Katrina Floodwater, Rescue Boat, friend of FPC Kenny Bellau

This is an amazing story to tell, but it's a little long,and VERY New Orleans.

This photo was given to us a couple of years ago by the photographer himself, Kenny Bellau who took this in the days after Katrina. Photo taken from the boat in the linked news story, not technically "his" but the one he used to rescue more than 400 people. He was operating alone, mostly, with the assistance of his future wife, Candy Johnson who he had just met in Mardi Gras of that year (2005) while she was in town visiting friends. In August their long distance romance ended up being a lifeline during our city's tragedy. Kenny found a boat and started rescuing people. Candy's home office in Long Island became Katrina Central. Candy stopped working her day job to deal with all of the requests that were coming in from Nola.com message boards. Using a map of New Orleans on the wall she would pinpoint the pleas for help that were posted on Nola.com. She put them in a manageable list for Kenny who was operating search and rescue down here. She was posting and calling people, speaking with the families and giving them updates each day as well as posting an "Uptown Update" of everything Kenny was reporting to her.

But how does this relate to FPCNO? Candy is a lifelong Presbyterian, and after moving from New York to New Orleans to be with Kenny who is a lifelong New Orleanian, they were engaged. They married in Jackson Square in front of the now infamous boat that was on display as part of an exhibit at the Louisiana State Museum. Seeking a Presbyterian pastor, they found our own Fred Powell. Pastor Fred performed their joyous wedding ceremony and introduced Candy and Kenny to our church family, which began our wonderful relationship. Candy is now an Elder serving on the Session and is the church Treasurer.

Today, Kenny is in Texas helping. Candy has posted a terrific list of lessons they learned while trying to do what the Cajun Navy, and others, are doing right now. We are so proud that we have this connection, and we are family now.

The linked story is about the boat, which has been moved from Jackson Square, and after things in Texas settle down, Kenny will be working with some people on trying to re-home it.



Presbyterian Fun Fact

There are about 75 million Reformed/Presbyterian Christians worldwide and about 2.5 million belong to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).


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