I have been gone for a week ministering in Pearlington, Mississippi. It was my 5th trip to this once forgotten town. Hurricane Katrina and its devastation put it on the map. This town is 8 miles from the Gulf of Mexico along the Pearl River. The eye of Hurricane Katrina went right over this tiny town and when the storm was over, there was a tidal surge that brought up to 28 feet of standing water. Thankfully when the tide went out, so did most of the standing water. But almost every home (there were 850 prior to Katrina) was in some way hit or destroyed by the winds, rains and flood waters. Many had to be torn down to the studs, others had to be totally torn down and started from scratch.
My family went to Pearlington 7 months after the Hurricane hit. We were amazed at the devastation of the storm and the determination of the people to rebuild. We were welcomed instantly and began to make friends in this town. We were not the first from our church to go there. There was a team that went shortly after Hurricane Katrina hit and the story as to how God lead there is fascinating. (click here for the link – once there click on “The Path to Pearlington” for the story)
Since that first trip we have taken several teams down and sent others from our church to help with the rebuilding of this community. The friendships made over the past 3 years are wonderful and continue to go deeper as we share our faith and lives.
In July, there were 11 of us that went to Pearlington to Back Yard Bible Club, also known as Vacation BIble School. We had 30 children each night and they did not want it to end. They wanted us to stay another week. It was so encouraging to see the children learning God’s word, hiding it in their hearts and be surrounded by the love from those of us that went and from those in the community. My heart is still full of the mercies of God that we experienced while there.
My heart and my life will be changed forever because of my experiences in Pearlington.