Katrina Journal
Slidell, LA — September 2005

Abundant Grace for Bobbie:

I met Bobbie on Sunday morning. I had made a habit of talking to people in the feeding line, joking with them, playing with the children, and listening to their stories. When I talked to Bobbie, she wanted to know if she might take some water home.

I started asking questions. She wanted one case of water, and that was all. There were fifteen people living in her house. I had to tell her that she could not have one case. She would have to take more than that. Bobbie had not had breakfast. There was nothing at the house for them to eat. I suggested some Pop-Tarts. She would accept one box. I had to tell her, ďNo.Ē I made sure she had enough for the whole household.

I asked if she had MREís (Meals Ready to Eat) at home, and she didnít. She was interested in some, but did not want to take too much. I selected enough for eighteen meals and added them to our stash. I took hold of a dolly and loaded the food and water and walked her across the street to the car.

When we opened the trunk and I saw a cooler. I asked her if she had ice. She told me she had gotten some the day before. I opened the cooler. The ice was all gone. I came back with a bag of ice to fill her cooler and load the rest of the items in her trunk.

Bobbie was beside herself. I asked her if I might pray with her. She was relieved to do that. After we prayed, she told me some more of her story.

She had come to the morning worship service at Grace Memorial. She saw what the church and volunteers from out of state were doing, and wanted to help meet the needs around her. She broke down and asked me to go back to the church and let them know that she had written them a check for a mere $5 dollars, because her checking account was down to $35.00. She felt guilty for not having given more.

The time had come. I reached into my own pocket.

I told her about one of my church members. A week earlier he had handed me a $100.00 bill, saying that God would let me know who it was for. I was to take it with me down on the disaster relief trip and await Godís instructions. I handed the cash to Bobbie. She trembled and cried again. She did not want to take it.

As we talked, I spoke of Godís grace to meet our needs. I mentioned the water, Pop-Tarts, granola bars, ice, and MREís. I told her that God had so much more to offer her than she was willing to accept. It was for heróa token of Godís abundant provision for her needs. She just needed to fall upon Christís grace and accept what God would grant to meet her needs one day at a time.

We prayed again and she left a new woman. She left a woman with hope and a growing confidence in Godís loving provision.

Bobbie gave me a big hug before I left on Tuesday. She was grateful for my help in meeting her material needs. I had given her some food that had cost me nothing. The Red Cross paid for it. My church and association paid my trip down to Slidell. A church member had entrusted me with the cash I gave her. Meeting her needs was simple and easy. It was fun! I wonder how I will do serving as a vehicle of Godís abundant grace out of the wealth I consider my own.

ó©Copyright 2005 Christopher B. Harbin

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