Sunday, February 22, 2009

A blessing & a curse...

2522 Pauger St, the home of Virgie Holloway.

Late Thursday afternoon Mrs. Virgie Holloway called. Mrs. Holloway calling me is nothing new while I work on her home, I speak with her several times per day and see her two or three times per week. I keep her abreast of the progress on the house and she asks me advice about products she is buying for the house. Last week we had several conversations regarding the faucet sets she was ordering for her kitchen and one of the bathrooms. She loves a bargain and is determined to S...T...R...E...T...C...H what few resources she has to maximize the value of each piece of product she must purchase for her house. If we can ever get this home finished, it will be very nice.

Mrs. Virgie was very upset when she called. "The devil is trying to stop us from finishing this house!", were the first words I heard as I answered her call. She then explained to me that she was at her house and that someone had broken in and stolen all the tools of the volunteer crew that was working there. Mennonite Disaster Services is helping Mrs. Holloway by providing labor to complete the house. MDS is finishing the framing, installing the insulation and hanging the sheet rock. They are a great group of folks from all over the U.S. and Canada and are willing to help however they can. The Mennonites believe they are to live the life and teachings of Jesus and by what I have seen, they are fulfilling that by their help and work in NOLA.

Mrs. Holloways' house is in the 7th Ward. Just a few moments from the French Quarter the community has a diverse population and a rich history. It also has a seedy, drug infested side; Mrs. Holloways' home is right in the middle of the latter.
It is not uncommon to see several drug dealers and deals going on on a regular basis right around her home, yet she feels God has placed her there to be a light in the darkness.

You cannot see the iron bars on all the windows and the iron gates on each door in the photo above, but they are there. The Mennonites had all their tools in the house and locked up to leave for a few moments. When they returned the door had been forced and they then realized they had not locked the iron gate that covers the front door. The neighborhood is full of folks sitting on porches watching the world and the day go by, yet no one saw anything. I am not shocked by thieves, I am shocked by a community that would allow them to steal from even those who are trying to help rebuild the city and better the community.

Pray for MDS and all the organizations that are working together to restore homes and lives. Pray for our protection as we go and come throughout the city. Pray for those who stole the tools, that somehow, they will experience the grace and mercy of our loving Father God.

MDS in New Orleans.

1 comment:

  1. I suspect Mrs. Holloway is correct. The devil wants to break the spirit of those rebuilding N.O. I'm sure the same trash that pillaged the stores and assaulted their neighbors immediately following Katrina have not strayed far from where they scavenged. They are a blight upon the city and a test of faith for those who believe N.O. is worth rebuilding. May God provide the tools necessary to finish Mrs. Holloway's house so that the enemy will know that he didn't win.