The Preacher's Coffee group met yesterday in a new location. Our previous location, a brew pub where they fixed us coffee as they cleaned up the bar, blew away in the storm. The group met at the hospital for two weeks then moved to our new location at the Mexican restaurant. Seven of us met Wednesday morning; six are homeless. I mean homeless as in either a)home blown away with only slab for evidence that home existed, b) three or fewer walls remain of house, or c)structure remains but is gutted and even spiders won't go inside. Lord, have mercy. These are the caregivers for over 1600 people and they have no familar place to rest their heads at night.
Still, despite the losses and wearing either donated clothing or storm damaged-then-bleached senseless stuff, they gathered to laugh and talk. Some senior UMC officials met with us and spent the time on their cell phones. No criticism here, just giving the sense of urgency/workload of everyone who is trying to help us.
President Bill Clinton came to my community. He met with the Turnkey Community first and made the instant personal connection he is known for. How I wish that he was my president during this disaster. When Pres.Bush spoke in New Orleans at Jackson Square, I heard his words (well-written speech) but saw in him the monitor reading un-connected affect. Clinton comes and hugs people, talks with them about what they want to talk about and makes the human connection. We need Clinton, not Bush now. Sorry if you don't like this but when people are in trouble, they need a person not a robot. I knew Bill was down here but couldn't get to him. I'm so glad he came to see all this. God bless him. A woman asked him, "Will you come back to check on us?" and he said he would.
Coming out of the grocery store parking lot Wednesday, the traffic backed up as it does all over the Coast these days. As we waited in traffic, the woman in front of me jumped out of the driver's seat, pulled open the back door of the car and began slapping a girl in the backseat. Tempers are very frayed here. You can't go many places. The traffic stalls constantly. People don't have enough money. People don't have homes. People are frightened. We have a curfew at night because the streetlights are gone.
Mr. C's pastor lost his home, too. His wife moved to Georgia because the mold and air quality here makes her sick.
Here's what the UMC's did for their pastors: sent each pastor a helper to handle all the relief effort phone calls and work and to make sure the pastor has what she/he needs.
I don't know what the PCUSA pastors have for support here. I wasn't notified of the meeting last week of our pastors. I found out about some aid when I contacted our EP.
I'm just telling you. If you are upset that I mention politics here, think about who you would want to comfort you when your world is destroyed, a person who will listen or a person who has to be told how to respond to your pain?
I'm going to rant about the insurance industry soon. You may want to ignore me for a few days.