Looking Back >Katrina Recoverers:  September 19th, 2005

Day 22

I received several emails today about the ungrateful refugees and the lack of willingness of refugees to help themselves. I’ve also read numerous articles looking for someone to blame, whether it’s local government, federal government, or insurance companies – everyone wants someone to blame.

I’ve been writing my emails to help those I love and care about connect with the tragedy down here on the coast. I’m also aware that my emails have been sent all over the place, which I definitely don’t mind, because I think it helps others to connect as well. And the outpouring of support from people who don’t even know us has been amazing.

Because my emails seem to travel so far, what I challenge all of you to do for me is to collect stories of hope.

There will always be those who complain, are ungrateful, and who want to blame someone else. But there are many, scattered across small town America, who are attempting to rebuild their lives in the wake of Katrina. If you know of stories that tell of hope, thankfulness and God’s goodness, grace and mercy displayed in the lives of people as a result of the hurricane, I ask that you would share them with me.

The depravity of the human heart demonstrated on the news through looters, rapists, shooters, complainers, and grumblers should be expected. It’s the condition of the human heart. After all, Jesus died for our sins, not because we deserved it, but because we desperately needed it.

What should be celebrated, however, are hearts that are grateful, those who are appreciative, and those who give praise to God because of the love of His people.

Check around your town. See if you can find any stories such as these to share. And I will do the same.

I reported to work today. I didn’t accomplish much besides talking to everyone and listening to how they fared. One of the civilians, who survived Camille, lost his home in Pass Christian. He now owns a slab. A military member lost everything when floodwaters surged through the manufactured home he was renting. Many had worse flooding than we did. Of the thirty some people at our command, thirteen have unlivable homes to one degree or another.  Please pray for everyone as they find places to live, deal with the day to day struggles, fight the long lines, and wait for insurance claims and assistance.

I spent the afternoon cleaning out the garage, along with the help of Matthew and Daniel. There was still swamp water in two storage bins and two storage drawers. Matthew and Daniel were pretty grossed out bailing the smelly water so we could dump it out. Unfortunately, one of the bins contained Christmas items (I think I’ll be able to save some of the table clothes and place mats) and the two drawers contained Thanksgiving items (all a total loss).

On the up side, with the assistance of Rocky, we hung our first dry wall in Jonny’s room. Yea! Progress; we’re starting to repair, rather than remove. And Praise God, our washer and dryer seem to be working (please pray that they continue to do so). We also have another praise: our car insurance informed us that we’ll be receiving more than we expected for Jon’s Sante Fe. What a blessing.

It’s time to get the boys settled down for bed. We’ll have to say thank you prayers.

God bless for all your prayers.

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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