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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

Vantage Point: Looking Back on Disaster

By Ken Horn
Aug. 29, 2010

It has been five years since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. Many have not yet recovered and are now facing a different kind of tragedy — the record-shattering oil leak that is currently threatening livelihoods and changing lives.

In 2005 I spent a week in the disaster zone, reporting, assisting Convoy of Hope in disaster response, and checking on my sister Pat, whose home was slammed hard by Katrina. My wife, Peggy, spent extended periods of time responding with Convoy. I returned six months after the storm and found much unchanged, especially in New Orleans’ demolished lower Ninth Ward.

Katrina brought out the best and the worst of people.

The best: People giving selflessly and working tirelessly to help those in need. Individuals who had suffered great losses themselves worked to ease the pain of others, and by doing so found the pain of their own loss easier to bear. Church groups from all over the nation began a nonstop caravan to the Gulf Coast to work to benefit stricken individuals, churches and communities, asking nothing in return. Many workers used vacation time.

The worst: Con-men and profiteers descended on the suffering like wolves in sheep’s clothing, adding to the pain of those already struggling for survival. Many hurricane victims had slick hucksters take their money for repairs on their homes, then not return to finish the work.

Now, half a decade later, the book on Katrina has yet to be closed. But new chapters have been written that are more about hope than tragedy, more about perseverance than pain. Christians came together in ways and degrees perhaps unprecedented. The church of Jesus Christ responded with alacrity and endurance — some ministries spawned by Katrina continue to this day.

Churches have been rebuilt; some have even been born in the wake of the tragedy. Turn to page 6 to read Christina Quick’s encouraging report, “Five Years After Katrina.”

Ken Horn

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