This past April for spring break, I went with my youth group, CEP, down to Pearlington Mississippi. About twenty high school students, from surrounding areas, piled into three vans and drove down to this small town that is still today devastated by the damage from Hurricane Katrina to help out those in need of help. After what seemed to be the longest most uncomfortable car ride of my life, we finally got there. I knew once we arrived because there were trees to my left and right completely snapped in half. There were abandoned houses with broken windows and missing shingles. Each house had a spray painted “X” on it, with each side revealing how many animals or people died in that house. Lastly I heard someone scream “A Murphy!” I thought to myself what a “Murphy” is, and then my friend explained to me that there are so many lost dogs in the area, that everyone calls them a Murphy because nobody knows their real name.
As Easter Sunday rolled around our leader told us that we would be attending church, at the Mt. Zion Church that the kids who went with CEP previous years had helped build. This ceremony was not like any I had attended before. That day the people of Pearlington Mississippi showed me something I will never forget, and that is how to stick together. Almost all of the people whether being man, woman, or child got up and talked about how because they stuck together, their poor town survived one of the most dangerous storms. The words these people used to depict what it was like dealing with the after mass of the storm was filled with such great detail and with such power that they’re hard to describe. These words caused tears to fill the eyes of almost everyone seated in Mt. Zion Church, because each person knew that their lives could’ve been taken, but with the help of their surrounding neighbors they were saved. Almost all of their homes and belongings were swept away or in ruins from the waters of the hellish storm, but the fact that they still had each other was more than they could ask for, and you could tell by the expression in their voices and faces.
Ever since that day I believe so greatly in the power of sticking together. This past year I experienced my parent’s divorce, my house burning down, and my mother’s battle with alcoholism. I realize that my family never would’ve been able to cope with these tragic events if it weren’t for the support we gave to one another and received from others. Even though it took me fifteen years and a trip to a small torn up town to realize its importance, I will now forever and always believe in the power of sticking together.
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