Grace for the Journey

By Lorna Dueck 

Hurricane Katrina’s devastation has spread over 90,000 miles, and Waveland, Mississippi, caught the brunt of its brutal force. The Gulf of Mexico poured into this beautiful coastal community and drowned Waveland in 30 feet of water. Sixty-five percent of its homes were flattened, shredded into mountains of matchstick-like debris. As I drove through what had been the town, I could see the front steps of some homes but not much else.  

Gabrielle Gill, eight years old, stood on the steps of her former home and peered into what had been her bedroom, trying to explain where her belongings had been and struggling to come to terms with what her family is facing. Her parents must begin a heartbreaking road to recovery. They must decide how to clear and rebuild, whether to relocate so their children can start school, find gainful employment, and figure out how much their insurance will cover in their devastating loss.  

When I met Gabrielle, she was sleeping with her family on the pavement of a K-Mart shopping center that has become Camp Katrina. This is where Genesis Church of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Foley, Alabama, has been ministering since Katrina’s aftermath. Rev. Don Young of Genesis Church delivered a tent and mattresses to get the Gills off the pavement. Partnering with two other area congregations, the church is spending $12,000 a day to provide meals and other necessities to those left homeless by the hurricane.  

Gabrielle and thousands like her desperately need the help of God’s people—our prayers and finances, our love and our labors. Pray that Gabrielle and her family will find His grace for the journey to recovery.  
Lorna is executive producer of “Listen Up TV.” She is a regular commentary writer on faith and public life in Canada’s largest national newspaper, “The Globe and Mail.”


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