Last weekend I began a brief series on my scout trip to the Gulf Coast. You may want to read these previous posts to get caught up before you read todays.
Ahh, 12 hours of sleep did a world of good for my body. Tuesday had been such a blessing and we were in store for a long, but productive day on Wednesday. We began the day by driving north of Vinton to a small town, Starks. Here we toured the town, but the pastor was not at the church. Pastor Rob, from Vinton, had suggested we check out Starks as a possible fourth town in case we had the need. I’m glad we did, because we now do need more towns to serve in, so at least I am familiar with the look/feel of Starks.
After Starks we drove to Hackberry, LA. You can see some of the pictures from Hackberry here. It is a town that was devastated by the storm surge of the Hurricanes. The water had no place to go so it settled about 3-4 feet deep in Hackberry. The church was essentially totaled. Though the outside walls remain, the entire inside has been gutted and is nearing completion. The Pastor of the church in Hackberry is bi-vocational, so we knew we would not see him at the church, but we had arranged a noon lunch appointment with him in Lake Charles, LA.
Pastor Jason, is also Officer Jason, A county Sheriff (do you call them deputy instead of Officer?). After touring Hackberry we headed east on I-10 for our lunch appointment with Jason. We met him at the courthouse (which was more of an office building). As we waited we were approached two or three times by people asking if we were there for workman’s comp? I was VERY tempted to say, “yes” just to see what would happen next. I avoided the temptation in the fear of being arrested later by the very same Pastor/Cop we were trying to serve with.
Jason arrived and we headed for our first of three straight Mexican restaurant meals. Jason was very fun to meet with and within minutes he was jumping on the Hackberry/Youthmark train.
When we were done in Lake Charles were were quickly on our way back west to Texas. Pastor Rob from Vinton joined us and led the way to Bridge City, TX where we were meeting with Brandon, the Youth Pastor in Bridge City.
Bridge City is a city with a population base of 6000. This is much larger than towns I would normally partner with. However, because we are teaming with Samaritan’s Purse in the recovery efforts in small towns, it seems to be a perfect fit. I believe I heard this statistic a couple times, we heard that only 16 homes total were spared from the flooding caused by the hurricanes this last summer. Brandon was a great guy. He was at the gutted out church doing some finish work to prepare for their first gathering in this building in months. He was trying to get it ready for a Superbowl party taking place on Sunday. The building looks nowhere near ready to host anything. Cement and drywall… that is it. But, the spirit of the people is incredible in Bridge City. The church is going to be a great one to partner with.
After our Bridge City encounter it was now time to go further west back toward Houston where I was to meet another Pastor Rob, the Youth Pastor at a church in Spring, Texas. We had dinner with Rob and one of his interns. It is our hope that Spring may serve as “Hub Host” for our Gulf Coast mission (the first night to launch all of the teams, and the last night for celebration and debriefing). As it turns out, not only did we get to connect and talk about being hub host, but Rob has since called and signed up for a Montana Mission trip with us!