This summer, Lakeshore is sending 13 teens, young adults, and chaperones to New Orleans for a short-term mission trip. It’s been 11 years since Hurricane Katrina, and the work of rebuilding homes, lives and communities remains necessary. The devastation of the storm, the effects of poorly built levees breaking, the lack of government response, the limited provisions offered, and the ineptness of FEMA all continue to haunt the city’s residents. We travel to provide assistance and support, and to serve as witnesses to the tragedies of communities who struggle to survive despite overwhelming racial and economic injustice.
Our trip is sponsored by American Baptist Home Mission Society (ABHMS). What I love about working with ABHMS is their emphasis on missions as historical education, cultural exposure and service to a community. The main goal of the trip is to stand in solidarity with the residents of New Orleans, to hear their stories and partner with them in their own process of rebuilding. We will educate and expose our missionaries to the history of the community, including both the natural disaster it endured as well as disastrous effects of people’s ongoing choices to ignore the needs of an impoverished community. In preparation for the trip, our group watched some of Spike Lee’s documentary When the Levees Broke, an excellent, and disturbing, film telling of the layers of disaster faced by those who lived through Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.
The theme of our trip is “Til the work is done,” based on 1 Corinthians 15:58. It is a reminder that the Christian community is called to be involved in the work of the Lord. That there is still need for rebuilding in New Orleans is unfortunate; that Lakeshore will participate in this work is encouraging. I ask your prayers for our missionaries: Maya Broadnax, Rose Cinco, Whitley Joachim, Channing Nesbitt, Julian Nesbitt, Micheal Osajindu, Toby Osajindu, Josh Ross, Amber Picou-Broadnax, Josh Ross, Racheal Sims, Sheila Sims, and myself. In addition to the support we can provide the residents of New Orleans, I pray we will gain a greater understanding of what it means to be involved in the work of the Lord, and why it continues to be necessary in communities that endure injustice.
Our missionaries will share their experiences on worship on August 21.