Restoring Hope to the Hopeless

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

The year after Myrinda graduated, Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. As she watched the national news coverage, she felt an urgency to help the people of New Orleans, and contacted the Red Cross to volunteer. The organization would not accept her until she completed its disaster training class. While Myrinda waited for another class to be offered, Hurricane Rita caused more devastation in Louisiana. Her urgency to help intensified, but the Red Cross still didn’t have a class available. Then a guest speaker came to her church with news of an interdenominational effort to send relief teams to the Gulf Coast. Myrinda volunteered.

She arrived in New Orleans with seven team members. When she wasn’t busy gutting houses, she handed out water and hygiene products. “I had worked hard on my father’s ranch, but it was nothing compared to cleaning out houses damaged by Katrina,” said Myrinda. She wanted to stay in New Orleans, but commitments in Kansas forced her to leave.

She returned to New Orleans in December 2005 and again in March 2006. Each time Myrinda came to New Orleans, it was more difficult for her to leave. By the time she returned to New Orleans in August 2006 for a four-month commitment as a relief worker, she was making plans to stay.

God fulfilled her desire to be a missionary when a pastor invited the relief workers to his home for a hot meal and Bible study. She accepted his invitation and quickly bonded with the Christians who attended the weekly study. Her future was uncertain when she returned home for Christmas. God opened a door for her to remain in New Orleans when the Pastor’s assistant telephoned and invited her to become part of a church planting team. The pastors and staff pioneering the church were full-time missionaries. She leaped at the opportunity to join them.

Myrinda began her missionary work helping the homeless in the tent city that housed the victims of Katrina’s wrath. The city eventually found shelter for the tent dwellers. When the last tent was taken down, she walked the streets of New Orleans, sharing Jesus with anyone who would listen.

Now a permanent resident of New Orleans, she fell in love with her pastor’s son. They married and became the pastors of the church his father planted. 

“God continues to amaze me by his obvious hand on my life,” said the missionary and pastor’s wife. “He gave me a passion to love the unloved, to seek out the lost, and restore hope to the hopeless.”

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