Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Ecumenical Blitz Build takes off in New Orleans.

Volunteers from Maine to Washington, representing 10 denominations, have descended on New Orleans to assist in the reconstruction of 12 homes in the community of Littlewoods. During week two of the Church World Service (CWS) Blitz Build, volunteers continued to work in ecumenical fashion side-by-side, fellowshiping and eating with one another.

At a Tuesday evening gathering, volunteers participating in the build had the opportunity to gather for a meal, fellowship, games, and interaction with homeowners. Following brief introductions and a New Orleans-style meal of jambalaya, rice, and red beans, volunteers participated in a game in which they tried to pronounce words unique to the New Orleans area. Brethren Disaster Ministries volunteer and district coordinator "Frosty" Wilkinson won the game, earning him the sweet reward of a New Orleans king cake.

Homeowners were given the opportunity to address the group. Most took time to express their thanks for the work being done, nearly four years after Hurricane Katrina. Some broke into tears, unable to find the words to express their thanks, spurring others to tears as emotion filled the room.

Positive reports from numerous volunteers across denominational lines demonstrated the uniqueness and beneficial aspects of this ecumenical effort. Brethren Disaster Ministries continues to provide volunteers, leadership, and tools in support of the Blitz Build.

-- Zach Wolgemuth is associate director of Brethren Disaster Ministries.

Source: 5/06/2009 Newsline

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