Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A great man and continued need...

Rev. Elijah Mealancon lead a small church in the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans. As hurricane Katrina pressed on the gulf coast Rev. Elijah made a decision to stay in his city. With the storm raging, Rev. Elijah knew that many elderly and sick citizens would not be able to evacuate New Orleans. He stayed, not knowing the horrors and dangers that would be unleashed on the morning of August 29, 2005.

As the city flooded utility services stopped working. No electricity, no potable water and a sewer system that was seeping into the flood waters. Rev. Elijah went from apartment to apartment and found people in need. With courage and the love of God in his heart he broke into abandoned stores and made sure the sick and elderly had food, water and the basic needs to sustain life. After several days thousands of NOLA residents made their way to Baton Rogue. With the clothes on their back, they were in need of food water and clothing. Rev. Elijah continued to find the resources need to keep people fed and clothed.

After several days of this, Rev. Elijah was approached by Operation Blessing and several business men. With the funds and goods provided, Rev. Elijah was able to make sure hundreds of people had emergency housing in local hotels and the necessities of life. Hundreds of people were housed, clothed and fed because of the efforts of Rev. Elijah. For three months, he made sure folks in temporary housing had all they needed to maintain daily life.

After three months, Operation Blessing, the Red Cross and the Salvation Army began to funneling emergency and rebuild funds through the organization set up by Rev. Elijah. To this date he continues his efforts to rebuild New Orleans and help those in need. He now has started a training school for young people to learn the construction trade. This six month training program takes at risk students and prepares them for a career in the construction industry.

Rev. Elijah has become my friend over the past four weeks. We have found that we work well together and have found mutual benefit in our relationship. As I return to NOLA to help the rebuild process I will be looking for other people to meet Rev. Elijah. His heart desires to see all of God's people work together to show the world that God loves them. In a few short weeks, we have come to see how much more effective the rebuild process will be as we work together.

I fly to NOLA this afternoon and will stay until at least the first week of March. There is still much work to be completed and I will spend the next ten days or so pushing each project I touch forward in some way. With that said, it is necessary that I maintain my home and family in N.C., that is where you can help. If you believe God's people should rebuild NOLA, then help me in that process. All funds are being used to keep the home fires burning and go directly to my church, The Carpenter's Shop. Help me help the folks of NOLA. Donations can be sent to the church through Paypal, just click on the send money tab and use the email address carpentersshop@gmail.com. If you would prefer, send me an email @ jchalmersnc@gmail.com and I'll send you the Church's snail mail address. Know this, each gift is appreciated and I thank you now for your support.

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