Before 8/29/2005, Christ Episcopal Church served its parish in much of the same way St. Michael’s serves us.
Katrina’s 35 foot storm surge wiped out Christ Episcopal Church leaving only the bell tower.
The church had a new mission, to not only provide spiritual service to its parish, but also to help the community re-build.
Mission on the Bay was started in the summer of 2006 and offered us an opportunity to give our time and energy to help the Bay St. Louis community and Christ Episcopal’s parish.
Our home for 7 days
We spent two days clearing the lot of a retired veteran who was unable to maintain his garden and lawn due to the build up of debris.
One day was also spent filling sand bags to prepare the camp for the upcoming rainy season.
We did find time, however, to celebrate Reed’s birthday!
Wednesday, Nine of us mulched the first new playground in the Gulf Shore area while…
Five of us filled potholes with the city workers of Bay St. Louis.
Thursday, we all helped set-up the 100 th new playground in the Gulf Shore area. The effort was led by KaBOOM!, a not-for-profit company that pledged to build 100 playgrounds under the program entitled “Operation Playground”.
The 100 th playground and KaBOOM! were later featured on Good Morning America.
Friday afternoon we drove into New Orleans.
We had a tour of the areas most damaged by Katrina’s storm surge, including the Lower Ninth Ward. An Episcopal church was started using the building of an abandoned Walgreen’s. It was called All Souls Anglican Episcopal Church because in Katrina’s aftermath, everyone was welcomed to worship.
Just over half of New Orleans residents have returned home since Katrina and therefore many of the homes we saw had been abandoned since 2005. The trailer is the home of the first Ninth Ward resident to return after the storm.
Pete Nunally of the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana was our tour guide of the New Orleans destruction. He serves as the Mission and Volunteer Coordinator for the Diocese. He specializes in helping the elderly take advantage of the disaster relief offered as well as works to coordinate construction projects for those in need.
Some homes have been re-built while others in the same neighborhood only have the skeletons of their foundation remaining.
Others have received more help than others. Above is a makeshift shack and below is a Katrina Cottage.
A major milestone for the city of Bay St. Louis is the reconstruction of the bridge which connects to Pass Christian, MS. This link is key to the city’s commerce.
Thank-you all so much for your support in helping us make a difference!