with the outside world. They are a couple of miles north of I10. How much do they know? Do they know that the entire Gulf Coast of Mississippi has been destroyed? Do they know that the entire city of New Orleans is being evacuated because the city is uninhabitable?

As I drove down the street here in San Antonio, I wanted to stop and ask the people that passed by, what would they think that if tomorrow, their entire city was devastated and uninhabitable? If the street we were driving down was suddenly under 20 feet of water?
When we were driving across Texas early Monday morning, a late night radio commentator was reading an email from someone in San Diego who asked “What would it do to the American psyche if one of its major cities no longer existed?” Are we finding out?

In the midst of all of this, I am thankful that in Christ Jesus, we have an “inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power” 1 Peter 1:4-5. For whatever this life brings, good or bad, God is our refuge. Psalm 143 also becomes a cry for those who are suffering in the midst of ground zero. Continue to pray for our leaders. Pray for the mobilization of our country to meet the needs, immediate and future, of people who do not know what tomorrow will bring. May we see Jesus in each face, giving water to the thirsty, food to the hungry and shelter to the so many that are now homeless. The need is great.

Praying for miracles.

Grace & Peace


About Jill English Johnston

God writes His story on every heart, if we only pause to read it. My heart has lived in a fantasy world since early childhood and am delighted that God has finally brought me to the place where I can bring the fantasies to life through story. I am currently working on a fantasy trilogy (of course) but I also post thoughts, reflections and (hopefully) inspiration to my website: tabletsofhumanhearts.wordpress.com I am a follower of the Rabbi Jesus, married to my best friend and inspiration, and the mother of three incredible children, one daughter and two sons, a son-in-love, a daughter-in-love and two adorable granddaughters. When not writing, I passionately pursue prayer, reading (never enough time to read them all!), and the outdoors. My husband and I both served in the US Navy and have lived/travelled through many states and all over Asia. We both still enjoy travelling, but we really love our home in New Braunfels, located at the Texas Hill Country.
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