FEMA Expected Rioting but Churches Met Needs

By Aaron Rice
December 15, 2005

Last week, we learned that FEMA officials predicted rioting along the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the early days after the hurricane. They thought our folks would react violently to the lack of needed supplies.

They obviously miscalculated the people of Mississippi. The reality is that Mississippians were taking care of themselves and each other, and churches were responding with amazing speed to meet many of the needs FEMA thought only the government could meet.

There are countless stories of people whose homes were destroyed but who spent their time and effort helping others get what they needed.Governor Barbour's wife, Marsha, told the story of a family with eight children whose house trailer had been destroyed. The family accepted some items from Mrs. Barbour, but they wouldn't take everything she had for them - they wanted to leave enough for others to have.

That is the real spirit of Mississippi, and I've had the privilege of telling this story to people around the country. Without exception, the response has been, "We never heard about that; we only saw what happened in New Orleans."

There are still things we can do help ourselves rebuild. Go to rebuildingmississippi.org.


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