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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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A sign of the times

Taped to the back door of the building in Biloxi, Miss., where the Bethel Lutheran Church Volunteer Ministry is headquartered, the sign (right) puts a new, and true, twist on the old slogan about a disaster being “an act of God.” It also celebrates the response from people to the needs of residents after Hurricane Katrina devastated the area in September 2005.

Katrina signThe numbers hint at the scope of the ongoing services provided through Bethel by nearly 7,000 volunteers: 60 homes rebuilt and more going up; 11,000 patients treated at the free clinic.

Heather Westcott, who took a break from her corporate job in Boston to volunteer for three months in 2006, now directs the ministry. “To be part of a resurrection is an amazing experience,” she said. “People really do have a different kind of experience here. We’re transforming lives—for the survivors of Katrina and also for the volunteers.”


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