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A Wind from God
Prayers, meditations soothe the spirits of hurricane survivors


A new book by Barbara Hemphill is comforting the hearts and spirits of hurricane survivors. The author, who earned a degree in pastoral care and counseling at New Orleans’ Loyola University, wrote 40 meditations, brief poems and prayers that weave together people’s experiences of hurricanes with water-related Bible passages. The meditations are modeled on lectio divina, an ancient Christian prayer practice.

Encouraging readers to pray and journal as they read, the book includes sample journal pages and instruction in the lectio divina method, which is appropriate for individuals or in small groups. A Wind from God: Prayers for Recovery from Hurricane Katrina is published by Shadow Verse Press and costs $9.25

Hemphill donated 2,000 copies to victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The Diocese of Louisiana has delivered 1,000 copies through its assistance ministries in New Orleans. Another 1,000 have been distributed in the Kingwood, Texas, area through Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, where Hemphill has served as pastoral care coordinator since 1999.

Hemphill, who has completed training as a hospital chaplain and spiritual director, and her family lived in New Orleans for 14 years until 1994. “Because of our history in the city, and our friends there, I wanted to do something to help,” said Hemphill, a Houston native. “Since my work and training is in spirituality and pastoral care, I wrote this book to offer a kind of spiritual hurricane relief.”

Her first book, Magellan’s Shadow: Faith Poems, won a 2005 Independent Publisher Book Award.
The Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund will receive publisher’s profits from the book.

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