Saturday, September 17, 2005
Hurricane Katrina Guests to the Dream Center
On September first our pastor, Matthew Barnett, announced to the church that God had given him a vision to help in the Hurricane Katrina Relief effort. He was driving down the road praying and wishing that the Dream Center was in New Orleans so we could help them. God said, 'you can still help them out in L.A.' He then received a call from a pastor buddy in Baton Rouge who asked him if he could house 300 guests at the Dream Center for up to a year to help them get on their feet again. Pastor Matthew agreed to it, and started making arrangements and phone calls. The dream was birthed, and the church backed it up wholeheartedly. By Sunday, there were 10 evacuees who had been flown in on a donated private jet at our morning service. They are now our guests, part of our family. Over the course of the week, over 200 more were brought in to join them. Each guest will receive free housing, food, clothing, medical care, grief counseling, childcare, job training and placement and help to get back on their feet for up to a year. The media took hold of this and ran with it. Our parking lot was filled to capacity with news trucks. Celebrities came out to offer support...Magic Johnson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Dr. Phil, just to name a few. In fact, Dr. Phil did a show from the Dream Center and gave three families homes and apartments, and it aired on 9/13. Donations and volunteers came pouring in, and before we knew it, we were put in charge of both. From 8am to 6pm we were responsible along with three other folks who came in from Arizona, for anywhere from 50-1000 volunteers and over 5 hospital floors full of donations. We've been working our tails off, and have both gotten sick from all the dust and lack of rest. After over two weeks of work, we've had to take a little time off for school orientation and to make sure our bodies are ready to take on the vigors of seminary and ministry.
Thanks so much to all who have been a part of our journey so far, both prayerfully and financially. It is such a blessing to have the support of so many friends and family who love us and believe in us. God is doing amazing things, and we are so excited to be a part of it.