Thursday, November 03, 2005

People who make a difference...

I met a man last week who is making a tremendous difference to thousands of people who have been affected by Katrina. Councilman Bill Stallworth, from East Biloxi has turned this part of the city from helplessness to glimmers of hope. Mark White, who is running PDA down here, and I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Mr. Stallworth on Wednesday for a few minutes and he told us the following story:

2 days after Katrina hit Bill was in the center of the chaos. People were petitioning him for help with finding water and supplies, locating lost people, helping with the dead, finding places to stay; you name it the community was coming to him. Being a compassionate man Bill responded to as many requests as he could. That day Bill went to church to pray and to seek peace in the chaos. As he was walking out of church two men approached him and asked the question, "What is it going to take to get East Biloxi through this time?" In the midst of it all, Bill was given some divine clarity and laid out a plan for an operations center that he and all of the aid organizations would work out of. The men said that start up money would be wired into a new account for him towards the end of the day. These men were from OXFAM. Bill has made that start up money stretch for two months and the Lord has provided more money to cover things for the next few months.

Bill's story doesn't stop or start there. Bill has been in public service for almost 20 years although he had decided to step away from it a few years ago. Last year some folks from the community asked Bill to run for the city counsel again which he did. Bill received 92% of the vote in the easiest campaign he'd ever run. 52% was as much of the vote he had ever garnered in all of his previous elections.

It was as if God had him in a position to serve for such a time as this the job is huge. Please pray for Bill as he continues to lead and shape this part of Biloxi for years to come.


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