Two weeks ago NBC ran a piece on Mennonites building homes in the Gulf area, post-Katrina.
Five years after the fact, it’s easy to forget there is still a rebuilding effort going on down there. The video below shows Mennonites working on homes in Bayou Country in Louisiana.
“We don’t have to know somebody to do good for somebody” says one of the young Mennonite ladies.
One interesting thing is that mainly women appear on camera here–and doing a lot of “man’s jobs” to boot (or what many Plain people would consider men’s work, at least). There are a few men in the video, and also a Mennonite Disaster Service representative who makes a brief appearance. Maybe this was a female crew.
You can view the video here (minor language warning):
Love that Cajun accent.
I remember where I was when Katrina hit in the summer of 2005. I was selling books in the Amish community in Holmes County, Ohio.
Later that year another Amish settlement, at Daviess County, Indiana, was hit by a tornado. Many homes and businesses were destroyed. Amish, Mennonites and other residents rebuilt quickly.
Though it doesn’t mention so explicitly, Amish have been involved in rebuilding the Gulf as well. We took a brief look at that in this post on Amish mission work.
The fact that rebuilding is still going on in the Gulf probably shows the vast extent of the damage. I’d also think that few peoples are as resourceful as Mennonites and Amish when it comes to these types of rebuilding events.
I did have a few questions after watching the video, though.
For one, I wonder to what degree victims have been involved in rebuilding. The video does not really say.
Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like being involved–even in some small or symbolic way–would be important in order for the person to have a sense of ownership. It was implied that one of the people in the video received a new home for nothing. For some people, it can be a lot harder to receive than give.
Of course, I doubt the workers ask much if anything in return. A place to sleep?
I also wonder how many people have refused help outright. I imagine it would take great humility to accept so much from strangers.
Though having to live on a boat for 4 years probably makes that decision easier.