Recovery is a marathon, not a sprint
Each place that we visit in our lives will introduce us to something new- whether it be new foods, new climate, new scenery or a new culture.
My experience in New Orleans, however, taught me a little bit more than all of that.
Yes, I was able to sample corn grits and po boy sandwiches, bask in 70 degree temperatures in January, take in the sights of the beautiful parts of the city and alternatively the other areas' eye-opening and heartwrenchingly devastated remains, and finally I was introduced to the rich culture that is the birthplace of jazz and everything Mardi Gras.
However, I will take from this city much more than these tangible things. I will take from this city the spirit of a downtrodden people pushing to rebuild. I will take from this city the unrelenting will to move on, despite hardships and unfortunate realities. And I will take from this city's residents the belief that love survives all.
Jim Huck, a professor at Tulane University in New Orleans, spoke with us Thursday and offered some powerful insights into the Hurricane's effect on the city. Jim told us that rich and poor didn't matter when the hurricane hit, levees broke, and the city had been flooded. No matter what amount of money you had sitting in a nest egg in the bank and no matter what expensive car was once sitting in your expensive driveway, it would not save you. Nothing tangible could. What mattered was what lie inside of each individual person.
Unfortunately, many people did not survive this tragedy, as they may have not been met with the resources necessary to escape to survival, or were not even afforded the opportunity to try. These lives will always be remembered and kept in our prayers and hearts. It is hard to find sense in tragedies such as these. But we can do justice to the lost lives by refusing to forget what has happened and the people affected by it.
It is the sincere hope of the 14 individuals privileged enough to have seen the city and met its gracious people to raise awareness about the current situation in the city and to inpire others to extend aid to it. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog in order to learn of the events and insights gathered from the individuals that went on this trip. Please stay tuned as we compile pictures and eventually a documentary to further share our experiences.