Temporary change: Quick Takes is giving up its space to make room for a different kind of off-beat news. On this page you'll find just a few of the thousands of examples from around the country of how Christians are responding well to the crisis of Hurricane Katrina.
Cup runneth over
Givers at Florida Boulevard Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, La., literally overwhelmed relief workers with donations. In the weeks after Katrina ravaged the area, congregants donated so much food, water, and clothing that not even 100 volunteers working in 18-hour shifts were able to handle it all. The church has also hosted a band of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers from Oklahoma who prepare nearly 16,000 meals a day.
Fill, fly, repeat
In Central Texas, Great Hills Baptist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention coordinated mercy flights by pilots who have donated their time and planes to ship provisions to rural towns like Tylertown and Bogalusa, La. "Load it up, fly it over, and stay long enough to pick up some fuel," said pilot Derrich Pollock of Austin.
Pile of stuff
Lee and Sharon Sandifer, members at Slidell Bible Chapel, lost everything after Katrina's 15-foot storm surge washed through their residence. Well, not everything. After hauling the contents of their waterlogged home to the street, they decided to post a sign for the watching world: "This pile of stuff was not our life, our life is hid in Christ." Then, according to friend and fellow church member Scott Leach, they went on to help other displaced neighbors and church members (the church itself also flooded).
"Christians from many parts of the country have come in to help, and this has enabled the chapel to reach out to similarly affected neighbors, friends, and lost family members with physical help as well as foodstuffs and supplies," Mr. Leach told WORLD.
The City of Dallas turned to Potter's House, a large nondenominational church, to move 1,500 evacuees in Dallas from shelters to apartments and homes. Another Dallas church, Park Cities Presbyterian (PCA), has forged a plan to pair 1,000 church families with 250 families of Katrina survivors to offer shelter, comfort, and fellowship. In the first week of the initiative, the church says it's signed up more than 400 church families to partner with hurricane victims and has furnished 30 apartments.
Suitable for framing
Habitat for Humanity plans to construct house frames across the South and then ship them to the Gulf Coast or New Orleans in containers to be reassembled. So far, Habitat for Humanity has raised $8.2 million for the effort.
MoveOn, move in
MoveOn.org is blasting the Bush administration for its handling of Katrina's aftermath, but the organization has at least set up a website-www.HurricaneHousing.org-giving families with rooms or houses to donate a place to match up with evacuees. Here again is a list of some of the Christian groups that are also active in helping to meet this need:
Adventures in Missions
Hurricane Katrina Evacuee
6000 Wellspring Trail
Gainesville, GA 30506
Presbyterian Church in America Mission to North America
Hurricane Katrina Disaster Response
1700 N. Brown Road, Suite 101
Lawrenceville, GA 30043-8143
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Hurricane Katrina Relief
100 Witherspoon Street
Louisville, KY 40202-1396
Southern Baptist Convention
North American Mission Board
"Adopt a Church" and "Houses of Hope"