Mike Cope's blog

Friday, September 02, 2005

I have so many childhood memories invested in Biloxi. We went there almost every year until Camille crushed it in 1969. At the time, my mom's doctors told her that what was needed to help psoriasis was lots of sun. Of course, doctors now say that the sun is the one thing skin doesn't need! But we were going with what we were told then. So off we'd go every year for the Admiral Benbow Inn. (Maybe it led to my Treasure Island obsession.) Since at the time our daily newspaper in Neosho, MO was family owned, my dad could trade them free advertising for a couple weeks of lodging. Why the Admiral Benbow Inn wanted to advertise in Neosho, I don't know. But apparently it worked. It's during those years that my mom taught me the delight of raw oysters (a passion I still have), and my dad taught me to ride the waves (which I passed on to my boys). When we got married in 1978, we drove to Hot Springs (yes, we heard all the jokes) for a couple days, returned to Harding for my graduation ceremonies, and then took off for -- of course -- Biloxi. New Orleans has been one of our favorite spots since we started going to Pensacola Beach in 1989. Each year we've built a stop in N.O. into the itinerary. Sometimes we've stopped just for a quick beignet at the Cafe du Monde. But most of the time we've saved enough time for Preservation Hall (home of New Orleans jazz), the Imax, Ralph & Kakoo's, the aquarium, and a stroll along the Mississippi. A couple times we've splurged with dinners at Nola's (one of Emeril's restaurants) or Galatoire's. I wonder what's happened to all these places. But even more I wonder about all those people we've seen through the years. I still can't wrap my mind around this tragedy. At Highland and thousands of other churches this Sunday, we'll be taking special contributions. Our prayer is that God will get that money to people in need as quickly as possible!

18 Comments:

  • I am not sure what it would take, but what if ACU, Pepperdine, Harding, or if all Universities and colleges, put their semesters on "pause" for the next three weeks and simply allowed their students, faculty and staff the opportunity to go to the areas affected by Katrina to help??

    As our thoughts and prayers continue to be actively engaged towards these individuals, somehow I get the sense/feeling/discernment that they and God would rather have us there in their midst serving them face to face.

    Just struggling with this and all those who suffer on a daily basis this morning.

    Blessings.

    By Blogger Donald Philip Simpson, at 9/02/2005 04:41:00 AM  

  • I can't get my brain around this whole tragedy. I have a lot of memories of the Mississippi coast and New Orleans. NOLA, Commander's Palace, Pat O'brein's (I know I shouldn't list them on a preacher site), and Preservation Hall along with the Cafe Du Monde-Bignet's with Cafe Au-Lait. I saw some Saints games in the dome. I saw a Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Liza Minelli concert there. I saw Harry Connick (Sr. and Jr.) "stop in" and perform at the House of Blues. I haven't been in at least 10 years but I miss the Big Easy, too. The people are warm and very uniquely open. I hurt for them and their home.

    By Blogger Ed Harrell, at 9/02/2005 05:33:00 AM  

  • This is sort of an off-topic comment, but I have a different sort of prayer request for all of you blog readers. My roommate's mom had a heart attack last January (about a week before the wreck), and last night she was readmitted to the hospital for chest pain. She is having a heart cath sometime today to determine the problem. Please keep her in your prayers as you continue to pray over the tragedy in New Orleans as well. Thank you!

    By Blogger Heather A, at 9/02/2005 06:17:00 AM  

  • Heather,

    Praying for your roommate's mom. Thanks for asking.

    By Blogger Serena Voss, at 9/02/2005 06:33:00 AM  

  • Rapha International is working to provide help to the people suffering from the effects of Hurricane Katrina. We are a 501c3 relief organization. Please go to our website for updates:
    www.raphainternational.org

    We will be accepting donations and sending help asap to help those in need. Your donations will be tax deductible. Rapha can accept matching funds from companies, also
    Right now we are working with several different churches, FEMA, the Red Cross. Groups are leaving today and tomorrow for Louisiana, Mississippi. We hope to continue to help in the upcoming days and weeks.
    We will be keeping the web site updated as we go so check there often.
    We are praying fervently for the lives of people and know that God will use this for His Glory! It has been refreshing to see how the American people are responding to the great need here in our own country. Churches and people in Texas and around the country are opening their buildings and homes to house and feed these displaced persons. God is indeed being glorified!!
    If you have questions, please call me at 817.654.9937 or reply to this email. Or call Lori Reynolds at Rapha: 817.536.3383
    Because of the Cross,

    Marilyn Holland
    for Rapha International
    Fort Worth, TX

    By Blogger Missionary's Missionary, at 9/02/2005 06:36:00 AM  

  • At Missions Resource Network we just received word of another agency bringing aid to Katrina victims. See this web-site:
    http://disasterrelief.bizsitenetworks.com/default.asp
    Love's prayers...Dottie Schulz

    By Blogger Missionary's Missionary, at 9/02/2005 06:57:00 AM  

  • I live in Houston--teach in Houston--and I have one of the "refugee kids" in my classroom today. We are all so overwhelmed but are doing what we can in Texas. The districts in the area are accepting students from LA and MS because they are not classified as "homeless", and in all too many cases that is absolutely true. Also, universities in TX (and I'm sure other places) including Rice in Houston are opening their doors--tuition free--to students from Tulane and other universities effected by the storm.

    Please keep all the refugees that are in large facilities (ie: the Astrodome) and the officials from Red Cross to local police in your prayers. This is already a trying time and is bound to get more touchy as the weeks drag by. Too many people in too close quarters.

    RL

    By Blogger Roxanne, at 9/02/2005 07:07:00 AM  

  • I my previous post I made a typo--I wrote "they are NOT classified as homeless" but intended to write "the are NOW classified as homeless."

    RL

    By Blogger Roxanne, at 9/02/2005 07:09:00 AM  

  • I'm not sure if anyone has posted this site- shareyourhome.org. For those of us who have the means, sharing our homes with the refugees is an incredible way to build long term relationships and show Jesus.

    By Blogger erinlo, at 9/02/2005 09:03:00 AM  

  • ACU is actually looking at bringing people in from Tulane-I hope that is a tangible way we can help some of these people. I pray that we can do whatever is in our power with the gifts God has given us...

    By Blogger Katherine, at 9/02/2005 11:11:00 AM  

  • I would like to let you all know what is happening here. We are 3 1/2 hours NW of New Orleans. From what I can get word about we have about 25,000 refugees, but that number is growing.

    The director of the Red Cross attends the Storefront Church of Christ and we are setting up a HUGE ministry.

    - Donald, the next 3 weeks ARE NOT crucial -

    I have worked closely with Harding & desire to with Pepperdine, Abilene, etc. to provide relief in the shelters in our area. They are wearing out. We're hosting these people through the next 3-6 months.

    So, I have set up a plan that every weekend we will have about 50 Harding Students come and work from Friday through Sunday in shifts. I don't know who to contact at Pepperdine or ACU who would be willing to work with me on this.

    We can house hundreds of people in our church memebrs homes, church buildings, etc. and we have specific ministries and services they can provide.

    Please email me at abattist@gmail.com

    If anyone knows who to contact at ACU, Pepperdine, SWCC, LCU, etc. I'd love to help them send students here and closer. I mean we've got WAY more connections than the Red Cross director of Central Louisiana. Just please email me. I want to talk to people, we need help for the next 3 months GURANTEED. That is what we're working on RIGHT NOW!

    By Blogger Drew Battistelli, at 9/02/2005 11:36:00 AM  

  • Please, be prayerful for Houston and other cities who have large numbers of evacuees that have been bussed in. There are reports coming in that widespread drunkeness and car-jackings are now taking place in the area of the Astrodome. This came from a co-worker whose husband is a pharmaceutical rep. Several companies, including his, have mandated that their employees cancel all business calls in this area due to reports coming in from the Dome.

    We all hoped this would not happen, and I, personally, continue to hope that it IS not, since I haven't gotten to see the news yet.

    Please, be prayerful.

    RL

    By Blogger Roxanne, at 9/02/2005 12:20:00 PM  

  • Let me echo others and encourage others to give in whatever means they can.

    The Lord heard my prayers for guidance in help today. We are located in deep East Texas - Lufkin - and many refugees have made their way here. A single mom who lives just around the corner from us has taken her two sisters and their children into her small home to live indefinitely. These folks came with absolutely nothing. Husbands were left behind to work in LA as they can. We have been scrambling around today trying to pick up clothing, gift certificates, food vouchers, whatever we can to help them. One of the children will be enrolling in high school here Tuesday - probably for the semester, maybe the whole year. As I write this - she has no clothes - only borrowed ones from her aunt. I cannot imagine going through such an ordeal in high school.

    Please give,help, do anything you can.

    By Blogger KentF, at 9/02/2005 12:27:00 PM  

  • Our church in southeast Kansas is able and willing to provide temporary housing (3-6 months) for a couple of families who are hurrican victims. We also can help them find jobs and settle in if they want to relocate. We have good schools if children are involved. We are able to provide
    transportation here if necessary.
    Stan Bryan
    Minister, Church of Christ
    Cherryvale, Kansas
    Phone 918-397-7675
    svcattle@hotmail.com

    By Blogger stan bryan, at 9/02/2005 12:49:00 PM  

  • One more note if I may, the situation I noted has been duplicated hundreds of times over just here in East Texas. I cannot imagine what it is like in western Louisiana.

    Folks have stumbled in here with nothing - and they will be here awhile. Volunteers are attempting to furnish vacant apartments, get kids enrolled in schools, diaper babies,etc. Most volunteer efforts are not efficient, caring folks bumping into each other - duplicating some tasks and leaving others temporarily in the lurch. God bless this process - it is truly unbelievable.

    By Blogger KentF, at 9/02/2005 01:14:00 PM  

  • I'm the youth minister at the South Baton Rouge Church of Christ, and this whole situation is still mind-blowing. We're all stretched thin as we try to figure out how to best help these people who have flooded into our city. Tuesday, we decided to open up our gym to evacuees, and stopped by a local motel to see if someone couldn't afford another night. Within 30 minutes, we had 50 people staying there. The need is that huge.

    We had a meeting today with churches in the region, along with Rapha International, WFR Ministries, Healing Hands, Churches of Christ Disaster Response team, and others that aren't coming to mind. Right now, if you want to help, the best thing to do is send money. If we had a large group of workers we wouldn't know how to use them all just yet. But, we do have resources to purchase the things we need and will need.

    You can help by sending money to White's Ferry Road Hurrican Relief at http://www.wfrchurch.org/Hurricane/hurricane_relief_POC.htm. Or you can send a check to us, including a note it is for hurricane relief.

    South Baton Rouge Church of Christ
    8750 Jefferson Highway
    Baton Rouge, LA 70809
    www.sbrcc.org

    Please continue to pray for us and all those in need at this time. I've already seen God doing amazing things!

    By Blogger Blaine Tucker, at 9/02/2005 08:02:00 PM  

  • Another quick note:

    Our population in Baton Rouge has seemed to double over the last few days. The situation has caused people to be nervous and anxious. Rumors have been flying all over town of carjackings, armed robberies, riots, and all kinds of horrific crime waves. Crime will go up, but the rumors, as of now, are not true. I believe we can safely assume they are not true in Houston or anywhere else. Always be careful, but don't allow these rumors to keep you from showing compassion where it is needed.

    By Blogger Blaine Tucker, at 9/02/2005 08:09:00 PM  

  • A short note to all...

    God bless you for all you are doing. Just a word of encouragement to make informed decisions on how you will be helping people who come to you for shelter. This is not to say don't help, just learn all you can about the people you are helping and then make an informed decision about the best place to send them, (homes, apts., shelters,etc.) Sex offenders, drug addicts, etc. are coming to us for shelter. They need help, and knowing their background can help you put them in a place that will protect the safety of others. They don't even know they are being screened, which is O.K. The local police department or sheriff's office can and will do background checks with a driver's license number or S.S. #. The Red Cross gets this information from everyone they help, at least to the best of their ability. It is a wise thing to do and we are still able to help them in the very best way.
    God bless all!!!

    By Blogger Brad, at 9/03/2005 07:32:00 PM  

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