LAKE CHARLES, La.—As part of Southern Baptists’ coordinated response to Hurricane Laura, teams of Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief (DR) headed to Louisiana on Aug. 30 to offer hope and help.
Don Williams, Oklahoma Baptists’ DR state director, said, “We have been in close conversations with leaders coordinating the disaster response. Oklahoma Baptists have been called on to help, and we will answer that call.”
Oklahoma’s trained DR volunteers, which is part of a half dozen states being deployed to assist, were assigned to Lake Charles, La., Moss Bluff, “one of the hardest hit areas by Hurricane Laura.”
When Hurricane Laura made landfall early Thursday, Aug. 27, Lake Charles endured the brunt of winds that reached 140 miles per hour. Yet according to reports, the damage from Hurricane Laura does not appear to be as extensive as that of Hurricane Harvey (in 2017) and Hurricane Katrina (in 2005).
“There is no electricity anywhere in the city,” said Sam Porter, national director for Southern Baptist Disaster Relief with Send Relief and the North American Mission Board. “Some have said it looks like a hundred tornadoes landed in Lake Charles two nights ago. As we drove in with the truck from Send Relief, we had to dodge debris on the main road in to the church.”
“We are bringing our large generator to bring light to the church, which seems so fitting,” Williams said. “We have a partnership with Red Cross and will be feeding those impacted. We will begin recovery work once our team members arrive.”
According to Williams, more than 55 Oklahoma Baptists will be serving Lake Charles.
“The feeding unit has been assigned to prepare 2,500 twice a day (5,000 total meals a day) starting Wednesday (Sept. 2),” Williams said. “We have assessor and chaplains on the ground visiting, praying with and ministering to impacted homeowners. A chainsaw crew also is there to begin work. A water truck is on the way.”
Williams said DR volunteers will be staying at Lake Charles, Moss Bluff while they are serving.
“We are coordinating out-of-state DR assistance,” Williams said. “Nine states are currently responding with six more waiting the OK to come help. Prayers are greatly appreciated for those who experienced major damage and are without power, water and food. God has given us a great mission field to serve and bring hope and healing.”
For DR updates or to donate to Oklahoma Baptist DR, visit www.okdisasterhelp.org.