Mar 272007
Authors: James Holt

I suppose we all took different things away from our trip to volunteer our help in New Orleans.

“I learned that in the midst of having a lot of things. you can’t base your identity on those things,” said Wade Pacheco, director of Christian Challenge. “The things of this world can be gone like that. A relationship with Christ is all that matters.”

Jenika Howe, a sophomore history major, said the best thing she saw on the trip was how the disaster had strengthened people’s faith.

“They relied on God to get through.” she said. “That was amazing.”

Christians often get a bad rap.

Fire and Brimstone preachers rain condemnation on others, and we come off looking moralizing and judgmental. But that’s not what true Christianity looks like. Jesus didn’t live like that.

And I guess that is what I took away from our trip. Loving others is at the heart of Christianity. Whether it is rebuilding homes for people who could never do it themselves, feeding hungry people living in the streets, or simply listening to the pain and frustration of someone who just needs to talk; it’s all about love.

I didn’t make it to Bourbon Street this trip, but I don’t really care. What I did do was so much more important.

Christians are surely not the only volunteers working to restore New Orleans, but we who spent our week with the victims still living in the destroyed city found many of our “brothers and sisters in Christ” at the forefront.

“The church groups and volunteers coming in; they’ve been remarkable and noble,” said Tom Canfield, a Katrina victim. “I wish I was so noble.”

God, be glorified in this.

Staff writer James Holt can be reached at

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