30 September 2005

Feeding 3OOO people a day takes time

The beat goes on. Mucho piles of food sorted and delivered. Some of the Red cross vehicles have to be escorted by police.

this is me, headed for the Gatorade cooler:

29 September 2005

How Much per Square Foot ?

Do I need a bigger office?

my "office" is a set of portable stairs at the end of the reefers
that hold the food.

28 September 2005

Tons of Donations

The ladies had an impromptu toy drive for kids stuck at the local Red cross shelter. There were loads of toys, they were looking for the cleanest and unbroken ones.

picture shows what 2 tons of donated water looks like:

Last night a chorus of 20 Mennonite men sang 4 old hymns to our group. Such a strange but wonderful rich sound they had. Awesome!

27 September 2005

Someone asked for a special food order today, and the list included Alfredo sauce. Which we cant do. Real loud I said:

THIS AINT NEW YORK CITY. Even the Mennonites laughed at that one. Plus it was a beautiful day.

Helpers of all Creeds

8 Mennonite ladies came to help in the kitchen tent. They are such jewels. 4 of them do as much work as 5 of ours, it seems. But don't tell anyone I said that...

26 September 2005

Mind bending heat, back breaking labor, 7500 people fed.

Fun Even in the Heat

Still no proper internet here in Slidell.

Here's Jim washing the love-bugs off the team van for the Blue-Hat.
Rank has its priviledges, I guess!

Wash board abs in six weeks guaranteed! I-ll show you how with my free course.

24 September 2005

Met a man over a bottle of late might water. Talked about service calls. CD from E B C.

Arrived safely in Slidell.

Starting Off Again _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Another day on the road. Bless the people at Shocco Springs, they help those traveling to disaster relief.

Mary, Elliott, Sarah, Russ, angel Linda, Jim, "Lil Theologian" April, Deacon Tom, Kristin, and Lee. not pictured is Lowell.

23 September 2005

Leaving today. Team of ten. Some worry about Rita, not me. Oops,team of eleven now. Being ex-military really helps.

22 September 2005

Working in a Coal Mine, but I Forgot my Pick-Axe.

Still in Virginia today, giving the boss a day off, since I'll be gone 2 weeks soon.

If you can, listen to Ravi Zacharias on the radio. He almost always inspires me.

I'm not sure I understand what all he's doing, but here's where Jim Bakker works now.

Even though I've never personally heard this man speak, and probably can't now,
I've heard from enough that have, to know Billy Graham has true inpiration.

The one time I heard Joyce Meyers on the radio, she had me weeping with joy, talking about the rewards from the Lord.

But of these, RZ I've listened to almost weekly for the last 3 years.

If an astronaut forgets anything, he's probably DEAD:

) unrecharged Oxygen Tank: he suffocates.
) wrong gasket on helmet: dead.
) no Sun visor: blind.
) unlatched safety tether: gone and adrift.
) drained battery in backpack: Freeze to death

...and the list could go on and on....
today I forgot my flash-drive, so I can't post more pix on the blog this session;
We'll assume for now its not the end of the world.

A relative of mine told me they were "quite proud of their little pharisee"
They meant well, but I had to wonder. Reading this, from the Lord,
and reading about Billy Graham, and others with Named ministries,
I see a fine line to be trod.

Daily I tell people, "I'm going to help Katrina survivors long term."
I enjoy telling the story of my boss giving me so much leeway to do so.
I am boldly asking many to donate so I can keep doing so.
Some could say I'm telling the left hand exactly what the right is doing.

When a man has a ministry, in my opinion, he should have a title for it.
I go to church at Temple, and I probably wouldnt if it were like
Simmons Theological Industries
Someone else will have to judge on all those organizations with names like
To me, the product should lead the name.
I'm not saying anything about the links I listed above.
We can get loaves and fishes at either Kroger or Farm Fresh,
even though we may have no idea who founded Farm Fresh, does that make it better?
I don't know.

Oh wait I said I had to work today, and here I am blogging...oops.
- - I swear I need a professional caretaker. - -

Thanks and Good day, until we net again!

21 September 2005

Treat the Women Like Princesses,
Because you Never Know
when their Father might be the King-of-Kings

As Rebuilder went to the gas station today, the guy in front of me was
hitting on the cashier something fierce. Other folks in line were getting
tiffed with the man, mostly because of the delay.
Her manager, also a woman, looked at me and said "See what we have to put up with?"
Yes I do see. I advised the man to treat the cashier like a lady.
He had nothing to say, even though he was 2 inches taller than me,
and I'm not a small man.

The manager strongly encouraged me to shop and gas-up there often.
But my mind was on Louisiana and Mississippi.

Yet I had to work another half-day today.
When I'm in Virginia, I work for my boss, with no hat,
Then down south I work for my other boss, with the blue hat,
and she works for her Boss, with the white hat,
and He works for our Boss, the evangelistic carpenter, hat style not stated.

Lord willing I'm returning with the SBC team to Slidell LA
for two weeks. Last week went awesomely well, but I held it
as a recon mission for further work. As many predicted, basics
such as food, water, power, clothing and shelter come first.

Over 2OO churches were heavily damaged or destroyed down there,
and thats just from the reporting denominations.

When the N.O. mayor says "return soon" or "get ready for Mardi Gras"
he seems foolish to me. What we saw inside the city limits can't
be describe simply or nicely.
And in what state is this large city's sewer system?

anyways, let others worry about the lake of stew:

Couldnt talk with my favorite Deacon and his Wife this week.
(no I'm not publishing their names or initials or anything, do I look foolish?)
And I am truly bummed, but I left a phone message. They encourage me a lot.
When Proverbs says to "make wisdom your sister" its probably talking about an
elder deacon's wife. That's my interpretation.

Tuesday - Sept - 2Oth

Talked with Deacons and Pastor today:
They want me to do something with SBC Adopt-a-Church.
Bought Leadership Secrets of Billy Graham to read.
Copying off the next guy got me through college, why stop now?
More funding from Janelle R, and some co-workers, via my Sister.

Also got more support promised from Don & Betty E.

Worked half a day for my Boss while I was in town. You know how when
you get back from vacation, work almost is good that first day,
like you need a vacation from your vacation. The jury is still out on that topic.

Here's my Pastors Journal , the blog called Rev-Dave
Why didnt I link this before? I have no idea.
What I like about his preaching is his "Are You Paying Attention Moments" (tm).
- sunscreen, umbrella, mirror, sweater: " I'm no Fred Rogers"

Boldly I ask for what I need: There's a popular spot here that donates money to charities from their
Sunday profits, since they'd prefer not to run the business that day of the week.
They said my Rebuilding could be the charity, probably some Sunday in October! Praise the Lord, and
bless them, and all my supporters.

20 September 2005

Hiatus Back Home

Made photo updates today, due to lack of good net while on site.
Talked to deacons and paster locally about adopt-a-church.
More support from co-workers, anon. donations, and Jan.R.

asked local coffee shop (that supports charities) if I could be
their charity next month. they'll say yes I'm confident.

more photos coming I promise.

someone started a rumor that I met a lovely lady while on-site,
and that's why I'm going back. Now certain points of that story have
a factual basis, but their conclusions arent all sound.

Reading Leadership Secrets of Billy Graham.
Ravi Zacharias refers to BG a lot, and I like hearing RZ.

Jim Bakker was indicted for fraud in 1988 and sentenced to 45 years in prison and fined $500,000. When the scandal broke, Bakker's Christian friends quickly deserted him. He became an outcast in the Christian world. And when he was sentenced, his wife Tammy Faye left him and then divorced him. Six months into his sentence, Bakker was surprised one afternoon when the prison warden called him into his office. Bakker had a visitor: Billy Graham. When Graham came in, Bakker asked him why he had come to visit � because he knew that any association with Bakker would tarnish Graham's reputation. Graham replied that Bakker was his friend in good and in bad times � and now when things were bad, he would stand by his side. And Billy Graham was true to his word. Bakker's sentence was eventually reduced, on appeal, to ten years and when he came out of prison on parole, he had nowhere to stay. So the Grahams invited him to stay with them. On the Sunday following Bakker's release, Ruth Graham took him to church with her. Disregarding what people would think about her, she stood up in church and introduced Jim Bakker to the congregation as her friend Jim Bakker.

This version of the story leaves out an element related by RZ: the day of the visit Jim Bakker was cleaning latrines and was wearing his orange work fatigues, which were soiled. The guard who told Jim he had a visitor advised him he might want to clean up, the visitor was dressed nicely. Jim being depressed said something like why bother, this is what my life is now.
But Billy Graham hugged him and made the connection despite that.

That's how I feel some days when people are helping me, and I can't explain why...
But most days are full of joy!

19 September 2005


How did I forget to thank the other Yellow Hats
that went with me The second weeks little team had:

From the Right:
Jennie S. ; Lance Corporal ; Jarred C. ; John B. ;
and me the singing backup tenor at left

we had a good time and got as much blessings as we gave...

and yet another KATRINA BLOG

18 September 2005

Small Moment, Big Memory

Someone actually asked me today why all the flags were still at half staff.

We yelled to stop the van! Photo shows Lance Corporal rescuing downed flag. Pole had broken and draped it in the debris. He got the flag, then he and I shook it out, folded it retreat-style into a little triangle and left. Since no-one else in the van was a veteran, I'm not sure how they related to what we were doing.

Viewpoint from the Higher Vantage

In my opinion, for the Gulf region to truly grow strong again they need sound churches even more than rebuilt businesses & derricks.

This view from the US-9O bridge shows No Movement. this is inside the military checkpoints. Businesses arent selling, factories lay idle. Churches not open, houses sit lonely. No traffic noise. Stench will not quit and you don't get used to it like you can get used to say, a horse pasture. River is clean of nothing but traffic. Barges piled on banks for convenience.

Tragedy is too small a Word.

Even though really no amount of time, nothing, or nobody can take away my joy, looking at the ghostly streets of New Orleans almost could.

View of the dead center of metropolis. The picture doesnt bring you properly the quiet or the smell. No traffic, dogs, or birds, much less citizens. Inside here you only meet soldiers.

17 September 2005


Support for future weeks came in: from Warren C . Ron H. Allen C. Kevin C. Many thanks from me and those helped.

Photo shows that week's meals served tally on the Virginia unit's kitchen. That's an average of 7OOO meals per day. Food was only part of the story. Each day you could see:

40+ houses & yards cleared by chainsaw crews.
70+ loads of laundry done (for relief workers &  the needy without power)
10+ houses and drives cleared of mud and flood debris.
30+ families given clothes, toiletries, bottled water, snacks to take.
90+ people taking showers (for relief workers & the needy without power)
90+ people receiving counseling from chaplains

all that food and work was donated, folks.

Rearview Mirror shows beehive of activity

Returning home,one week of work done.

from left to right:
Red Cross staging area, Shower Trailer, Fridge Trailers, Kitchen Area, Pallets (aka Dining Room 8 ) ; Church w/Broken Steeple, Clothes Donation Tent.

16 September 2005

Chance Encounter on the Road of Life

Invited thirty christian school students that were doing charity work to come and eat in our kitchen. They saw the big operation.

the last afternoon of the first week I had to take a break. so I checked out during the between-meals lull and took a long sweaty hike up the road to a quickie-mart for a rare treat: Caffeinated Soda Pop. While I'm having a sip, 4 vans and trucks full of kids pull up to the place. they're all wearing ZION t-shirts, so I chatted up the chaperones of the group. They were seniors doing a week of helping, and were headed up the road. I offered their leader a deal:
Give me a ride back to the church, and I'll get you all free dinner.
After some negotiation with the other chaperones (like who is this crazy from the heat) they accepted me in. I shared with them how the operation worked, and when we got back they ate for free, got a case of snacks for later, and the chaplains gave them the 50-cent tour of how the relief operation rolled along. Hopefully some of them got a good impression.

15 September 2005

Sometimes to give Someone a huge Gift, all you have to Do is Listen

Today I told a chaplain to watch out because I was looking to get his job. We chatted so long his dinner got cold.

picture of SBC chaplains near the shower tent. Here people could wait for their cart-loads of donations, take a shower, have cold water, and get a load off their chest.

Fixin Means "Prepare" down South

Fixed tons of food today. Told people in line I cooked it myself because they needed a good laugh.

14 September 2005

Seeing the Good Deed for where it came from...

Finally ! A job where Im paid exactly what Im worth. See Isaiah 64:6

Photo of Red Cross trucks loading food for distribution.

13 September 2005

No-one Complains About the Accomodations

They brought in families from the "sticks" around the Ponchartrain bayou , some had not eaten for 3 days due to mud on roads.

Photo of the pallets. These became seating and dining areas when chairs over-flowed.
Fed two squads of marines in addition to the hundreds from Slidelle.

More food production in Slidelle. The gratitude of the helped makes it all worthwhile

12 September 2005

15 hour drive - chainsaw delivery - divert to Slidelle for food unit help - help with donation sort & giving to the needy

Arrived safe. Perfect travel mercies. First broken trees and signs seen at Toomsuba.

10 September 2005

Elliott Going to Mississippi Sunday _ _ _ _ _ _ _

This is Ell-Man's last big "spam" email before leaving.
You get the who, what when, where, hi and wow format.
Temple Baptist is sending Me and 7 more volunteers.
We work with a larger group of Disaster Recovery helpers.
We will go assist with meals and water for refugees,
and with chain saws we will clear driveways for those
unable to help themselves.
I'll be gone one week with this first group.
Most of the people can only volunteer a week or so.
I'll be able to return, and will hopefully find work
to help someone rebuilding their church, for example.
The first place is Picayune, MS. Volunteers from my group
have been there since day 2. I plan on giving several weeks
to this area, since there's people I know there already.
We'll live in their 1st Baptist Church building which
I'm told has power back on.
But I also would like to help in Biloxi, since I used to
live there at Keesler AFB.
Hi ! I'd like to make a difference. If I can find some positive
stories down there, or take some with me, I'll be satisfied.
I'd like to see some impact for the Lord down there. Seems like
people would rather see something good than another story about
blaming or looting or some such grief. People came and helped
us here in VA after Floyd, Gaston, Fredrick, and Isabel; so
a little pay-it-forward seems in order.
Wow ! Its been a blessing already and I havent even done anything yet!
People have been praying for me and I've felt a definite difference.
Many have helped me already, with generous gifts of tools, money, and
good advice. I've started a web-log of my little stories.
If they make me work hard. (You think?) I may not be able to respond
to individual emails when I'm gone. I will attempt to update said
Blog as often as circumstances and connection permit.
I'll need all the wisdom and strength I can get so please
pray for me. I want to find something good to write you back about.
That's the least I can do for all the help that's been given me.
And everyone thank my boss for giving me time and money to do this...
Ell-Man ====

09 September 2005

Another full day -- guns -- prayer -- last of work -- argon -- bank -- email -- insurance -- dinner with Bob -- last movie rental

08 September 2005

No Way to Describe It All

More friends and neighbors keep pledging support.
Seven volunteers from my church have agreed to go.
The church prayed for us, and that was intriguingly powerful.

Support Keeps Coming

Newest supporters: "kickbacks" from Jon D.,
and more support from Grant P.
these two guys totally flabbergasted me.

Only Providence can explain these to me.

2 Cor 9:14-15

06 September 2005

Getting My Affairs in Order Prior to Departure

Mobility Test - while I was waiting for my
Vacc.Shots I sent a test message from my cell phone.

So even if my laptop somehow fails,
I can post by text message.

New supporters for my list: Janice C. & Bill R.
I have no way really, to repay all the help and kindness,
except to do my best when I'm down there.
Test Picture from lap-top above...

05 September 2005

Planning to Plan...

My plan is to do this as long as I can:
till Christmas, till Easter, or what I can't see now.
Until a first church is fully rebuilt and running ?

Fully expecting the Lord to open serious doors for me,
I want to be a strong testimony as well as a
definite help to those in need, to somehow
be like Isaiah 52:7 (NIV)
7 How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation...

Even more helpers: Gerry H, and Fred D. forgave me a debt
owed to him, said I could use it on the trip!

They say give until it hurts, and that's whats in store for my boss.

More Help

More definite help: Edie R, and Lois H. and even more from Roy W

Plus! They talked the associate pastor at my church into coming along.

the more little items like these that come along, the more I'm convinced this
is the right thing to do. It'll be interesting to see the ratio of sights:

by that I mean I'll probably see about 7 miraculous or wonderful things
for every disgusting or horrible scene.

02 September 2005



Seems like I'll be going with PBA
Disaster Relief Group, a local Virginia org.
that has helped in many hurricanes before.
I worked with them a little after Isabel.
People helped us after our hurricane,
time to go pay it forward....

They say I'm going to Picayune, MS. The men I'll be
working with have experience, and that's good, a lot of
them are retirees. Hopefully some of their wisdom will
rub off on me. They cycle work teams in and out, so
I'll be able to freshen up periodically.

More definite helpers: Thea H, Jack H, Steve S. Jyl K.
Thanks is too small a word.

these people have offered money, tools, guns, and prayers
for me to have while I'm down there!
Somehow I think all of those items will be useful.


Phone calls have started, some from me, some to me.
The needs right now are basic: food, water, shelter, clothes.
I'm wanted to assist with feeding and water purification.

Even though I want to help rebuild churches, that will have to
wait till the mud dries. Or does it have to wait?
Certainly the people could be built up first,
and the physical building come on later.

Offers of substantive help have come back, quite touching,
from: Penny C, Stephanie R, Roy W, Robert M, Evelyn D.
I'm going to try and list all those who pledge help
so I can remember later. Must be grateful.
I'm gonna go, and I'm gonna be fully equipped,
what a blessing to behold.

Tom C. will be my boss there, he's done disaster relief before,
(he hangs out with people like Charley, Isabel, Ivan, Floyd)
I said I was gonna need to go with somebody wiser than me.

PREMIERE POST - Pre Katrina Journey

As I look at photos of the devastation, I have to pray for strength and wisdom.
These people are gonna need everything. Especially the stuff money just can't buy.

Concrete, screws , and lumber can be trucked in or donated.
Will encouragement and prayers be scarce, I wonder,
So I plan on delivering some of those also. In person.

01 September 2005

back link

To View the Hurricane Katrina Pictures, go to SEPTEMBER and OCTOBER of 2OO5
on the previous archive sections. Thanks

Katrina Blog

stories of attempts to help after hurricane Katrina, in the Slidell and Biloxi areas.