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Evacuees Find Sunday Strength

Evacuees aren't calling Central Baptist Church a shelter anymore, but the signs of care still remain, the Red Cross table at the entrance, the stacks of donated clothes in the halls. But the most significant signs of care are just faces in the crowd.

"Everyone here helped us out a lot," said Calvin Weaver, a south Louisiana resident. "We appreciated it. They offered for us to come to the service, and we came to the service."

The Weaver family's hometown is among the many in ruins. But the Twin Cities have provided them with an apartment, schools for their children, and a church on Sundays.

"Central Baptist is our home," said Pamela Weaver, Calvin's sister. "They helped us out, sheltered us, fed us. They took care of the kids. We came home."

"We want them to go wherever they want to go to church," said Pastor Chris Osborne of Central Baptist. "They don't have to come here, whatever they want to do. But we're doing everything we can to assist them and love them, because this is just a nightmare. I lived outside New Orleans in Slidell, so I know the situation. It's just horrible.

"You've got to have something to put your faith in, that even though it's bad now, it's going to get better," Osborne said.

It's something the Weaver family prays happens. Siblings Calvin and Pamela still wait for word on the fate of family members, including one of Calvin's children.

"I pray that everybody's family can get back on their feet and do well," he said.

"If anybody's missing somebody, I pray that they find them, and that everybody can pick up the pieces like we did," Pamela said.

And indeed, there are still pieces to be picked up. But often times, one hour at a shelter, a church, a home can provide the strength to keep picking up.


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