I read in the newspaper recently that you and your son had visited New Orleans and seen some of the hurricane damage. What were your impressions? Is it as bad as we keep hearing? — Mrs. V.P.
Yes it is—or worse. No photograph or TV report can fully show the unbelievable damage we saw there, and our hearts go out to the hundreds of thousands of people whose lives have been turned upside down in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast. This was unquestionably the greatest natural disaster our country has ever suffered, and those who say it may take a decade or more to rebuild the area are probably right.
But in spite of the incredible devastation and the massive disruption caused by the hurricane, I came away with another vivid impression—and that is the courage and determination of the people of that area. One of my most moving experiences was meeting with over 500 pastors there, most of whom have seen their congregations scattered and their homes and churches damaged or destroyed. And yet they are committed to serving Christ and telling others of the hope they can have in Him.
I also was deeply impressed by the work thousands of volunteers from across America are doing there, most from churches and religious organizations. My son Franklin's organization, Samaritan's Purse, was one of the first into the area and continues to help thousands, as have other organizations. Pray for this area, that in the midst of so much suffering many will turn to Christ and discover that "The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble" (Psalm 9:9).