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New Orleans Mission Trip 2009 - Monday, July 13

Hi Everyone!

Hope everything is going well back in San Francisco! I have to admit,
I think all of us actually miss the foggy weather back home. Today
was our day off and we got a chance to tour the city and adjust to
New Orleans' hot and humid weather. We started off the day with a
hearty breakfast of eggs, bacon, and sausage prepared by Scott, Terry,
and a small team of youth. After packing our lunches, we made our way to the
work site, where we met George, the owner of the house that we will be
working on. He informed us that the enitre neighborhood was flooded
with 18 feet of water. Though the framing, plumbing, and electricity
had been set up, there still seems to be alot of work that needs to be
done. My guess is that we'll probably be working with dry wall and
siding these next few days. As we continued our tour around the city,
we stopped for lunch at Lake Pontchartrain and had the chance to see
where the levee had broken during Hurricane Katrina.

Before heading to our next stop, we met up with Rose, Tina, and
Jennifer, members of the Chinese Presbyterian Church in New Orleans, who offered to
show us around the city. In addition to taking us to a cemetery, Rose
introduced us to a very wonderful treat called a Snowball, a slight
variation of a Sno-cone. Attached is a picture of us outside the
store showing off our multi-colored tongues that were dyed from the
delicious and refreshing snack. It was a nice, but short escape from
the heat. Then, we were off to the French Quarter where we spent our
free time shopping at the outdoor marketplace and hunting for the
favorite po-boy spot of the locals. We ended the night at Cafe Du
Monde, eating warm, sweet beignets and listening to the relaxing music
of local street musicians.

It has been a very enjoyable day and I look forward to starting the
real work tomorrow. Please keep us in your prayers as we begin our
first day on the worksite.

Kelley Yee


Greetings from New Orleans!

After yesterday's day of travels, today was our first full day in the Big Easy. We arose
bright and early to have a quick breakfast and pack our lunches before heading out
on a whirlwind tour of the city. Our first stop was a visit to the site where we will be
working for the rest of the week, located in St. Bernard Parish, about a 50 minute
drive from Parkway Presbyterian Church where we are staying. We took a trip through
the Musician's village, went to see where the levees broke, and stopped for lunch at the
beautiful Lake Pontchartrain before heading to the French Quarter for souvenir shopping,
dinner and of course, beignets.

I was glad we got the opportunity to see the city, and the areas that were most
affected by Hurricane Katrina. The things we heard on the news and the images
we saw on tv only captured a miniscule part of what was really happening down
here. 5 years later there are still so many areas that show signs of water damage,
and empty lots and buildings that look completely weather-worn and abandoned.
One of the people from the Chinese Presbyterian Church that joined us today,
told us that it was predicted New Orleans won't be completely rebuilt until 2028.
That astounds me, as I was just a college student when the hurricane hit, yet I
will be in my 40's when New Orleans has finally recovered from its after-effects!
Seeing everything today made all of the information about Hurricane Katrina so
much more real to me, and reaffirms all the reasons why I decided to go on this trip.

Tomorrow marks the beginning of our work down here in New Orleans.
Though we are having fun and are excited for the work to begin, we ask
that you keep the following in your prayers:

- One of the youth, Tim Akana, fell ill at the last minute, and was unable to
join us on the trip. We received word that he's still running a fever, so pray
for his speedy recovery.
- That all of us stay physically safe and in good health as construction
begins, especially in this heat and humidity!
- For the people of New Orleans, that they may continue to have hope in difficult times.

Thank you for your continued support! We miss you all (including our
best friend, the SF fog!)!

In Christ,
Karina Woo

[Tuesday, July 14]