What Katrina missed, Rita covered. This one had 100% of Louisiana’s population in its path. Our campus was hit with wind and rain. Power was out for the better part of a day and we will have to replace shingles on five of our buildings. It would appear that Mother Nature is trying to wipe Louisiana from the map. Even with all this added misery, loss, pain and chaos we will come through this closer and stronger as a people. Great things are happening all around us.

Here on our campus in Ruston we have put into place a plan that will enable us to provide care for the children and staff from the Methodist Home for Children in New Orleans. This has been made possible by all of our good neighbors who are truly living out the parable of the Good Samaritan.

Our donors across the state of Louisiana are responding to our appeal for help. Our sister agencies, members of the United Methodist Association of Health and Welfare Ministries (UMA), across the Annual Conferences in the US have rushed to our aid. United Methodist and other church congregations across our nation already have and are in the process of making resources available to us. Individuals, foundations, and corporate organizations are all making gifts and also working to acquire additional gifts.

This experience reminds me of the stories in the 6th and 8th chapters of Mark when Jesus has his disciples feed 5 thousand with five loaves and two fish. Then just a few days later he has them feed 4 thousand with 7 loaves and a few fish. The fact is when we come together as one community there is enough to provide for everyone. We must understand this and continue to live it out.

The needs of our children will continue long after the shingles on our buildings have been replaced and New Orleans has become a viable and vibrant city again.

Yours in Christ,

Terrel DeVille

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