About Me

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New Orleans, LA, United States
Family from South Africa, Born in New Orleans, Lived in South Carolina. Married to Annabeth since May 2004. We have three boys (Bolt, Mack, and Birk). Currently living in Uptown NOLA and serving as Lead Pastor of Vintage Church and Camp Pastor of Student MissionLab.

Twitter Update

Friday, August 29, 2008

Proud to Swim Home

I just got home from a run with Mike. He is one of my church members and is sticking with me and the Vintage relief team. I have 5 studs sticking with me in New Orleans (Andrew, Adam, Travis, Mike, & Matt). I love these guys and I know God is going to use each of us for His Glory.

There was a wierd vibe in the air tonight. We ran about 5 miles covering most of the Uptown area of New Orleans. This is my home and where our church serves. My favorite part is running down St. Charles Ave, weaving in and out of the famous streetcars. The feeling that you get in Uptown is this weird mix of carefree attitude and major concern. One of the things that I love about this city is the variety of people.

Here are some of my experiences on the run:

Mile 1: We passed two girls with hurricanes (famous alcohol drink) in their hands. One started to run with us even though she was a little tipsy. We asked what she was doing as she could only reply with "let's party".
Mile 2: We came across a group of men sitting on their porch. You could tell they were in deep discussion. I yelled at them, "Be safe guys." They yelled back, "you guys be safe as well".
Mile 3: Man, it was quiet. Most of the homes are boarded up and there are very few people in this residential area.
Mile 4: Okay...I needed a 30 second break. We just made our way into the Audubon Park area. There was a group of people meeting on their porch having drinks. It didn't have the typical party vibe, very calm and relaxed.
Mile 5: Almost back at the church. We passed a couple of young adults who had flashlights and equipment to board up their house. They looked extremely tired and stressed out.

When we got back, I came across this sign.

The owner of this store is a friend of mine. It is a cigar shop, next to a candy shop. Both are boarded up and they are right next to our church. On the board my friend writes, "New Orleans, Proud to Swim Home". Honestly, I am not finding this much optimism in our city. Most of the people I am talking with and who are interviewed on the news are saying that if another Katrina happens...they are finished with the city. But my friend is "Proud to Swim Home". I want to be here when he gets back.

But once again, that is why I love this city. There is such a great variety of people and emotions. Some are partying right now, some are praying. Some are stubborn and not leaving, some have already left. Some are frozen with fear, some are working to save their home and business.

I am excited to love and serve our community tomorrow. I guarantee there are going to be some interesting stories. Keep praying.

Hurricane Gustav Update:
80mph winds moving NW 10mph / Projected arrival: west of NOLA on Mon Evening

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