Chetek Church Still Ministering to Katrina Victims

CHETEK, Wis.
Go Home! The words, shouted at us from the open window of a passing construction vehicle, spoke directly to the tension building in Lakeshore Mississippi. Thankfully, most of our Wisconsin team, half of them eager, compassion-hearted young people, missed the episode. For those of us who heard, it served to confirm suspicions we already harbored.

We had left home almost a week earlier from Chetek Alliance Church for a fourth week-long mission trip to help with reconstruction in Lakeshore. Much has yet to be done to rebuild what Hurricane Katrina destroyed three and a half years ago. Hancock County, the focus of our outreach, had been Ground Zero when the hurricane came ashore and the area still bears unmistakable signs. Splintered trees, devastated neighborhoods of only foundations and broken walls are gaunt reminders of the disaster.

But in the midst of the devastation new houses are springing up. A number of homes are spacious and impressive built by professional construction companies. Others are smaller, humbler, but certainly as greatly appreciated. A great number of these have been constructed through grant moneys or donations and built by an army of volunteers. Since August 2005 tens of thousands of men, women and young people have visited the area intent on lending a hand to those who lost all they had.

Lakeshore Baptist Church, our local ministry partner, found its own buildings reduced to kindling by the storm but felt the Lords call ...

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