They sat on the seawall enjoying sandwiches and absorbing the view. The water off Hancock County's beachfront glistened. Yet 11 Georgia volunteers couldn't take their eyes off the hurricane debris that darkened the shoreline.
John Canady looked at Waveland's devastation and said, "You realize the power of nature that came in here and tore everything up."
Evangel Temple in Columbus, Georgia sent a team that included a car salesman, a photographer, an aircraft mechanic, and a retired firefighter to Waveland. The volunteers vowed that right after lunch, they would try and repair what nature destroyed.
"You realize that in the scheme of things we're small," Canady said. "And this is so much larger than you are. But you can do a small amount to help correct it."
The task they took on was anything but small. The Georgia crew played a large role in the reconstruction of Waveland's First Assembly of God Church. For John Connally, Friday's work detail was his third Waveland assignment.
"It's part of men's ministry at our church," he said. "Tt's just a part of what we do."
Canady had a similar reason for volunteering.
"Christ tells us that we should help others," he said. "We can give our money and send it. But it's a whole lot more fun to come and help."
Jeb Banashak watched the repair work and smiled. He's the First Assembly of God pastor.
"We couldn't do this ourselves. I mean, we've just been blessed week after week with great help and great friends that God has given us," he said. Several other church groups from other parts of the country have donated time and resourced to Banashak's Waveland church.
According to Canady, the scene in Waveland "just makes you appreciate the fact that my home in Georgia is complete, and everything is as neat as a pin."
Someday, Waveland will look just as neat, because of volunteers like the men from Evangel Temple in Georgia.