Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Back from the Big Easy

I’ve just returned from several days in New Orleans with Jeremy’s parents
and sister and had a wonderful time! I feel like I enjoyed a good taste of
what New Orleans is, and the culture of those who live their. I got to
walk through the French Quarter and hear live street jazz along the way. I
had coffee with chicory and a beignet at Café Du Monde. I enjoyed plenty
of red beans and rice, jambalaya, shrimp creole, red fish and some crawfish
from a boil in Jeremy’s aunt’s backyard. I got to watch the Hornets win a
basketball game while an arena full of fans cheered them on. I attended an
Easter church service in an inner city church in the heart of New Orleans.
I drove along vacant streets of houses in ruins from the effects of
hurricane Katrina, and saw some that were in the process of being rebuilt.
I walked the 2.8 miles around Audubon Park while live music was playing,
and then enjoyed a picnic and games in the park while watching some local
animal authorities try to catch the alligator that was loose in the water
less than 100 yards away from us. New Orleans was good to me and I enjoyed
my visit very much! Jeremy’s father was a great tour guide, showing us all
of the houses he’d grown up in, places he’d worked, and giving us an
insider’s knowledge for the local culture.

One thing that stands out to me the most about the people in New Orleans is
their passion. They are very passionate people. Passionate about food,
music, culture, tradition, family, their city, and more. The heart
breaking side to this city is that just a few years after the devastation
and evacuation of hurricane Katrina the city is already the number one
murder capital in the United States again, and rampant with crime. I would
say that this is due to a lot of misdirected passion. There are many
people in the city that are taking all of that passion within themselves
and directing it toward things of this world. It’s just an example of how
polluted my life gets when I direct my passion towards things other than
the Lord. Castlerock is the inner city church that we went to. I noticed
that their mission statement is “Passion for God, compassion for people”.
I would love to see what New Orleans would look like if individually, and
as a city, they were focusing their passion on God and His kingdom. The
result would be one city on fire for God. I will certainly be adding that to my prayer list now that my heart has been stirred with a passion for the people of New Orleans and their culture.


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