New Christian Life Center Opens In Waveland

John Lowrey of New Jersey is on the Coast for the 100th day of what he calls his post-Katrina mission from God in Waveland, Mississippi.

"The first 45 days, all I did was clean out garbage from 5:30 in the morning to 8:30 at night," says Lowrey. "I cleaned the porta potties and the showers. That was my ministry to serve people."

He's felt a personal blessing and the need to return and keep helping.

"When you can deal with trash and garbage, you can deal with other things in life," says Lowrey.

Marvin Brunick of Orange Beach, Alabama didn't travel as far to get to Waveland.

"We were serving 6,000 meals a day, every day, to people who really need it," says Brunick.  "Providing clothes, everything that people needed. It was most spiritual thing I've ever done."

He's had his hands and his heart in feeding volunteers with the Christian Missionary Alliance since the early days after the storm.

"I've been here since three days after the hurricane. On and off, I've been here about six or seven months total," says Brunick.

Both followed the leadership and the example of Alliance Pastor Art Baruffi, who helped establish the parking lot cafe, a relief supply depot, and now, a brand new Christian Life Center in Waveland.

"It will bring in volunteers to continue that work, while at the same time serve as a church," says Baruffi.

After living here for the past year, Baruffi and his wife Pat will soon head back home.

"In terms of being special, I don't know what God does for encores, probably is my only question," says Baruffi. "When he sends us back to New Jersey, what does he do for encores?"

But they leave behind the facilities and people dedicated, like them, to Waveland's long term recovery.

"They're staying," says Waveland Resident Gerry Reynolds. "And gosh what a blessing."

"I've never had less money in my life," says Lowrey. "But I've never had more blessings."

The Christian Missionary Alliance has given out more than $12 million in food and supplies to local residents. They have also established churches in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Gulfport.