Message 4 / Day 4 October 19

We were privileged to return to our WalMart parking lot. This seems to be the hub of activity in St. Bernard Parish. This tent city is actually in the city of Chalmette, LA.

 

 

 

The neighborhood we drive though is a middle class tract of brick facade, single story homes, around 1600 sq ft. We never cease to be sobered by our drive to and from the FEMA sleeping tents and the clinic. It is truly a modern ghost town. Everything is covered with mud, which gives it an old, abandoned look. Those who have come back and cleaned the debris from inside the homes have a mountain of mess 6’-10’ high in front of their homes. The Structural Engineers have been through the areas and examined the homes. They spray paint a large red X on the front of the house. The top of the X is the date examined. Moving counter clockwise, the initials of the group examining the home (9 o’clock position), number of deaths in home (6 o’clock position), and any gas or environmental hazards noticed (3 o’clock position). They are tagged. If green, people can return and spend time; if yellow, they can enter and retrieve items; if red, no entry. None of these homes are habitable and only a rare home has had a death. There are no birds, no pets, no noise. Just still and silent. There is no traffic, only workers traveling to their assignments, so our trip is short and easy.

We arrive at the clinic to spend time setting up and preparing our hearts for the situations we will face today. After our devotions and a cup of coffee, our hearts and brains are readied to serve those who find our clinic. God has strengthened us through our devotional times and our relationships with each other.

Our clinic is set up with four stations: triage and wound care, injections, MD, and pharmacy. Those whose just need med refills are taken care of by triage and pharmacy. Those who have a medical condition that requires an exam see the MD’s. We have tetanus shots, Hepatitis A & B shots available, and that station rarely has a break in traffic. The patients are so grateful for anything we can provide. We were able to give away diabetic equipment and an automatic blood pressure machine today. By the end of the day we had seen 200 patients.

Our team is working well together, lots of laughter and humble, servant hearts. Though were tired and hot, were happy to be here and can’t wait for tomorrow. We were blessed by each interaction with a patient and their family. We’re gaining perspective on what life is about and what is really important.

After dinner tonight, our evening meeting was abandoned in order to worship with a youth group from Minnesota. At the back of the huge room of tents, we gathered with a guitar and shared songs and stories, very refreshing to the soul. God’s church is alive and well and doing a great work.

See you tomorrow.