Ben and Heather Crane's mission trip to New OrleansHeather Crane, wife of Ben Crane, shares the story of their mission trip to New Orleans last year to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. Ben and Heather are back in New Orleans this week for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Ben helps in the demolition of a home.
Many, many homes there are so destroyed that they need to be completely gutted. Because of the mold, everything needs to go. We would show up to a house and move all of the contents to the curb and then begin to demo the house until it was down to the studs. Many of the people there are so upset that they are paralyzed. For most of them, this is all of their earthly possessions and it is very difficult to throw it all out. For those who had insurance, many of the companies are denying the claims, offering so little, or pulling out of the area altogether. It was a blessing to help these people when they are hurting so badly and to be there to not only encourage, but physically help them in this time.
The volume of debris is overwhelming.
Being down there reminded us of the story of the man throwing the starfish back into the ocean. A man walked up and asked him why he was bothering because there were millions of starfish on the shore and he could never make a difference. The man continued to throw them back into the ocean, saying that it mattered to that one, and to that one, and to that one...It gave us a lot of joy to help people one at a time, knowing that the situation is completely overwhelming and will take a lot of time. God is working in this area and we saw many miracles amongst our work. The trip gave us a great sense of perspective and it gave us a lot of joy to be able to serve these people.
Heather describes some of the conditions as a "war-zone".
One man we met who lost everything told us he knows that a lot of people have given money to various groups, but that they haven't seen any of that. So, if you are wanting to give some money to this cause, I strongly recommend the group we went with - www.forwardedge.org. They have groups planned out through March and they are really making an impact. They are spending about $7,500 on each house tearing it out, replacing the insulation, sheet rocking, flooring and whatever else they can do to help these people start rebuilding their lives. It is really powerful. So far, they have worked on 60 houses and churches. They have a donor who is matching everything up to $1 million, so all donations will be doubled!
The PGA Tour came for a day to film Ben and capture the story. They are going to include it on a season in review show to air around Dec. 10 on all the major networks, so be looking for that. We are hoping that the exposure will be good for New Orleans and for Forward Edge. Here are some photos to give you a glimpse of what the work is like.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Heather & Ben
Top of Page