Letter From Dave Martin Re: Communications Infrastructure Rebuilding in Louisiana

Hi Jim,
Your novel Patriots was revisited in New Orleans! I thought I would fill you and your blog in on the Blessings For Obedience ministries mission to Mississippi, and Louisiana this past week, It all started with a question to Kelly Coleman our president like… “Are we going to do anything for the stricken area?” Kelly and Tina were fishing in central Texas at the time, and having a nice time I shouldn’t have disturbed them with such a question. Sorry Tina. After about twelve hours of communications with the FCC, the head of the FCC decided it would be a good thing to issue an emergency FM Broadcast license for New Orleans. I think the FCC deserves a big kudos for what they did, and the heroic work to approve the license in such a short period of time, this is definitely un heard of in normal times, Our call sign is (KS5XAE) It took one week from the day of the approval to get funding, plane tickets, tools and equipment. Canada paid for and shipped 800 Gal-Com go-ye radios for 107.9 FM and a 250 watt transmitter. We filled the bill with a mixer, mikes, CD, and tape player, antennas coax[ial cable], et cetera.
Next was to get a location to install the station, FEMA tried to help us get a location on top of some big hotel in New Orleans but it didn’t work out, after much prayer after we dropped off food and supplies at the Salvation Army distribution point in Biloxi MS and getting a real education of the death and destruction. Destruction I might add would not be equaled by a hundred tactical nukes or more, I watched the Salvation Army do most of the serious work, and the “Red Curse” get a lot of their credit. I have no love for the Red Curse, in case you hadn’t noticed.
We traveled west on I-10 toward New Orleans, only to have The Lord open every door. When we got to the major check point our little convoy went right through without even being asked what we were doing. We drove over a huge bridge down into the big lake area and Slidell, such devastation I have never seen, even in Viet Nam. Those poor people, rich and poor alike lost everything. there was the smell of decaying bodies all along the way. Going over the causeway bridge, the power lines were normally about 80 feet above the lake water. About three places I saw where boats had caught the power wire and pulled it into the water, just holding on by something on the boat. There must have been either flying boats, or really high water. At the end of the bridge thing we came into a village probably fishing and arts crafts place buildings, (totalllllly destrooooyed), stench of body decay all the way through. Then further from the lake, was less and less destruction. We needed directions so we stopped at a girls’ school where the Army had taken up residence, they told us how to get over a huge bridge on I-10 into New Orleans so off we went over the river and through the (woods) flooded, but not as much destruction we were on the elevated I-10 all the way through New Orleans no people cars, etc just some police, army and a few semi trucks bring supplies. You could drive any lane you wanted without using a blinker light. It was really weird. I listened to AM radio in the way into the area, and the N.O. station being what it is was cursing the military, FEMA, and everyone who was there to help, I got sick of their tripe, and tuned to a station in Gretna, where we wound up going to a pier and huge warehouse. That radio station was praising their Mayor, police chief Lawson, the Army, etc, and all the helpers who came in. What a change, we got to the pier, and who was the first person I met (the Mayor). He seemed like a person who really cared for his community and its people. He ask what we were going to do, and I told him we were going to give him an emergency FM broadcast station. Which we did, we linked up with FRIEND SHIPS ministries, and the ship HOPE where we installed the first FCC licensed emergency FM broadcast station ever licensed in the United States. God sent a young man named Lynnie to volunteer to run the station, and God couldn’t have made a better match, He had not only the right loving, caring spirit, but some fine skills, He had never been on radio before. God don’t make no junk. The station plays Christian music, to sooth and comfort, news, location announcements, “help me find” messages, and praise for the people, the military, police, etc. The police and military are being fed at the same location, along with a huge distribution center being located there. God owns Gretna, and the signal is covering 22 miles across the river to N.O., and 14 miles into the Gretna.
We saw a lot of sad things, but most of all we walked with our LORD JESUS CHRIST through the valley of the shadow of death, and feared NO evil. HE was with us. and with His eye guided us every step of the way, Oh ! The ship HOPE is just across the river from the IWO JIMA where the rescue HQ is. I might add that a MARS message email I got passed on to me from the Captain, reflects his close walk and dependence on our LORD JESUS too. God is taking back something that satan took.
My report to the LORD is: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, LORD! I am convinced that He only sends people who will accomplish the mission and when he provides all the funds and opens every door in one week, it is very obvious that His hand is on you an will be with you, We did carry one weapon. It was never even opened up. But then the Lord said the night he was betrayed that the disciples only need two for twelve men, who never had to use them either. Just the devil needs a little convincing now and then, He the Lord sent in the ARMY and police to do that.
Some other observations: I noticed while on my mission trip to install the Radio Station in N.O. were that generators dried up almost immediately, even from stores in the Dallas/Fort Worth area were we combined our team before deployment. We did find a 5.5 KW at Sears for half the price of Home Depot, and lots of gas cans at smaller hardware stores, around the area. On the way down the middle of Mississippi on the inter state, about a third of the piney trees had blown over or were broken in half, making them harder to cut down, the road for about 150 miles had been cleared in 4 days to allow convoys to get south, there was a good reason it took a while to get help into the area, the road was being cleared by every logger, chain saw handler in the country, what a massive undertaking. You sure don’t hear much praise of them and the power crews restoring power, so people can get electricity back , and re-start commerce.
The American people are resilient and strong. Rich and poor, they want commerce, and as soon as possible they got back up and running.
Ham radio was the only communication in or out of the area for days, GET YOUR HAM LICENSES, AND LEARN TO USE THE RADIOS YOU BUY, I can’t say this loud or long enough. Learn who your friends are. Most people are very civil, and thankful that your there to help. Americans don’t tolerate criminal disobedience, looting. etc. There were signs everywhere: “LOOTERS WILL BE SHOT”, and people carrying guns to do it with.

I am proud to say we live in a strong country, but we are woefully ill-prepared. We must get our neighbors up and running before the Big One here where I live in California. It will devastate major metro areas, and small towns alike. We must get ready and prepare like never before. Encourage people to get prepared! Blessings to all who read this. Our ministry is located at www.bfoministry.org – David Martin e-mail: martronics@tcsn.net

JWR Adds: The Blessings For Obedience ministry deserves your support, folks! Like most small Christian charities, it operates with minimal overhead, so virtually all of your contributions will go directly to radio gear and direct travel expenses for the volunteer radion station installers.