Faith after the storm - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Faith after the storm

September 7, 2005

Albany-- Hurricane evacuees need more than money or supplies. Many need spiritual support. Hundreds of hurricane survivors remain in south Georgia. The devastation they endured may be enough to test their faith.

Hurricane Katrina evacuees are praying for strength to deal with life after the storm, a storm that's a test of faith. "Oh it tested it to a level that I thought I could never maintain or keep up with," says evacuee Felonius Osborne. Felonius Osborne and his family didn't try to keep up with the storm. They tried to beat it before it hit their homes in New Orleans.

"We left right before it hit and ran right into some of the weather as it was coming through Mississippi and Alabama," says Osborne. They ended up here in Albany at the Suburban Lodge last week. "Unbelievable, unbelievable. I feel like I'm at home already," says Osborne. They feel more at home because of a little hotel spiritual healing.

"We all joined hands and we prayed and by the time the prayer was over, everybody was in tears," says hotel chaplain Shirley Gammage. Shirley Gammage serves as a chaplain for three hotels including the Suburban where the Osbornes are staying. They came to her for guidance. "The greatest concern is, is there family members back home alive or deceased," says Gammage.

A big concern that can cause someone to lose faith or gain it. For Felonius, his concerns made his faith increase. "I was raised in the church but I've never really put forth the total effort to give everything to God like I've done now," says Osborne. It took him letting down his guard.

"Giants can cry. Giants can fall and the only one that can lift them up and keep them going is God," says Osborne. Felonius feels that God led him and his family to a hotel chaplain who gave them a big lesson from a small bracelet.

"I said to them this is all they need is this size of faith because this a mustard seed and that's very, very small and he in turn replied to me...," says Gammage. "You can say a mustard seed but if we all had one seed we could start harvesting some serious crops," says Osborne.

They can start rebuilding their lives with some serious faith.

That chaplain is available to guests at different hotels. All they have to do is call the front desk.

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