Churches Supporting Churches: An Update and an Invitation
November 9, 2006| bpfna
Churches Supporting Churches An Update and an Invitation
Last weekend, fifteen months after Hurricane Katrina, I stood with Charles Duplessis, pastor of the Mount Nebo Baptist Church, on the rubble of the church building that he and his congregation had built with their own hands. All these months after the storm, his greatest sign of hope is that this week the building was finally razed. I am thinking how heavy his heart must be in this place when I hear him say, “My heart is not broken because God has given me a vision of what will be again.” Later we visit the site a few blocks away which was once his home and is now a huge pile of debris from many homes – he does not yet know if he will be allowed to rebuild or how he will afford it if he is given permission. I am worrying over the pain I have caused him in asking to come here when he says again, “God is calling me to the ministry yet to be done in this neighborhood.”
Pastor Duplessis leads one of thirty-six New Orleans churches connected with Churches Supporting Churches, a project working to restore New Orleans by assisting churches in twelve heavily damaged neighborhoods to repair or rebuild their buildings while serving as anchors to renew their neighborhoods. A few CSC churches have been able to reopen their doors and are holding worship each Sunday – many like Mount Nebo have not yet begun to rebuild and their congregations gather once a month in members’ homes – some are somewhere in between. All share the vision of joining God in the work of recreating devastated communities. Progress is slow, the hurdles are many, the remaining work immense. And yet, with both a sense a reality and a sense of faith, they work and they wait; they act and they hope.
If they can stand on the rubble of their work, their churches, their homes, their neighborhoods and hope – who are we not to join them in that hope? If you’d like to learn more about how to stand with them, visit our Churches Supporting Churches page to learn more about the program.