Katrina Project

Jesse Oakes | Sep 4, 2009

Photo by Jiawei Chen

This past week, one of our churchs high school seniors created a short film clip to tell the story of Hurricane Katrina and share about our high school community's annual trips to help with the rebuilding effort. What he created is remarkable on many levels; the one I want to highlight is his ownership.

He participated in our most recent trip this past July, and being the artistic guy he is, he took a ton of high-res pictures. Hes pretty busy, so I asked him a couple weeks ago to throw together a 3-4 minute slideshow of trip photos set to music as a way to advertise for next years trip—a fairly quick, easy project for a guy like him. What he returned was a moving, beautifully edited short film. With full honesty, I can tell you that I had no idea he would do this, or even had time for something like this.

But maybe I should have expected it.

He's been pretty active in our justice and service initiatives ever since he was a freshman, and so given the level of meaning and identity hes found through those things, it is little surprise he would really want to own this project. For him, our Katrina Project is not just another trip — its a movement of God, and therefore it deserves the best, including his best. For me personally, its just another example that justice work, in a special way, makes something come alive in the hearts of students.


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Jesse Oakes

Since 2004 Jesse Oakes has served in the High School Ministries of Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena, CA. He completed his MDiv with a concentration in Youth, Family, and Culture from Fuller Theological Seminary in 2010. He received a BA from UC San Diego in Communication in 2003, and worked in the music industry prior to vocational ministry. Jesse and his wife Megan live in Pasadena.


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