Monday, October 31, 2005

Haunted Houses

I enjoy being scared in a controlled environment like a haunted house. Just the thrill of feeling terrified yet knowing you are safe is invigorating! I’ve had some crazy experiences in haunted houses…

One time, my sister and I went to a haunted house when we lived in Ft. Worth. They sent us through by ourselves. I was only 16 years old and Kay was 13 years old. At one point, we had to walk by a man with a chainsaw in order to get thru. I looked at my younger sister and said, “I’m not going that way.” She looked at me and asked what other way I would like to go. That was the only way out. After we ran by the chainsaw guy, we caught up with a couple casually walking thru. I think they were on a date, but that didn’t stop me. I grabbed onto the back of his shirt and hung on for dear life. Kay said that he kept looking back and talking to his girlfriend about some strange girl clutching his shirt.

Another time, some friends of mine were going thru a haunted house. I somehow ended up in the back. It was pitch black and I lost my sandal. When I stopped to find it, my friends deserted me. A “monster” ended up finding my missing flip-flop. He wasn’t quite as scary when he stopped his growling and said in a plain voice, “Here’s your shoe.”

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Scenic Route

We must make that long drive home from Vancouver, WA. There are several routes we could take. However, we're choosing a northern way in order to experience some states that we've never seen. Our planned stops include an area that has natural hot springs in Montana and Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota. Also, we plan to stay in our rig the entire time. I'm rather tired of hotel rooms. Therefore, we will just pull over to sleep when we are tired and keep driving the rest of the time. It will take over 38 hours of just driving time. That's not counting site seeing or fuel and food stops. So, if you work 40 hours a week, we'll be literally driving the entire time you're working this week.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Portland, OR

Portland is very cool. This is my 3rd or 4th time to Portland. I visited the Gorge here. It's beautiful! However, it rains 9 months out of the year. I wouldn't be able to handle that weather. It's cold here now. Therefore, it's cold and wet. This week was the week that I got out my big jacket as opposed to my little hoodie.

I woke up 2 hours early this morning. For some reason, Pacific time is the most difficult time zone for me to adjust to. The others I seem to handle well. Even when we went to Australia, I adapted better than here. Tomorrow, with the daylight savings time I'm going to be all jacked up. One time, we flew from Maryland to Portland, performed that night in Portland, and flew back. That was the longest day of my life!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Chicago Airport

We had a 2 and a half hour layover in Chicago yesterday. The Chicago airport and the Atlanta airport both say that they are the largest airport in the country. I can settle the bet…Atlanta is the largest hands down. Also, Chicago has a lot of people but not a big selection of restaurants. There were people everywhere. You could barely cross over to the other side without getting trampled. There were lines at every food place from McDonalds to Chili’s. If you want to eat, the only option is sandwiches, salads, or pizza. Don’t get me wrong, Chicago itself is a great city, but the airport is not the best for its size.

It was cool being in Chicago the day after the White Sox won the World Series. All of the newspapers sported the word “Champions” really big. There were White Sox signs written in chalk on some of the luggage carriers. A lady at one of the shops was folding new t-shirts fresh out of the box that read “White Sox World Series Champions.”

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Fly Show in Illionois

Okay, I have to admit. Right now, after being on the road for 2 solid months this summer and then going directly into this big tour, I'm tired of doing shows. So, last night, I wasn't too into this show. It was a fly show which means Brock does small interactive tricks and I run sound and lights.

During Brock's message, I went backstage because I was simply bored and wanted to read or something. As I was sitting there pondering how frustrating the production was in the show, I started to try and pray. At this point, the Lord told me that I was much more valuable as a prayer warrior than a production manager. I tried to get my act together and focus. I really had a neat time of prayer back there.

God heard mine and Brock's prayers. Out of the 500 people in attendance, about 25% made a decision for Christ! The youth pastor had 120 cards for the ones that were becoming a follower of Christ to fill out. They ran out of cards and had to use the backs.

Also, I was praying some specific things about this church that I felt like the Lord was giving me. After the show, Brock began to tell me his thoughts about this church that he got as he was speaking. As we were eating dinner, the youth pastor began to talk about the spiritual climate of the church. All of our assessments matched. That's when you know that the Lord Himself is telling you what to pray. That's my gift and if I don't use it for even one show even if I'm dog tired or bored, then I've failed the people in that town.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Lunch with the Pimps

We've been at the airport and on a plane all morning. It was really tough for me to shoulder all of the bags in order for Brock to rest his back. He's doing alot better due to the rest, but we're still taking precautions.

By the time we landed at 12:35, I was starving. The local youth pastor picked us up and took us to our hotel. He said there was a restaurant in the hotel. We dropped off our stuff and went to the restaurant. It had just closed at 1pm. I was beginning to shake because I was so hungry. The hotel took us to a Japanese restaurant down the road. We sat at the habachi grill with a few guys. One of them looked just like Dave Chappelle and they were all obviously pimps. Brock began teasing them by asking what they did for a living. Brock said, "Let me are all school teachers." They began to laugh. Brock asked them if they were on their lunch break or on a day off. They replied with "Day off."

Right now, we are back at the hotel and I'm about to take a nap. I stayed out late last night watching a movie with my sister. We thought that it would be fun to see "In Her Shoes" together since it's about sisters. Anyhow, I'm really feeling the effects of the late night and early morning.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A Weird Week

Last week was a weird one! We had some vandilism on our vehicle. There was some kind of animal crap left on the step of our truck by the passenger door. Someone wrote in magic marker on our trailer.

We sold a pen at our product table for $27 and a $20 gift certificate to Blockbuster. The guys that ran our table were trips and they placed a pen on the table with a $100 price tag. Some kids actually ended up paying the cash and gift certificate for a PEN! It was funny!

Stephanie heard someone scratching on her hotel window. Whenever she turned on the light, the noise would stop. When she turned the light out, it happened again. So, she flipped back on the light and it stopped. Needless to say, she didn't get much sleep that night.

We found our missing prop. It was left at the venue in Georgia where we performed a month ago. The promotor is going to mail it back to us.

Monday, October 24, 2005

A Positive Update

I haven't had access to internet for a couple of days, but here is the update. We are staying in Ft. Worth, TX with Brock's sister and brother-in-law for a few days. My sister and brother-in-law live here as well, so we get to see them too. Thanks to Josh, one of the guys on the conference tour, we're able to stay here and rest until Wednesday. Josh is driving our truck to Oregon for us. On Wednesday, we will fly to Illinois to perform Wednesday night and then to Portland on Thursday in order to be there for our shows this weekend.

It's amazing how much better Brock's back is now that he's been able to really rest. He's found that sitting in a vehicle increases the pain. Therefore, a 45 hour drive would not have been a good idea. Yesterday, we found a cool, ornate cane for only $6. So, we bought it for him. He uses it when he gets out of a car. Tonight, he's going to get a massage. Pray that he is completely healed by Wednesday. If not, the airplane ride is going to be murder!

I rented a car and am enjoying running around town. I feel alot of freedom and a bit of normalcy while driving a regular car. I ate lunch with my sister today and we'll be going over to her house tonight for dinner. Brock's sister's birthday is tomorrow, so we will be here to celebrate it with her! I think the Lord knew that we needed a break. Thanks for your prayers.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Road Problems

We broke down on the side of the road in Lebanon, MO at 5pm yesterday. We finally got it towed at 7:30. However, the mechanics said that it would be Saturday afternoon at the earliest before they had it done. We were to be in Dallas in order to perform by tonight and tomorrow. Our show is over Saturday afternoon. We spent the two and a half hours on the side of the road racking our brains as how to get to Dallas for the show. I called my mom so that she could get people to pray. Stephanie called her dad to get people to pray. We were praying for a miracle that we could make our show in Dallas.

At around 7pm, Brock called our friend, Brad Bennett who lives in Springfield, Mo which was about 45 miles from where we were just to see if he could help. He said that he had a friend who lived in Lebanon who was a CPA and worked with trucks in some capacity. He called that friend, Doug. Doug showed up, paid for the towing cost, and lent us his brand new dully pick-up truck to haul our trailer as well as us to Dallas. He is angel. We got our miracle and we're now in Dallas about to perform.

However, it has still been a rough day. Brock's back is still bad. He had to try and stretch out in the back of the pick-up truck. That's difficult for a 6'4" guy. He was worse when we got out of the truck a couple of hours ago. I had to drive the entire way. I'm not very comfortable driving somebody else's vehicle especially with a 36' trailer attached. Pray for us. We have to perform all day tonight and tomorrow (with Brock's bad back), drive the 8 hours to Missouri by tomorrow night, pick up the truck, and leave Sunday morning to drive to Portland, OR by Tuesday night.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Last Night

Last night was amazing! Brock was slightly disappointed when we were praying before we started because they said that about 400 people were here. Brock said that he wanted to see 1,400 here. We prayed and in the end, there were 1,343 people in attendance. It was great. The venue was very tough because there were no chairs. Everyone stood up the entire night. When it came time for the invitation, it was difficult to get everyone quiet and listening. Despite all of the distractions, 157 people gave their lives to Jesus last night. Sometimes, it seems as if more people respond to an invitation on the night that they don't seem to be attentive.

Brock was able to see a chiropractor yesterday. The doctor said that he has a strained muscle in his back. He was able to loosen up Brock alot. That was good, because he was having trouble walking yesterday morning let alone doing a show. However, a strained muscle just takes time to heal. I could tell that the water coffin was painful for Brock last night. The chiropractor said that sitting is the worst thing he can do. Therefore, it looks as if I'm going to be doing the bulk of the driving to Dallas today. My sinuses are so much better though.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Taking FX Up a Notch

Last night, we did again. It was incredible! The crowd was mesmerized with anticipation. They let out a huge scream when Brock was victorious. Everybody is talking about it. There was a write-up in the newspaper about it. We've only done this particular stunt once before. It went really well. This stunt really took Freedom Experience up a notch. More about this later...

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

FX in Springfield, IL

So far, this has been a typical Freedom Experience. The band's van gave out while they were in Florida. Therefore, we got a new band as of 11pm Sunday night. They drove in from Georgia yesterday in time to play last night. Freshman 15 saved the day and did a great job performing. We also had props break in the show last night and one illusion was missing. I don't know if it was stolen or what. Our mic seems to be broken. One of the bmx riders' bike broke. The fire code is apparently really strict in this town. Our curtains were not allowed to be touching the ground at all. So, I spent over an hour pinning up the curtains. Also, Brock messed up his back during the straight jacket illusion and I'm still having major sinus problems.

However, lots of people were saved. Two fifteen year old girls were saved last night. They were on drugs and alcohol. One of the girls pulled up her sleeve to show the week old wounds from slitting her wrists. The other girl had scars indicating that she is a self mutilator. Now, they have Christ in their lives to help them battle through recovery. Pray that these girls get the help that they need to come clean. Neither one of them really have parents and they both have younger brothers that they are "raising."

Monday, October 17, 2005

Homemaking Skills

I was feeling very confident about my homemaking skills because I made some cookies for the staff of the conference. They loved them! I made so many of them that I thought they would be able to take some back with them on the bus. They didn't even last until Saturday!

Well, pride goeth before the fall. Yesterday, I woke up early to get everything ready to go. We left town yesterday and will not be back until November 5th. Therefore, I had a lot to do. I didn't have any dishwashing detergent left. I didn't have time to go to the store and buy some, nor to wash every dish by hand. So, I put just a little Palmolive dish soap in the dishwasher. DON'T EVER EVER EVER EVER DO THAT! Suds were going all over the kitchen about the time I woke Brock up. Brock spent the whole morning cleaning up soap in the kitchen. Needless to say, we got a late start!

Sunday, October 16, 2005


After I wrote that last post, I was feeling rough. My sinuses were bad and I just wanted to go home. However, we had already made some plans with a couple here. I'm so glad that we went. Being with them really lifted my spirits and made me feel alot better.

This last book that I read, Captivating, did not really resonate with me. It was good, but it didn't hit me hard at this time in my life. However, the whole time I was reading it, I thought of my friend. I knew that I needed to give her that book. In fact, I hurried through it this week so that I could give it to her last night.

I offhandedly gave it to her. She said that it was not a coincidence that I gave her that book. She felt like the Lord wanted her to read a book. She is not a consistent reader so she didn't really know where to start. She was thinking about it a couple of days ago and that was the day that I posted the entry about books. After reading my blog that day, it only affirmed it in her mind that she needed to read a book. She was about to ask me last night what book to read but before she could, I handed her the book. I told her that for some reason, God wants her to read that book.

It was a special time. The Lord not only drew us together, but He showed us how much He loves us. We were both so encouraged by how the Lord pays attention to the details of our life.

Saturday, October 15, 2005


I've got to admit that I'm grouchy right now. We're doing one of our shows on the conference tour in Nashville. It's difficult to do a show in your hometown. We've had friends come to the show and go to dinner and lunch with us. However, it's sorta like when you are in school and it's the day before some kind of break. You don't want to do any work.

Also, my sinuses have been acting up everyday for the last two weeks. They're not getting better. I don't know what to do. I've been taking medicine, trying to eat right, getting as much sleep as I can. It doesn't seem to be working. My right eye waters constantly and I feel like I'm on the brink of a sneeze every few seconds.

We are just plain tired. For the last nine days, we've been driving or onstage. I'm emotionally and spiritually and physically drained. I don't know if I can make for 15 more days just like the last nine.

I know that this is very negative. Just pray that we'll be able to make it through the next few weeks. We leave tomorrow morning to do a Freedom Experience in Springfield, IL. Then, we drive to Dallas to do another weekend on the tour. We then drive to Portland, OR, get on a plane, and fly to Rock Island, IL to do a show. Then, we fly back to Portland for another tour date. The next day, we drive to Vancouver, WA to perform. On the 31st, we start to drive back home to Nashville...Ugh!

Friday, October 14, 2005


I just finished two books this week...three actually because we listened to one on CD. I feel so good when I complete a book. It makes me feel like I've accomplished something. I always read two books at a time. One that is fiction for pure entertainment and one that is nonfiction that helps me get closer to the Lord in some way. (As you might have guessed from my last few posts, sometimes I have alot of time on my hands on the road.) I recently read Captivating by John and Stasi Eldridge and Redemption by Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley.

My favorite books are:
Gone With the Wind by Margeret Mitchell
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
The Mark of the Lion Series by Francine Rivers
Prayer: The Key to Revival by Paul Cho
Six Hours One Friday by Max Lucado

Tell me some of your favorite books. I'm always looking for something new to read.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Last Show in Quincy, IL

It was a good night last night. Toward the end of the service, Brock led the students in a special prayer time. He says that the church today puts too much emphasis on the paid ministers. We are the church. He told the youth that you don't have to have a degree in ministry or a microphone to minister. "If you are a Christian, you are a minister," Brock told them. "He said you might say 'I'm only 14 years old.' Exactly, you are 14 years old and the Lord wants to use you."

He had people that were going through some tough times raise their hands. Then, he had students gather around each hurting person and pray for them. It was great watching youth pray for each other.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Cruising Around in the Church Van

During the days here in Quincy, IL, we have absolutely nothing to do. Brock rode his dirt bike with one of the leaders yesterday. So, Stephanie and I just had to find something to do. Our only transportation is our big semi. Therefore, the church let us use their church van. It's funny just me and Steph cruising around town in a church van. People would honk and wave at us. I'm sure that they probably attend the church and think that they know us.

We went downtown to a place to eat lunch. For a second, I thought I was going to have to parallel park that thing! That just wasn't going to happen. I had trouble parallel parking our little beetle. Luckily, we found a parking spot where we were able to pull in.

The place that we went to for lunch ended up being a tea room. It was packed with nothing but women. (I'm glad that Brock wasn't with us.) They also had all of these knickknacks that you could buy. It was a little odd.

After lunch, we went to a coffee shop. We sipped on coffee and hot chocolate and read our books until it closed at 3pm. Today, we plan on seeing a tree on which its trunk has a place that looks like Jesus holding a lamb. There is also a chopper shop here in this small town that Brock wants to look at. Hey, you do what you have to do when all you have is a church van and the nearest city is 100 miles away.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A Vision From Six Years Ago

We are performing three nights in Quincy, IL. Last night was the first night. I sat in a closet right off of the stage. Therefore, I could not see what was going except when I came out onstage to bring Brock something or perform an illusion. It reminded me of another time I sat in a closet backstage over six years ago...

It was my first summer out with Brock. We were at Pineywoods Campground. It actually might have been my first camp with Brock. I sat in that closet and prayed my heart out during Brock's message. The Lord gave me a vision. I saw a mist or cloud type form that gently hovered over and thru the crowd. Then, all of the cloud was wisped up into Brock's mouth. I think that the Lord was showing me how the Holy Spirit goes across the crowd and then gives Brock the words to say to those people.

Last night, I was praying about that same thing. After the show, Brock came backstage to the closet and asked if I had been praying. I told him yes. Brock said that he could tell because he didn't give the message that he usually gives. It was as if the Lord was giving him each word to say. I reminded Brock of the vision and told him that I was praying about that. He said that happened again last night. Brock could feel it.

Lots of people were saved and the Holy Spirit was thick in the room. I could even feel His presence in the closet on the side of the stage!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Lucille Ball Moments

I had what my sister calls a "Lucille Ball" moment this weekend. She uses this term when someone does something unintentional in everyday life that becomes comical. My incident involved a meatball. I ordered a meatball sandwich for lunch. We were sitting at higher tables in this restaurant. When I picked up the sandwich, the bread was soggy on the bottom and somehow one meatball broke away from the sandwich. It fell onto my lap and down to the floor. Because of the height of the table, it continued to roll all the way into the aisle. (Isn't there a song about that? "On top of spaghetti all covered with cheese, I lost my poor meatball when somebody sneezed...") At sometime during the meal, a waiter must have cleaned it up because it was gone before we left.

The most expensive "Lucille Ball" moment that I know of was when a friend of mine was using an airplane bathroom. He had a brand new ipod just as they came out on the market. At the precise moment that he flushed, the ipod slipped and fell into the toilet and into the abyss. He talked with the flight attendant, but there was nothing that could be done.

The funniest "Lucille Ball" moment was an incident when I was in college. My two friends and I would leave singing messages on our friends' answering machines. One of my friends really liked this guy and knew that he enjoyed the singing messages. After we had sung our song, she began to playfully talk about how much he would love the song and think of her and want to marry her, etc. I looked over and the light on the phone was still lit up. The phone was still on and her profession of love was now recorded on his answering machine. We had to get a friend of ours who was this guy's suitemate to sneak in and erase the message. That was a close one!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Believe Conference in Iowa

Everything went really well in Iowa. The crowd was awesome. We are really getting the hang of this tour. At the end of the whole weekend, we have a "Saturday Night Live" ending. It's where the whole cast comes up onstage and sort of dances around while the band plays and sings a crazy song. During this time, Brock crawled under the stage. There are a few different levels to the stage and right in front, there's a small gap in the staging. Brock got in that gap and kept popping his head out from under the stage where only the cast could see him. He had that goofy "Forrest Gump" smile when he came out. I laughed as each one of the cast members noticed him. Some were almost startled. Others leaned down to egg him on. Everyone was laughing.

We had a relaxing night last night. We went to a locally owned bistro for dinner. The owner and cook showed us the main courses for dinner. He was so passionate about his food. He greeted everyone who came in the door. "Happy Anniversary," he said to one couple who came in. "Have fun at the symphony," he said to some people who were on their way out all dressed up. The food was great! Then, we went to a local coffee shop where I sipped on hot chocolate and played online. It was fun.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Ode to Iowa

What would we do without Iowa?

There'd be no corn,
no corn on the cob,
no corn fritters,
no corn muffins,
no creamed corn,
no corn casserole,
no corn chowder,
no grilled corn,
no corn pudding,
no corn bread,
no corn flakes.

Also, we wouldn't have the color brown.

And most importantly, we wouldn't have our friends from the bmx stunt team Chaos on Wheels.

Does anyone know of any other way to cook corn that wasn't named above?

by Brock Gill

Friday, October 07, 2005

Davenport, IA

We are in Davenport, IA this weekend. It's a big dissapointment after being in Denver last weekend. There is not much here. On the way here, all we saw were corn fields. We are staying in downtown Davenport, but that's not saying much. Maybe it will surprise me and be a fun place!

It is freezing here! I feel like we skipped fall and went right to winter in Iowa. All that I packed us was a couple of hoodies. Yesterday, we were wearing shorts and now we need heavy coats. I'm not ready for winter. I want to experience fall.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Brock is reading a book about how to be healthy. One of the things that the book talks about is walking. Other countries walk 10 to 100 times more than Americans in a day. They walk to work and to the store or restaurants. We drive everywhere. Some of that is because everything is so spread out in the U.S. If you go to European countries, you can walk to wherever you need to go.

I began to think about it, and realized that we try to get a good parking spot at the gym. It doesn't make much sense. So, we've made a few changes. Brock now parks at the back of any parking lot in order to walk further. Also, we try to walk for an hour a day outside. Luckily, the weather has been good so far.

You wouldn't believe how much better it makes you feel just to be walking out in the fresh air! Even if you are walking around a city, it feels good. While doing these conference tours, we are getting our walking in. We walk to and from the convention center and to restaurants. We walk around in the convention center alot. My favorite walks are the intentional ones. Usually, we choose a pretty area. We've discovered so many walking trails in Tennessee. It's beautiful and relaxing. It's a time to spend with each other and our Creator.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Some Results from FX

Sometimes I wonder what goes on in the towns in which we put on an FX after we leave. This is an e-mail that we received from the promotor of our last FX in Harlan, KY:

Wow! I was just talking to an attorney from Harlan today about the drug problem and the problem with the break up of so many families in our area and told him the answer is to reach them with the truth of God and he told me about a lady that works in his office. This lady and her husband were going through a divorce when the FX came to town. Their children both wanted to go to the FX and so they worked it out and decided they would both take them to the event. As a result while they were there, God began to speak and to move in their lives and now they are back together as a family and stopped the divorce. The man that told me this did not know I had anything to do with the FX. Wow!! Talk
about being blown away!! I am still hearing about the results.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Denver, CO

Denver was a great city. They had a modern area downtown with blocks of streets lined with shops and restaurants. It was fun to walk around. The mountains in the background made it very beautiful. While we were there, we visited with some friends that live in the area. Tyler Newberry ( and his lovely wife Leslianne came to the show. We stayed with Doug Herman ( and his family Saturday night. They have a great house and were very hospitable. Denver has been my favorite city on this tour so far. I'm rating each city and this one received 5 stars in my book!

As we drove home yesterday, the price of deisel increased by the hour. It's now up to $3.59 in Tennessee. We budgeted for the fuel prices to increase to as much as $2.00 for this tour when we booked it 2 years ago. We never imagined it to be over $2 much less over $3.50! Please pray that the prices will go down or the Lord will provide the extra money to cover the raising prices of fuel. In our big truck, we only get 7 miles to the gallon.

Monday, October 03, 2005


We have been driving thru Kansas for what seems like forever! Kansas is so boring. It's flat and brown. Sorry to those of you who live there...I'm really sorry. If you want to see pictures of Kansas, go to It always seems to be cold here as well. Everytime we come to Kansas no matter what time of year, it's cold. On the way to Colorado, I was wearing a tank top because it was so hot. The moment we reached Kansas, it was freezing! Then, it was perfect weather in Colorado. I don't get it. Is it eternally cold in Kansas?

The coldest I've ever been was in Kansas a few years ago. It was 2 degrees but the windchill made it feel well below zero. I had just taken a shower so my hair was still damp. I ran across the small parking lot, maybe 15 yards. In that amount of time, my hair completely froze!

Last time we pulled over and slept on the side of the road in Kansas, I heard some running next to our truck. It sounded as if people were just running around in the back of a truck. We found out that there was a truck with cows in it that pulled up next to us. This time while we were pulled over on the side of the road in Kansas, I woke up and heard cows mooing. There was another truck of cows next to us! What is it with cows and cold in Kansas?

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Brock's Plea

The following is straight from the heart of Brock:

Hurricane Rita hit close to home. The devastation of Hurricane Katrina has barely set in when Rita hit. As many of you know, I am from Louisiana (now living in Nashville). Let me tell you, the devastation is incomprehensible. As I write this, my home town is without water, power, and almost no communication. My family is all safe. My parents evacuated to Texas and my extended family stayed to ride it out. Rita hit them dead on. There is damage to my parents' house and trees down. The neighbors weren't so lucky. They had trees in their house. Some of my friends had to evacuate from the Sabine pass area in Texas. They can't go home yet. They aren't sure if it is okay or not.

If you saw the news, you might have seen a water tower with the words "Holly Beach" written on it. If you noticed, there was nothing else near it. That area was completely lost and wiped off the map. I have some good friends who lived in Holly Beach. They had a ministry they operated from their house right there on the beach. They have ministered to thousands of people over the years. As the storm approached they packed up and left. They decided to stay with a family from my father's church (my father is a pastor). That night, they heard a crashing sound and woke up to find a tree laying near the bed they were in. They were almost killed. The next morning, they found the trailer with all of their belongings crushed by another tree. They lost everything. Their house was gone and now all of their stuff. They only escaped with their lives. These people are devastated. They are good people who have devoted their lives to helping others. Now, they are the ones in need.

The depth of this storm will be enormous and long term. What I want to do is show you how you can help. What many people don't think about is how days lost cripple the local economy in such difficult ways. For example, think of a young business who needs everyday of business to make enough to pay the bills, or think of a young and small church who depends on every Sunday taking up the tithes and offerings. If the power is out for two or three weeks, then services are cancelled and the budget takes a blow. When they do return to normal services, many people have lost income and have no extra money to give. If a family gets paid less than usual, then their tithe is less. The domino effect is substantial.

I have talked to some pastors who have been effected by Hurricane Rita and they are in a long term mess with no light at the end of the tunnel. My father is a pastor in southwest Louisiana where the hurricane hit the hardest. His entire parish is without power. No one knows when they will get it. The devastation is everywhere. No one is running to their rescue. The media is not covering more than just a few areas. What about all of the rural areas that have experienced total losses? There aren't celebrities there getting their picture taken as they pass out water. It is almost as if these areas are ignored.

I am calling for you, my friends, every person who reads this to help me as we help those people in need, specifically pastors. Those who give the most sometimes need help themselves. I am asking you to give money. Make checks payable to Unity Baptist Church, (memo line Rita) we will be making donations to pastors who are in need. Send the checks to:
Unity Baptist Church/Rita Relief
PO Box 1342
DeRidder, LA 70634.
100% of the money will go straight to those in need. We need you to respond quickly to this. As we speak, there are pastors that we know who are spending their own money to buy ice, gas, and supplies for those in their communities who are in need. The government can't fix this. The churches should step up to the plate so God gets the glory. I am calling on you to act now.

Also if you know of a church who needs a pastor or youth pastor contact us. We will connect pastors from the LA and TX regions to churches who need staff. If your church wants to send volunteers to help with the clean up and rebuilding process contact us. Thank you for the prayer and support. Lets serve God by serving people. Lets help pastors now.