with Robert Prater
NEW ORLEANS REPORT
On March 13, a group of 32 members of the church representing both the Central congregations in Shawnee and Chandler as well as some from congregations at Northridge (Shawnee), Wellston and Okmulgee traveled to the greater New Orleans area to help with the post-hurricane cleanup and disaster relief efforts. This particular relief effort is being organized and coordinated through the Tammany Oaks Church of Christ in Mandeville, Louisiana which is a large suburb of New Orleans, close to the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. This congregation’s story is amazing and breathtaking. They had just constructed a new church building at the end of last summer and had scheduled an open house for August 29, the day Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast. Needless to say, the celebration was halted and all plans had to change.
However, the building was not damaged and neither was the will of the congregation. Ever since the hurricane they have been diligently laboring in ongoing disaster relief efforts. There multipurpose room has been both a warehouse and now serves as a bunk house for the guys. The classrooms have become ladies sleeping quarters. The parking lot has pallet after pallet of tools, food, water, and supplies. Make-shift showers have been set up out back. A kitchen has been formed on the back porch. Each Sunday and Wednesday air mattresses are removed and sleeping bags are stowed away as these Christians come to worship. Almost seven months later and this church are not doing what they thought they would be doing. Yet, they are doing a tremendous work for the Lord and His kingdom in this community and the greater New Orleans area.
As far as our work, we divided our group into two separate work crews with about 13-15 in each group. Each morning we left about 7:30 a.m. and carpooled and caravanned to our assigned work sites of Chalmette, in the St. Bernard Parish, located just two miles on the east side of New Orleans. There we were privileged to meet and help four different families whose homes had been flooded.
Our work was to "de-muck" each house. This is a process of completely "gutting" the home by removing all furniture, appliances, doors, washers, dryers, clothing, trash and carrying all of this debris out and placing it by the curb for pick up. Then, all the drywall, sheetrock, ceilings, and in many cases, floors, were removed down to the studs. This had to be done, so the homeowners could prepare to rebuild in the future, if they choose to. It was incredibly hard and grueling work due to all the mold and all the destruction caused by the flood. Some in our group also worked around the Tammany Oaks church building in various ways, a few traveled a couple of miles over and worked at a new warehouse distribution center operated by the church, and others did tree removal work one morning.
At the end of the day, the work crews returned to the church building to join the other nearly 250 volunteers who had come from various congregations in the Lord’s church for cleanup and dinner, which was followed by an evening devotional. Since the hurricane, Tammany Oaks has distributed millions of dollars’ worth of donated supplies to needy households and other relief organizations in Louisiana. In addition, the volunteers have gutted some 400 homes and it is estimated that the average cost to clean out one flood-ravaged home is $5,000, making it the equivalent of about two million dollars in free labor.
Our group from Central headed back to Shawnee arriving home safely last Friday evening. On behalf of the group that went from Central, I would like to express our thanks to the congregation and to our elders for giving us the opportunity to take this trip. We were all so incredibly blessed and touched by going on this trip. Please continue to keep this area and its residents in your prayers. May God continue to bless them as they revive and rebuild not only their physical lives but may they have the opportunity to find a new spiritual life through the gospel of Jesus Christ. We look forward in the near future to presenting a more complete report with some pictures and stories from our trip.
ATTENTION ALL CENTRAL LADIES
There will be a special luncheon for all ladies of the Central congregation on Sunday, April 30 immediately following the morning worship service. Please mark your calendars now. You will be contacted with more information at a later date.
02 Bob Bivins
04 Kinzee Beal
04 Betty Bernard
05 Carolyn Root
06 Josh Little
06 Mackenzie Prater
08 Wade Baskin
10 Martha Chaffin
10 James Childers
10 Terry Lowe
10 Bernard Sharp
10 Fay Truesdell
14 Babe Doyle
16 Frank Burton
16 Ron Taffe
19 Kevin Taffe
21 Maggie Prater
22 April Parmer
22 Carl Worley
26 Megan Carter
27 Bob Stephens
02 Brian & Dena Nipper – 23rd
08 Bill & Mary Jo Fleming – 55th
12 Warren & Margie Stone – 49th
12 Glenn & Lorine Watson – 59th
15 Bill & Bertha Combs -57th
17 Clavin & Agnes Norwood – 19th
19 Herman & Ruth Guin – 59th
27 Geoff & Carolyn Root – 38th
30 Bob & Charlotte Seikel – 51st
We express our best wishes to all those celebrating birthdays and anniversaries in April. Congratulations to Bill and Mary Jo Fleming who are reaching their 55th Anniversary milestone.
We extend our loving sympathy to Phyllis Scheidt in the loss of her grandson, Daniel Collins, on March 17. Funeral services were conducted in Moore on Monday.
Royce and I would like to thank you for your prayers, visits, phone calls, and cards during the times he was in the hospital for surgery. Our Central Church family has a special place in our hearts. We have a special love for each and every one of you. Please keep Royce in your prayers for a speedy recovery. Love to all in Christ,
Royce & Kathy Peerson
Thank you so much for all the prayers, cards, calls and visits. We appreciate them so much. In Christian love, Thelma Divine & Clovie Dossey
Sarah Smith was admitted to Baptist Medical Center, room 957 on Wednesday of last week with blood clotting problems in her arm. Barbara Tucker’s great nephew, 12 year old Samuel Campbell is in St. Francis Children’s Hospital in very serious condition. He has many complications following an appendectomy. Prayers are greatly appreciated. Harold Decker has been discharged from the hospital, but would still appreciate having company at home. Clovie Dossey is in Colonial Estates. Room 110, for skilled nursing for 30 days. Roe Honaker returned home from the hospital on Thursday of last week. Kathryn Shields’s stepdaughter in Texas, Donna Marcum, has been discharged from the hospital, but remains very ill with lymphoma. Kathryn’s granddaughter-in-law here in Shawnee, Patty Davis, is having a difficult time with MS.
We have additional copies of
cassette tapes available now at $1.50 each
in the office
CENTRAL MEMBERS & FRIENDS
IN NURSING HOMES
535 W. Federal, Shawnee, OK 74804
Bettie Boswell, #55
Clovie Dossey, 110A
Ed O’Neal, #56
Emma Wilson, #82
GOLDEN RULE HOME
38801 Hardesty Rd., (P.O. Box 1853)
701 S. 8th, McLoud, OK
500 N. Dawson Lane, Meeker, OK 74855
1202 W. Gilmore, Shawnee, OK 74804
201 W. Walnut (P. O. Box 630)
P. O. Box 1168, Talihina, OK 74571
April 1, Ladies Day, Southwest, Ada, "Greenhouse of the Heart," Anne Coleman; see bulletin board