Sunday, August 27, 2006

These are the Moments....

There are moments in life that define your reason for being, that help you understand why God put you here in the first place. They help you breathe and to keep going in the face of even the greatest of challenge and adversity.
I’ve had several such moments this weekend.

So much has happened in a few short days. So much to share: the Gospel Concert, the Reunion, the quiet meetings discussing the future of volunteerism in Pearlington, Ernesto on the move. There was also many gentle moments: sharing Pearlington with my wife Marian, singing songs from the heart, a boy becoming a man under the kind mentoring of the Dog Soldiers.

But, first things first.

Friday night a couple of hundred volunteers and members of the Pearlington black community jammed into New Hope Baptist Church for an evening of gospel music and fellowship in honor of the volunteers. Organized by Joseph Keys and others, it was a night of showcasing the talents and worship of the Pearlington Community Choir and visiting musicians from Mississippi and Louisiana. In short, it was awesome!

Joe had asked me to be the Guest Speaker and to share some thoughts of behalf of all the Pearlington volunteers. I was deeply honored to be asked to do so and I hope I represented you all well. I’ve decided that since I was speaking on behalf of all of you, that I should publish my remarks. I have spoken a thousand times and almost often do it without notes or a prepared speech, but this time I thought it was important to record it all so that I might share it with you.
I have attached it here as a .pdf file you may read or download and, if you think it worthy, I will post it as a permanent addition to this site.

It is available for you to read HERE.

Warren Tidwell, that remarkable young man who is also an amateur meteorologist, will now get his own blog when I return to Canada, to keep us posted on potential storm threats to the Gulf coast area. I trust Warren’s reports; he is neither alarmist nor sensationalistic in his evaluations and will provide all who are interested with up-to-date reports as he creates them - especially if he considers a threat to be looming.

I will create this blog when I return to Canada and let you know when it is available for viewing.

Folks began showing up for the Reunion and there is an expectant tinge in the Pearlington air. Susie Sharp, Pam Kirkland and Mike Aultman; Randy Turpin, Susie’s Texas niece Celia and her husband Ed Boyle were working like Trojans to get the venue ready and the food prepared. Susie and Randy even restored her huge truck shed to pre-Katrina conditions to prepare for the festivities and to ensure we all had a dry place to be. Good thing, I will share in the next posting.

After the Concert, we all repaired to Rev. Rawls’ First Missionary Church for food and, as usual, it was outstanding, welcoming and filled with the sound of joyful people.

Thank you Pearlington for loving us and giving us the gift of your voices and music. It was a night few of us will ever forget and we are touched by your willingness to honor us.

More later....


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