It has been a long 2 months. Mrs. G has really had it hard. Her suffering has been so difficult to bear watching. Sometimes my work involves helping her to stay trustful in the moment. So many well meaning people promise to help her, they get her hopes up and then let her down. Then there are the long days of waiting with no movement forward. Just waiting.
I met Sarah through an online ad I put on Craigslist on the Katrina "Volunteer" listings. I didn't know how to help Mrs. G and could not do the work that needed to be done on my own. Sarah is with Plenty International and responded that she might be able to help with volunteers. Sarah, Stu, Nate, and even Nate's wife Wendy, jumped into the situation and helped Mrs. G immensely.
They also had a volunteer team from Chicago - the 'Beverly Chicago Team' (a group of artists, musicians and students) come in and the team bought $300 worth of supplies towards the rebuilding effort with monies that they had raised to come to New Orleans to help. They ate food at the E.C. Communities kitchen so that their monies went to buying building supplies for Miss Emma, Ceophus, and Mrs. G. (I wish I was as awake in my early 20's and as philanthropic as they are!) By the time they left, many of the windows were repaired, new cabinets were installed in the kitchen and the most important thing of all - new door locks and door handles were put in the double shotgun, both sides.
Sarah, Stu, and Nate were wonderful with Mrs. G. I watched them interact with her with kindness and gentleness and their efforts brought hope and a little joy to Mrs. G. One day whilst the volunteers were working on the house, the volunteers had on a Ray Charles song and Mrs. G began laughing. Suddenly she was singing and dancing, then she got one of the kids dancing with her. In that precious moment she knew hope and it was beautiful to behold. (Jah Bless, precious sister Sarah, Jah Bless).
For weeks after nothing happened. Slowly, Mrs. G began to trust me more and I was able to help her more when I had a greater picture of what her rebuilding needs were such as what agencies she had contacted and what work needed to still be done.
This week a few miracles in a desert of despair manifested. I found an ad placed by a plumber for volunteering. He has asked not to be identified. He is going to put in as much of Mrs. G's plumbing as he can. This is his first time volunteering and he himself lost everything due to Katrina. He makes Mrs. G laugh with his salty humor and simultaneous love of Jesus. He will be coming to work on Mrs. G's this Saturday and his son will be coming with him. (If you ever read this _____, I thank you so much for your generosity and the hope you brought to Mrs. G.)
The second miracle was even more incredible. Mrs. G had a chance to meet family members she had not seen in some time due to a death in the family this week. A female cousin-in-law has come literally to Mrs. G's rescue and is an electrician and handy-woman (go girl power!!!). She is going to finish the work needed to get Mrs. G into her home. It gets better! She is also going to finish the other side of the shotgun double and move in as a tenant when finished.
When they told me this news, I broke down in tears. I had not recognized how deeply troubled I had been since meeting Mrs. G the night she had been robbed over her future well-being. I felt immense joy and a deep sense of relief that she would have someone nearby her who loved and respected her, someone who would look after her.
Now that her cousin-in-law is in her life, I have time to help others. Yesterday I was out driving around photographing and was guided to meet 3 people who are in need of help.
Praise Jah. Praise God.
Many blessings Mrs. G. It is and was, an honour to serve you.