[ Miracles ]

Rising from the Rubble

A few months before Hurricane Katrina hit our area in September 2005, I found myself out of a job.

After the storm, my wife Carol and I found ourselves without a roof or front porch and with inside floors and ceilings ruined by water damage. This in addition to the horrific devastation all around us outdoors.

Getting basic necessities restored, living spaces livable again and lining up repairs often took months because of shortages of labor and supplies. Clearing and hauling away the storm debris was hardly a priority.

We got no FEMA help for cleanup since we are in an obscure central part of the State of Mississippi, where no one "supposedly" had any damage.

So for almost two years after the storm, the remnants of the old roof and front porch littered our backyard along with other debris from the damage. It really resembled the scene of a plane crash.

Meanwhile, I did odd jobs and put out hundreds of résumés to prospective employers. Not one panned out.

We continued to pray to God for His special care.

This summer of 2007, praise God, a headhunter “somehow” found my résumé on a popular job-placement web site a few months ago. Now I am employed with a contract job that came “out of thin air.”

Not long into my new job, we got some familiar post-Katrina news: our insurance company was going to cancel our policy.

We could not get insurance renewed quickly with our house looking the way it was. Our floors had been sinking in. Storm debris was still piled up outside. Yet now I was never home except for weekends, due to my work. Thus I had no time to perform repairs. How and when in the world would we get all this done in the few weeks before our coverage lapsed?

God’s special care.

Carol’s dad offered to come from a long way off and help us over the Labor Day 2007 weekend. Then God sent two local neighbor guys to pitch in. In just a few days, the five of us accomplished about a week's worth of demolition and restoration to the floors, ceiling and more.

While we were doing the teardown, Carol put an ad on freecycle.com, a web site where people give away and barter stuff. She offered free tin roofing and lumber, noting that it was left over from Katrina damage to our roof and front porch. She described that some wasn't usable but most was. Basically she said, "You have to take it apart and move it, but it’s yours."

Now keep in mind that thousands of tons of this kind of stuff have been piled up all over the three-state hurricane disaster area for two years. You can’t give it away. We thought we’d try this route first, but we didn’t have high expectations.

Yet just five minutes after Carol placed the ad, a guy called to claim it for a horse barn he was building!

Not only that, he offered to clean up the debris around the wood and tin - and he did.

And there’s more to thank God for!

We had a big pile of carpet and wood trash left after the cleanup and renovation. The Lord sent a local rehab ministry that I volunteer with to clean that up - without me asking! In a matter of about twenty minutes, eight men saw to it that nothing was left: old torn-out wood, carpet and junk, all cleaned up and hauled to the dump!

Praise God! Just when you think it’s over and you are done in, here He comes with another "And suddenly!"

God is good and His timing is the best.

Ray G.

Decatur, MS