2005 – Broussard, LA – Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina brought scores of people to Lafayette from New Orleans. There was a large population that did not have friends or family to stay with, so they were housed in the Cajun Dome. Cots and sleeping bags lined the floors. People’s personal belongings were clutched tightly to their chests. Katrina caused so much damage to the city and the homes of the residents, it seemed like all hope was lost.
Although this time in our life was busy and all consuming…I can’t say that I regret it. As a church and as a school (Master’s Commission) we rallied together to make a difference. Granted, I felt so bad for the MC students who paid thousands of dollars for a program. Instead of in-depth studies and ministry trips they spent months working around the clock cleaning and organizing the Cajun Dome. But, through it all, we reached out to hurting people in our state and we put the needs of others above our own. For that I am thankful, God gave us the grace to serve in any way possible. It was beautiful and it was worth it!
Shortly after Katrina hit, we braced ourselves for Hurricane Rita. I remember that day so clearly and I actually wrote a post about it a couple of months ago. You can read it here: The Perfect Storm
What I did not feel comfortable sharing in that post was the fact that my husband was not asked to stay behind, he was told to do so. I was told to leave and he was forced to stay. We were not given a choice. That put a strain on our relationship and on my respect for our leaders/pastors. We both wrestled with the decision. We had just witnessed the tragedy of Katrina first hand and we knew that Hurricane Rita could cause severe damage to our city as well. I hated knowing that we were not given the respect of making the choice for ourselves. The church opened it’s doors as a shelter and one person showed up. I think that’s what upset me. Everyone was leaving town, yet my husband was told it was part of his duty as a “son in the house” to stay behind and man the church campus. So, however you may see the situation…I can’t help but think in those moments a man must make a decision based upon what is best for his family. The family must decide as a unit if they are willing or able to make the sacrifice. I remember driving away and feeling as though my husband was being forced to choose the church over me. And to be honest… it was a tough pill to swallow.