Arizona volunteers dedicate themselves to a DeLisle family's recovery

By Don Culpepper - bio | email

DELISLE, MS (WLOX) - Susan Romain was the first member of the Bradley family to meet the volunteers from Desert View Bible Church in Phoenix Arizona.

"They walked up on the property and they've been with us ever since," Romain said. "I simply call them my angels. They really are."

And she's the one who introduced them to the rest of her family in DeLisle.

"I have sat down with each one of these sisters and I do know their story," said Wendell Sheets of Desert View Bible Church. "I know their heritage. I know their struggles and I know their joy. So we're connected."

Everyone in the family had homes damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. In fact, her sister Eleanor's two story home sheltered 73 people when flood waters overtook the entire neighborhood. Hers was the next to be repaired, then her sister Darlene's home.

"And now the last of the Mohegans is Stephanie, and here they are once again helping Stephanie get back into her house," Romain said.

"Every trip we've been moving it a little closer to the finish line, and so we're hoping to cross that line this week," Sheets said.

Their seventh trip here likely wraps up the Arizona group's mission in South Mississippi. But the bond they've forged with this family was something neither anticipated.

"We came here thinking we're going to help repair homes," Sheets said. "No, it was relationships with a family that will be a lifetime. We love them. They love us. That hasn't changed."

"They've always come back to us and we're very grateful for that," Romain said. "I don't know where my family would have been without them."