Tuesday night, we took a four-vehicle caravan with all 26 of us from both congregations along the Gulf Coast to get a little sense of the devastation that still exists after Katrina. It's an odd sense. There is a fully functional mall -- Dillards and all - right next to empty lots. Someplaces there are long stretches of grass growing over And then there are businesses and condos that are in full gear. There are almost no homes rebuilt along this stretch.
We went as far west as the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park. The dorms and administration there still stand empty, windows blown out, blinds dangling. You can peer inside and see things that have been thrown around the rooms. This is also the site of a sprawling Friendship Oak, that dates back to about 1487.