Over half a million ordered to evacuate. Enough fallen timber to build 28,000 brand new homes. Eight thousand telephone poles replaced. An estimated $19 billion in damages. These are just some of the struggles that Hurricane Laura inflicted on the Gulf Coast. In addition to the physical trauma, there is the emotional and spiritual crisis that occurs in the wake of a storm of this magnitude. In August of 2020, Hurricane Laura made landfall as the strongest storm Louisiana has seen in over a century. With recorded winds of 149mph, the Lake Charles area was completely devastated. Every building for miles has varying degrees of damage and aerial views of the area show a sea of blue tarped roofs. Just six weeks after Hurricane Laura, Hurricane Delta made landfall following the same path of destruction.
ReachGlobal Crisis Response is partnering with Lake Charles Bible Church in a long-term response to reach out to the community affected by Hurricanes Laura and Delta. Our site had their first formal team at the beginning of January. Trinity Fellowship from Friendswood, Texas helped set up the site and prepare for the years of volunteer teams ahead. Trinity Fellowship partnered with Crisis Response for the last three years after Hurricane Harvey hit Friendswood. What a beautiful picture of how God used the hardship and trials of Harvey to transform and grow a community to be able to walk alongside others going through the same hurt and struggle.
Gail DeGray, the wife of the pastor at Trinity Fellowship said, “Having received the tremendous blessing of having Crisis Response and its contingent of staff and volunteers show up to help us in our time of need post Hurricane Harvey, it only seems natural that we pass that blessing along to the people of Lake Charles. Knowing full well the opportunities that exist in the wake of crisis, it was a delight to come alongside the Crisis Response staff to set up a place for Christ’s work to continue in Lake Charles.” Gail is not only the pastor’s wife, but has also recently joined the Crisis Response staff as part of the Trauma Care team. The team from Friendswood consisted of church members’ whose homes and lives were affected by Harvey. They all saw firsthand how God worked through Crisis Response and the volunteer teams and their desire is to continue to be a part of that kingdom impact. One of the goals of the Crisis Response ministry is to help transform communities. Seeing Trinity Fellowship come alongside Lake Charles Bible Church and help walk them through this time has been an amazing thing to witness. God worked through the struggles and hardships that Hurricane Harvey caused and from that trial grew a community whose vision it is to share the love of Christ with those that are hurting. Already God is working in Lake Charles as Crisis Response has been reaching out in the community and praying for more volunteer teams to come.
If you are interested in signing up to be on the Lake Charles site prayer team that is committing to pray for the staff, volunteers, Lake Charles Bible Church and the homeowners, click here.