We began the day hearing Steve’s testimony how God got a hold of his heart at 18 and then his and Bronwen’s journey with “YWAM for the past 25 years. We followed that with watching a Katrina Devastation video to prepare us for visiting the 9th Ward! It’s interesting that 8 years later there are still houses with the large X’s and the markings that the National Guard used as they went from home to home checking to find people or animals, etc. We saw the many homes that Brad Pitt’s organization helped build. There are now others coming in and helping families to rebuild or repair the few homes that survived the levy breaking.
There are still homes that no one has moved back in and they are just crumbling but it was wonderful to see how many businesses have rebuilt or new ones are coming back in to the 7th and 9th Wards! Steve told us there are probably 20,000+ homes still vacant. Not to mention the businesses that no one came back to or just walked away from because the devastation was so great! He also told us that the people they were able to help gut their houses and helped to begin to repair their damaged homes (over 500 homes) those people told YWAM that ‘the church’ did more for them than the government. It brought healing. It changed hearts of people of different cultures and races and allowed all the people to see each other as just that… people … people that God loved, people that God cares about, people that needed Him!
After the tour, we went back to the French Quarters to the Gazebo for lunch, listening to an outdoor R&B band while we ate. Some of the team was brave enough to try some alligator sausage Po Boys, some Jambalaya, some Rice n Beans, some Louisiana fried Catfish the rest had hamburgers and chicken strips…. Seriously? LOL
Then it was time for some serious shopping and a ride back across the Mississippi on the ferry to the home base near Algiers Point.
2 things I want to share that a couple of the students did today… pretty jazzed about it.
- Brittany noticed a lady (while we were shopping) with a leg brace one like she had to wear after she tore her ACL… she asked the woman if she could pray for her. The lady had been in a motorcycle accident and allowed Brittany to pray for her… So excited for the courage to step out and show God’s love to someone she didn’t know!
- While the girls van was coming back to the base, they saw a couple of guys on the side of the road intensely arguing with each other… Kendall suggested the van pray for them and that situation… they did.
I was so blessed to hear how they were allowing the Holy Spirit to guide them to touch the lives of others. One personally experienced their obedience… the other… never knew … but God works in both instances.
Allow their courage to challenge you… Be aware … Ask God to show you – who needs prayer today? And then whether you will feel the urge to personally speak to someone or if you will feel led to pray for someone knowing they will never know … follow the urging. For sure, it will bless you … and whether you ever know the outcome or not … it will bless them!
Yesterday morning each one of us took a name and had 2 days to observe that person so we could speak encourage them and bless them. This is a powerful time each year. As we are being challenged to present our bodies as a living sacrifice – Romans 12:1-21 – it also talks about honoring one another and to prefer one another. We were to write down our thoughts and the scripture and give it to the person. I love this time because it teaches us to give and receive. Watching each student when they nervously say, “I have _____’s name” and the recipient then has this look of anxiety and hopefulness. Then as the words are spoken to and about them it wonderful to see them receive that encouragement.
This has the potential of drawing the class closer together AND truly helps them see each other in a different light. Sometimes it brings healing!
We then talked about their love for the Lord and his Word!
Now, all the Science, History, Math, English and other specials classes – don’t stress – We challenged the students with their thoughts and attitudes about God’s Word and studying it and how the knowledge gained from it is the most important that can ever learn. It is the foundation on which everything else is built.
We have had a wonderful time! A few pictures have been posted on Summit Academy Facebook page!
A BIG Thank you to my leaders and their families! What a blessing they have been to me and to the students!
We’ll be trying to leave between 7 and 8 in the morning. We have to clean each building and we are just now winding down. My drivers need 7 hours of sleep. I will either get an email out to you in the morning or I’ll call the school and have them send one to let you know we are starting home! We’ll check in somewhere along the way and then when we get to Elgin we’ll start calling! I hope to be at the school around 6pm. The highways coming home sometimes have construction and only has one lane open that can add time to the trip.
Thanks for your prayers… for safe traveling home… for health… for God to be glorified in ALL WE DO!
Be blessed and highly ‘flavored’ you are the salt of the earth!