Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Not-so-happy Anniversary for Katrina

It sure doesn't seem like it's been three years since Katrina changed life in the Gulf Coast as we know it forever, but it's true, and what better reminder than another hurricane looming in the Gulf? Great. Katrina had innumerable, profound impacts on every industry under the sun and every person within at least five hundred miles of the eye, but I think for me personally it was a time to grow up and a time in which I saw God around every corner.

In the week and a half or so I spent volunteering at the medical center at the PMAC, I saw things I never thought I'd see and heard stories I never thought I'd hear. God opened my eyes to a lot of things about Himself in those days, and when it was all over, I didn't want it to end. Once school started back up again, the PMAC was still an active hospital for a little while longer. I remember being so angry with the administration for making us go to school while those people were still in there...not because they were in our way but because I thought it was a whole lot more important to be volunteering than sitting in class. I rebelled by procrastinating a whole lot school-wise and dropping by the PMAC after class for some extracurricular triage volunteering.

Those days taught me that little old you can make a matter how small it may seem. We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and during Katrina I saw that lived out daily in my fellow volunteers...especially in those refugee volunteers who evacuated New Orleans themselves but couldn't sit idly by and wanted to help too. That sense of purpose was dually intoxicating and humbling, and I loved every difficult, rewarding second of it.

So as I watch projections for Gustav, I'm processing a flood of memories (no pun intended). I got news today that the PMAC is again being readied to be a medical center. Am I ready for round two...if need be? You bet.

If I can make it back into Louisiana that is. I'm taking a much-needed vacation after the crazy, emotional summer I've had and going to Oxford for the weekend. The plan is to try to make it back before Gustav does.

So if you're evacuating from New Orleans and see a little blue Mustang on the other side of the interstate, that'd be me. I'll be the only idiot driving INTO the hurricane. :)

May God see us all safely through another storm if He so wills. As with any storm of life (as I've learned so well), He's always in control.


Laura C said...

I hope your trip back has gone ok Stephanie! We were in BR for a visit this weekend and ended up cutting it short for the hurricane. Evacuation traffic was REAL fun!

We're thinking about and praying for Baton Rouge as all of you brace to once again handle the impact on people in neighboring parishes! We're looking forward to reading about the opportunities you get to have on this blog!

Stefanie Kellum said...

Glad y'all made it back ok, Laura...and after a wonderful victory no less! :) I probably won't make it back until at least Tuesday, but I'm anxious to get there and dive right into things. Hate I missed seeing y'all! We definitely need to schedule lunch or coffee or something next time you're in town. Be safe in Houston!