Today was our team's first full day in New Orleans, and boy was it a FULL day! We started the morning with some devotions and then headed off to Franklin Avenue Baptist Church. For those of you who are not familiar with FABC, it is a staple of New Orleans. There are thousands of people who attended this church before the storm...most from the parts of the city hit the hardest by Katrina. When Katrina hit, many parishors went to Houston. So many so that Franklin Avenue was meeting in Houston and now has basically planted a church in the Houston area. The Lead Pastor was actually in Houston this morning. We heard "The Bishop". And for those of you who've been to a black Southern Baptist church, you KNOW-ah we went to CHURCH-a THIS-ahh MORNIN'!
It was good. You can check out their website and see a videocast of the service every week. I think Heather might actually leave Revolution to watch the FABC broadcast. :o) Not really.
After coming back to the house to change, we headed out to lunch. We had some amazing Po' Boys. The girls even liked the alligator sausage. mmmmmmm
And then it was time for "the tour". It's hard for me to imagine what this is like for someone who's never been here before. I've been doing the same tour since October 2005, and even though it's almost 3 years later, it's amazing that the sights can still create deafening silence, awe and sadness in those seeing for the first time. New Orleans is coming back. But she's coming back slowly.
When the tour was over, a few of us stayed at the house to relax for a little while while 2 of us headed out with Janet to Sam's club and to pick up our rental van (which is like a Mazda Miata compared to the Giant White BBC Beast we've been driving since last night) and then a final stop at Wal-Mart for some VBS supplies. Once we got back home, Jessie (with some help from our hosts) cooked up some wonderful Spaghetti and salad, we ate and then did some planning for tomorrow.
We are so tired and the week hasn't really even begun yet! Tomorrow is the first day of our 4-day VBS as well as our first taste of gutting a house. We are all excited, but praying we are energetic enough to give it our all. Karina had a fever of 102 earlier, but it looks like God is answering our prayers and it's down to 99 as of an hour ago! Praise God!
As for me, I'm just along for the ride. I don't know what God has in store for this week. I certainly didn't expect my own emotions to be all out of whack just by being here, so I have to really let God have control of everything or I'll just fall apart like I usually do when I get overwhelmed.
So when you think about us, pray for us. Pray for the kids we'll meet tomorrow. Pray for the people whose house we are working on. Pray for us to have soft hearts and humble, teachable spirits. Pray that we grow to love one another and enjoy one another as teammates. Pray that we stay healthy and well-rested. Pray that God gives us joy abundantly. And pray that God is glorified through our short stay here in New Orleans.