A Georgia Church Hosts A Picnic For Hurricane Victims In Ocean Springs - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

A Georgia Church Hosts A Picnic For Hurricane Victims In Ocean Springs

Like most everyone on Evelyn Drive, Wanda Denham and her family rode out Hurricane Katrina in her home.  

"It actually came to the top of here," says Denham, pointing to the high water mark on her wall. "It's what we figure is 5 foot. I mean we literally saw fish out here swimming."

The storm took two lives here, left everyone homeless, and left the neighborhood with a new view of the Ocean Springs Coastline.  

"It just amazes me that the Gulf of Mexico came in here like that," says Denham.

But as it turned out, Wanda was just getting started seeing amazing things.  

"They've seen us from the very beginning until now. They have been here through thick and thin. Mostly thin."

They, are the volunteers working out of Emanual Baptist Church for the Community Care Network.  

"We had over three thousand volunteers that had come from 27 states and three countries," says Diane Easley with Emanual Baptist Church.

But one group has all but adopted the residents of Evelyn Drive.  

"It's like our families," says volunteer Lynn Olds. "I mean I realize this could be my sister and my mom and everything. But to meet these people, it's like meeting family."

Members of Cross Roads Baptist Church in Newnan Georgia have made more than 20 trips to South Mississippi. Lynn Olds, who is finishing up her 10th, says getting people like Wanda back in their homes means as much to her as it does to them.  

"We didn't understand what it felt like to take your things to the curb and throw them away."

And as they say farewell but not good bye once again with a 4th of July style picnic, they leave with a better understanding of what love thy neighbor really means.  

"The people of Mississippi are not forgotten," says Olds. "God won't let us."  

by Don Culpepper

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