Crystal Lyons Sophomore Spanish Major
Served in Mississippi
Hurricane Katrina hit the coast of Mississippi and Louisiana almost four years ago. To speak for myself, I had certainly forgotten about it, and I had no idea that there was still work to be done. I never dreamed that it would take so long to rebuild. I had the opportunity to travel to Lakeshore Mississippi this summer and be a part of the massive rebuilding project. Though my part was small, I learned a lot.
Going to Mississippi was never a part of my summer plans. My original dream plan for myself was to return to Mexico and stay for a longer time to polish my Spanish skills. When plans for Mexico didn’t look promising, I decided to apply for BCM summer missions through my college. After completing my application I looked for all the trips to South America. As an afterthought, I added Mississippi as my fourth choice in case none of the others worked out. When I heard the news that I would be going on the Mississippi trip I was slightly apathetic. It didn’t sound that exciting and I was unenthused about doing construction related activities for a week.
However, by the first day of our trip all of my feelings had changed. Our group was comprised of college students from all over Georgia. We rode by bus to Lakeshore Mississippi. Our group contained twelve girls and two guys, the majority of us having zero experience in construction. We were lucky to have two experienced leaders who could constantly share guidance and advice. The Bible says that God’s strength is made perfect in our weaknesses. It was so humbling to realize that our group was, in appearance, very inept. We realized that all our accomplishments would involve God working through us as we leaned on instruction from others.
We stayed at a church, which since the time of Hurricane Katrina has been converted into a massive rebuilding camp. The church property now holds four large temporary cabins for volunteers to stay in, a giant kitchen, and numerous sheds and building supplies.
One of the best parts of our trip was meeting the people who lived there. On our last day we worked on a house for a woman named Miss Amanda. Her house was two rooms: a kitchen and bedroom. It was unfinished, the walls bare sheetrock and the floors without carpet or tile. Nevertheless, Miss Amanda was living in the house happily because she had lived in a camper for three years since the hurricane. As we worked she told us how much she loved her new house. Her enthusiasm at living in an unfinished, two room house was a true example of contentment for us.