The other day I mentioned that one of our church member’s homes still stood after the storm. John Richard and his brother Cooper weathered the storm in John’s house. They actually started in Cooper’s house next door. When the storm surge rose to about 5 1/2 feet they somehow swam to John’s place, climbed up to the second story and hunkered down as the water continued to rise and the hurricane force winds howled. The water came in about 6 inches or so before receding. Nearby buildings blew or washed away. The metal shed, pictured below, sits in the street in front of John’s house. We don’t know exactly where it came from. The fact that John and Cooper survived can only be explained by a miracle. John shrugged and said, “I don’t know why, but I guess God ain’t done with me yet.”
I do not think John would mind me calling him an “interesting character.” He is a long time Lakeshore Baptist Church member and has a real heart for God. He has his own prison pen-pal ministry where he literally writes over 2000 letters a year to prison inmates all across the country. He lives content in the house pictured above with no air conditioning or other conveniences.
As we still await the OK from the insurance company to clear our church property, John has agreed to accept any clean up and construction assistance at his place. He built his house on sturdy 12X12 stilts that maintained their structural integrity during the storm. About 20 years ago he enclosed the bottom flore for their other brother, Gerald. Gerald passed away a couple years ago. Katrina completely gutted the bottom floor. If a clean up and construction crew would like to come in, rip out the existing walls and floor to the bottom level and re-enclose it, the church can use the space for storage while we plan to rebuild the church facilities. Anyone interested in volunteering for this job, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.