As I’m sure we all remember, on August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. We made our first trip down a few weeks later, and I had never seen anything like it. I was totally unprepared for, and could have hardly even imagined, the depths of destruction we were seeing.
Perhaps some of you remember the pictures posted and stories told as I blogged about it. The experience totally wrecked me; I simply did not know how to deal with it emotionally. And I got to leave after only a few days there, coming back to all the comforts of home.
One person who did not leave, and has not left in the years following, is David Knight. David is the Rector (Senior Pastor) of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church. We, and many other churches, partnered with St. Patrick’s to help them rebuild. I am thankful for the relationship I have come to have with this dear man.
I cannot even begin to comprehend what is must have been like for him to live in the middle of this suffering for years on end. Many people never came back. For those that did, the area is still being rebuilt to this day (yes, they still need your help). To live with such loss for so long, and be there as a healing presence to the many who were suffering through it… let’s just say that David remains one of my personal heroes, a model of faithfulness and perseverance. Thank you, David, for helping me remember what a priest is really meant to be.
Finally, after almost 5 years, St. Patrick’s is rebuilding their church building (albeit at a different location farther inland!). They can do this because they never stopped building the church itself. The story is deeply touching, and can be seen on the video posted below. I commend it to you, and hope you will take a few moments to watch it. If you are able to help in any way, I know they will much appreciate it.