Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Focus On: Conrad Velasco - Nov. 27, 2006

Be very careful about getting into a car with Conrad Velasco.

He just might drive you to Pearlington to assist him with some task or another. You will soon come to realize that the real purpose of the journey was to call to your spirit and, before you know it, you're the newest volunteer pouring your heart into Pearlington.

You've just been 'Con-jacked'.

Hours before Katrina hit Pearlington on August 29, 2005 Conrad already had a plan and knew where he was heading. Leaving his family and construction business back in South Carolina, he set up a small camp on Lower Bay Road to bring relief to the hardest hit.

He hasn't stopped since.

With Jake Earle, Conrad's 'Sheds for Jesus' has built and placed 160 sheds in Pearlington and Lower Bay. His construction expertise has weighed in on countless projects and he is one of the most respected volunteers on the Coast. You can read more of these early experiences from Jake Earle's perspective HERE.

When the Morrell Foundation decided to close its operation on Waveland Beach, they looked for a group to be the recipient of almost $400,000 worth of bunkhouses, materiel and equipment. The plan was to have someone set up a more permanent long-term center in Bay St. Louis. Of all the possible groups, the Foundation chose Conrad, citing as their reason, "we have never seen someone do so much with so little."

Conrad has since been instrumental in setting up a large Center at the Lagniappe Presbyterian Church in the Bay. There, they can house and feed up to 300 volunteers and task them out around Hancock County. He continues to help Pearlington and other areas hard hit by the storm. His wife Missy has since moved down to be with him, bringing their infant daughter Savannah.

Conrad is a Dreamer and knows that faith doesn't require him to know the last step - just the next one. He moves forward each day in trust and allows the outcome to unfold in God's timing.

Thank you, Conrad, for all you do.

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