Well – I’m back from mission, and once again it was great. The youth were great, no real complaining about the heat or humidity or the work. We got a lot of different tasks done, and really affected the lives of 8 people.
It’s also really amazing to see the devastation down there. It seems basically that no one had ‘flood’ insurance, and the insurance company classified the damage the homes got as a ‘flood’, so the owners are out of luck.
Take this family:
This is what’s left of a multi-million dollar home on the waterfront. Notice the FEMA trailer in the background behind the beams of the house.
Part of me doesn’t get it… why not rebuild? I guess if insurance doesn’t pay, what do you do? Submit a request to the First Presbyterian Church in Bay Saint Louis and pray people like our youth group keep coming I guess.
On Sunday I leave with 70 other students and adults down to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi for our yearly mission trip. We are going to try to be posting to a blog I’ve set up, daily status of what’s been happening. I’m probably also going to be posting the days pictures to my flickr.com account, so stay tuned to that over the next week.
Scoble always talks about the power of blogs, how they can change the world. Here’s one example.
Becca Sanders is over in Africa right now for 7 weeks, and she’s blogging. She is the daughter of the pastor of the church I volunteer at, and she’s on a mission.
She’s given the 1400 folks or so that go to LGPC a look inside a mission, pictures, thoughts, day to day activities.. pretty awesome stuff.. it makes me want to go to Africa.. seven weeks, I don’t know.. but 2 weeks, sure.
At the gym tonight I was thinking about the mission trip this year, and why it’s affected me more than last years – and I think it comes down to me being more engaged on this trip.
I met more of the locals, talked with them, went to them to stores. I met their sons and daughters. It was more real to me than the orphans in Mexico.
Ah.. I also bet it’s because Bahamians speak English too, I didn’t think of that until now.
The different between the people on the island who live in places like 8 Mile Rock (the town we worked in), compared to the luxury of living in a hotel, or being in the area of the fancy hotels and downtown Freeport is really dramatic.
Ah.. I’m not expressing things well.. needless to say when I go to places like this again (think places like Cabo in Mexico) I’m going to try and get out of the ‘tourist’ areas, and see the real people.
I leave you with a shot a friend took on the trip, of a local older gentleman, sitting on his front porch. Click for a larger image on Flickr.
Every year (well, this is the second) I go on a mission trip with the high school kids I volunteer with.. this year we are going to Freeport Bahamas to help rebuild after the hurricane last year..
Ya, they still haven’t rebuilt people’s houses and libraries… the hotels and such are rebuilt mostly, because they provide the majority of the tax dollars for the government.. sadly the people’s infrastructure is last on the list…
It’s going to be a hot and draining week though.. right now, at 7pm at night, it’s 86F, humidity of 74%, which feels like 96F. Florida in the summer, basically.. which I’ve only experienced once, and didn’t enjoy.
All in the name of helping someone in the name of God I guess.. I’ll post more here about the trip, we leave on July 16th at 6:30am from Portland, and get back July 23rd at about 11pm.