My feelings about the trip were well-expressed by my friend, Royce Hughes.

I was struck by the enormity of the need, with the only effective and healing solution demanding our response to our fellow citizens in need. God compels us to extend our hands and hearts to our fellow men.

However, the most inspiring aspect of the trip was the ability of the many courageous and generous Mississippians afflicted by this enormous setback to somehow find the silver lining in all of it, let alone the strength to go on. Tears come to my eyes now as I think of Dave Martinez’ generosity to his fellow men in the critical days following the storm. He has a heart as big as a house. Additionally, John Rogers– while not a native Mississippian– surely has a copy to the keys to the state. I would hope that every accolade that can be heaped upon him has been— because he and his entire family deserve such praise. He fortifies the rest of us, who have been blessed to know him. The way I see it, the people I mention above have passed the test God has put to them. It remains for the rest of us to pass the test He has placed in our paths.

As Arnold Schwarrzenneger once said, “I’ll be back.” And this time, I’m bringing my friends.

Hold On…

Jerry Badovinac
Roswell UMC

This was my first trip to the MS gulf coast since the hurricane. Living all my life on Galveston Island I have seen destruction from hurricanes before albeit not to this extent. The people I met rejuvenated my faith. The volunteers were skilled and hard working. The people I met from the area were full of hope and gratitude; I heard no complaining. John’s faith and stamina was an inspiration. This was a rewarding experience for both my grandson and myself. I hope to be able to go back, as I see such a great need there.

Robert Hamilton Galveston Texas

Two things stand out in my mind:
As John took us to view different areas and as we met residents and heard their stories, I was floored by the enormity of the destruction. It’s something I still struggle to comprehend. I was also touched deeply by their appreciation relative to what we did. Their ability to “hope for the future” was both humbling and inspiring. Theirs is a story (really lots of stories) that needs to be told and retold. I was blessed to be a small part of their story, a story that I now must now tell to others.

In His love, Royce Hughes

Going back to MS really showed me that the people of the Gulf still need our help and it also helped to rejuvenate my faith.

Emily Rogers

When we arrived on the scene in south MS to come alongside CORE’s relief efforts there, 2 words immediately came to mind: disastrous & miraculous (sometimes at the same time). God showing Himself strong thru so many ways and thru so many people-was an awesome thing to behold. It was a blessing to be available to help in whatever way(s) the Lord has equipped!

Ernie & Donna Siefert
Winfield IL