Psa. 69:1-3 ¶ Save me, O God!
For the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire,
Where there is no standing;
I have come into deep waters,
Where the floods overflow me. I am weary with my crying;
My throat is dry;
My eyes fail while I wait for my God.
Everybody from New Orleans has their Katrina stories. We all talk about where we went during evacuation, how long we were gone, and what happened to all our stuff. I didn’t lose nearly as much as many people did, but I will never forget the “horrible pit” that my basement became. I never new there were basements in New Orleans, at least not until I move to the Carrollton area. That is where we lived in 2005 when Katrina came knocking at our door. This basement was about four feet below ground and four feet above ground. When the flood waters hit our neighborhood the basement quickly filled with almost eight feet of water. As most people know, this was not normal water, this was filthy water polluted by human waste. Disgusting!!! That is how it was for about the next three weeks. By the time I was able to get to my house and get someone to help me pump out the water, it had become quite ripe. The smell was horrendous. It was that sweet, pungent, disgusting smell. That kind of smell that has an odor like a dead dinosaur. It was nasty.
Whenever I find myself in a tough spot, I think about that nasty basement. Sometimes I think I can still smell that smell. The odor was in my house for the next year. Why do I think about that horrible basement? It reminds me of the miracles that often follow those horrible experiences in my life. It does me good just to rehearse what the Lord did after Katrina, it reminds of the goodness and faithfulness of God.
So here goes. First, the Lord provided for me personally. Many friends and ministries not only helped me fix my house, but supported me financially for the next six months. Not only was I sustained, I actually didn’t draw a salary for that entire time, that was a great blessing to our church. Along with all of that, there was the incredible help our church received. We were supplied a continual, daily flow of semi-truckloads of food and supplies. This went on for a year, we were able to be a blessing to thousands of families in a very difficult time. We were given house trailers for about 14 families that stayed on our property for the next two years. We received finances from all over the world to purchase a historic church in downtown New Orleans. This served as a soup kitchen for two years. Since that time, it has become a functioning inner city church as well as the home for Mary’s Song, our rehabilitation center for young women. Another result of Katrina was the purchasing of our new location for our church, Victory North. The Lord provided a tremendous opportunity for a strategic location for our new church on the north shore. So when I think about that horrible pit, otherwise known as my basement, I remember the incredible events that took place as a result of that disaster. If you find yourself in a pit today, be encouraged, miracles seem to come out of those disgusting situations.