Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Greetings and Happy New Year

A brief hello to all of you who are chancing by this blog. We are a team of eleven from Boston University School of Theology journeying to Louisiana for nine days of mission in January. We are coming to rebuild homes in Slidell and hear the stories of survivors in New Orleans. We are coming to listen, pray, work, play, laugh, grieve, give, and receive. We are coming to learn justice and peace from those who have hungered and thirsted the most for righteousness, and we are coming to rejoice over the life that endures in a place where life had been destroyed. We are coming because the Spirit remains in New Orleans, Slidell, and all the communities of the Gulf Coast. I hope this website will become a rich record of our faith-filled experiences in Louisiana.

When I think about the journey coming up in less than three days, my heart begins to beat faster. I've never done any relief or mission work before. I've never been an adventurer or a traveler. I'm content to follow the Spirit when God's designs appear to be orderly, clear, and distinct. But when it comes to rebuilding communities in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina, little has been orderly, clear, and distinct. How is God present in Louisiana at this moment for these beloved who have suffered so much? How has God been known (and unknown) in the trauma of Katrina? How may we be present to God with our hopes, doubts, desires, joys, anxieties, and anger? May God grant us the wisdom and vision to bear compassionate witness to the women, men, and children re-creating a community charged with your freedom and overflowing with your love, and give us the serenity, patience, and flexibility to participate in the work going on slowly and steadily under your watchful, benevolent eye.

Grace and peace to all of you, and pray for our volunteers and the people we will meet.

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