Saturday, September 22, 2007

Pre-Leap #2: Get Set!

In April 2006, after four solid months of sitting in front of my computer moving nothing but my fingers (and gaining 20 pounds of paunch), I successfully defended my thesis, Jude and the Scoffers. Graduation was not until May. One month of time off! .. With the extra time off, I lead a team from St. James on a mission/relief trip to New Orleans. Here is the "Moonwalk" in New Orleans along the Mississippi River.

The six of us from St. James pitched in at Annunciation's relief center, handing out everything from dustmasks to diapers. .. This is the Annunciation campus, in the morning setting up the distribution center. The trailer with the cross is the "doublewide" where services and meetings were held; the trailer to its right held a temporary medical clinic; and the building above it is a former rectory. All this land was under 8 feet of water.

We also went out on assignment to muck out a house not far away. .. Here is the 81-year-old Fr. Cam (in the yellow hardhat) helping to muck out this house, which also had 8 feet of water in it. Fr. Cam and I drove his mini-pickup from California to Louisiana and back for this trip, 200-mile shifts, non-stop except for meals.

I borrowed Cam's truck and drove the 70 miles to Pass Christian, Mississippi, to visit Fr. James Giles at God's Katrina Kitchen. (GKK).. This is the GKK dining tent. At the time they were also operating a relief supplies distribution center. GKK was housing and feeding dozens of church mission groups who came to the Gulf Coast to muck out, clean up, and rebuild.

James and I drove out as far as you could go on the ruined Highway 90, approaching the ruined bridge to Bay St. Louis. .. Here we talked of many things, indeed, of cabbages and kings. James helped confirm for me my call to the order of deacons. Was this to be my new job site? I still did not know, but I was itchy as a frog on a lilypad in a thunderstorm. But first I had to go back to California for Graduation.