[anzac] From GROUND ZERO Mississippi

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From: "REVIVAL List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Sep 2005 14:16:25 -0500
"From GROUND ZERO, Mississippi"
- by Andrew Strom.

I am writing to you from Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, about half a 
mile from the coast. This area was "Ground Zero" when hurricane 
Katrina hit, a little over two weeks ago. 

How can I describe this scene to you? If I go down our street, 
and turn right, I soon come to the point where a four-lane 
highway simply drops off the edge of the world into the sea.
Between Pass Christian and here, Highway 90 has simply 
ceased to exist. The wind and the waves took it. I can then go 
down the beach road for miles in either direction and find nothing 
but an endless sea of matchwood wreckage - the remains of 
what were once beachfront homes. Miles and miles and miles
of them - almost nothing is left. Very often the concrete slab
is all that remains, or a lonely battalion of support pillars,
standing like some bizarre latter-day Stonehenge, stark 
memorials to the day when the elements rose and blew all else away.

Back from the beach we see houses that look like they have
been crushed by a giant hand, houses that are simply roofs
sitting on the ground, houses that have floated down the street
into power poles, houses that have been reduced to splinters. It
is a scene of complete devastation. Even miles inland, many 
buildings have been blown apart. The damage path is said to be
almost 200 miles wide.

Abandoned cars are strewn all over town. Most had floated or
submerged - mercedes with toyotas (Katrina was an equal-
opportunity destroyer.). There is a boat sitting in the drive-
through of the Burger King. All in all, a surreal wasteland that is 
very difficult to put into words.

On a practical level, the things we deal with every day are the 
fact that everyone's home was completely filled with water and
mud. And downed trees are everywhere, all over people's roofs.
Even 70 miles away, you will commonly see pine trees that have
been snapped partway up like a twig. A lot of owners down here
have left, never to return. But still, many remain. And it is these
ones that we are here to help and minister to.

We are five men from all over the U.S. - Rick from Iowa, Mike
and Larry from California, Ernie and myself from Missouri. We
arrived here Saturday night in a car and an old R.V. We are 
here to show the love of Jesus to a hurting and devastated people.

We now have a home base at 200 Seminary Drive, in the heart of
one of the most needy areas. Every day we send out chainsaw
crews to help people with their trees, and to pray with them too.
Some people weep when we pray together.

The electricity is off at our base, but the water is on. To us, that
is a kind of paradise. Around the corner is an official shelter, and
across the street are some people living in tents because their 
home is unlivable. They have a little baby. Across the other road 
are some people living in a park. The lady says her home is a 
total loss. We had supper with them last night - a barbecue in 
the dark, in the middle of a field. It was a blessed time. 
People's hearts are very open to God here. There is talk of 
some kind of "Street-Church".

When people from outside ask, "What is needed there?" , the 
answer is NOT clothes or water or food. There is plenty of that
down here now. 

The things this area is lacking now are as follows:
(1). Bleach and household cleaners, (2). chainsaws and chainsaw
crews, (3). shop-vacs(which can vacuum up water). (4).Buckets, 
mops, and hard brooms, (5). square shovels, (6). school supplies,
(7). bug repellant and sunscreen, (8). bicycles, (9). mobile water
tanks, (10). pick-up trucks, (11). anointed handymen and workers.
And beyond that, of course one of the greatest needs we have is 

We have the use of this base for the next three months. We 
really believe God wants to move in this area. If you feel an 
inner urging from God to come down and help, then by all 
means do so.(Bring a tent, sleeping bag, pillow, etc. Also
bring your GUITAR if you play.)

Streetscape Ministries has been helping us - buying chainsaws
and gas, etc. Your donations to them help us adapt to the needs
here very quickly. If you feel led, here is their website to donate - 
They are here for the long haul.

By the way, I am out of email range right now. We have 
sporadic cellphone coverage. Until Friday, our cell here is - 
(805) 794 6407. (I should have a new number next week).

Thank you so much for your prayers, my friends.

God bless you all,

Andrew Strom.