We followed a similar schedule today (Tuesday) and continued working on the three different job sites we have been assigned to as well as spending time prayer walking through the neighborhoods and talking with people and praying with them. Part of our team had the opportunity today to spend some time at a memorial in the Lower Ninth Ward.
The Lower Ninth Ward experienced some of the worst devastation occurred as a result of Hurricane Katrina. In that neighborhood, there are many vacant lots where homes used to be. Now, all that remains on many of these lots is the concrete slab where the house once stood or the front porch.
Barton, Chris and Kurt have been working on removing old siding and installing new siding on a house in the city. They also met a few people in the community yesterday and today and prayed with them. One was a man spreading soil to make a yard for his children to play in. Two women were hanging out on the porch of another home.
Melinda and Kayla have been working on hanging sheetrock at a different job site and prayer walking that neighborhood.
Lexi, Rachel, Kent, and I have been hanging sheetrock and mudding at a church planter’s future home. We met a man today in the neighborhood that was pushing a lawnmower looking for work. He seemed to be a Christian and was blessed to visit with us and actually led our time of prayer together. Though he has not been able to find a job recently, he has maintained a positive attitude trusting in God while also getting out and finding odd jobs to earn some money.
There are many different faces and many different homes. The condition of some homes appears fine from the outside. Some homes are even beautiful on the outside with lush vegetation and bright colored paint and unique architecture.
Yet, other homes are boarded up, abandoned, broken down, and overgrown.
Personally, I was reminded today by Lois that the people in the nice homes need Jesus just as much as those in the broken down homes. We have a tendency to want to be like the colorful, beautiful homes or at least appear to others this way. But, sadly, we sometimes are more like the broken down homes on the inside – feeling abandoned, or boarded up so nobody can get in, overgrown with pride or self-dependence. May God not only break our hearts for the lost, but may God also rebuild our souls and heal our wounds and make us whole again so we may experience the joy of our salvation and be prepared in season and out of season to give others a reason for the hope we have in Jesus, whether in New Orleans or in Barron County or anywhere else.