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Messiah College alumni and students reflect on tragedy and recovery


Uprooted Tree

An uprooted tree symbolizes the widespread destruction and displacement in the Gulf Coast region.

This fall, Hurricane Katrina wreaked a wide path of devastation across the Gulf Coast. Many Americans watched helplessly from their living rooms as the media broadcast desperate images of their fellow citizens slogging through flooded streets of New Orleans, rooftops bobbing in murky waters, and hurricane blasts reducing Gulf Coast homes to shattered matchstick-like remains.

This year, in addition to Hurricane Katrina, the world has been troubled by a string of other natural disasters, reminding us that even in this highly sophisticated technological age, there are still tragedies against which humans have little defense. From the Asian tsunami to the tragic earthquake in Pakistan, it can be overwhelming to absorb the full implications of the destruction and loss that our brothers and sisters close to home and around the globe have experienced. But as they tell their stories, we can begin to put a face on the suffering, gaining a deeper sense of the homes, families, friends, livelihoods, communities, and entire ways of life that have been lost. Amidst these stories of tragedy, we have also heard stories of heroic generosity and overwhelming compassion. Joining with the survivors, we can begin to rebuild.

Sorting donated clothing

Melissa Davis ’06 sorts clothing at a distribution center in Thibodaux, La.

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