The historic flooding across our state is unreal. I mean, there wasn’t even a hurricane! And yet, assessing the scope of the damage is producing astounding numbers. Numbers like 280,000: the number of people who live in the areas that flooded. And 20,000 of them had to be rescued. Or how about 6.9 trillion? That’s the number of gallons of rain that fell in just one week. It’s staggering. And for those of us in the New Orleans area who went through Katrina, it’s also somewhat familiar.
When Katrina hit, most of us were displaced. We went to Houston, to Atlanta, to Memphis, to Baton Rouge. I am so thankful for the many people (friends, relatives, complete strangers) who opened their hearts, their doors, their kitchens, their wardrobes and their pocketbooks to help. God provided for our needs through them, and that is a humbling and unforgettable experience, one I’m sure you share with me.
Now, Baton Rouge needs us. Livingston Parish needs us. Denham Springs needs US. This is an opportunity to say thank you through our actions! If you’re like me, you may struggle with knowing HOW to best help. Who needs what? How can I get it to them? What do I do? I remember being so thankful during those first post-Katrina days for the people who didn’t wait for my answer to their questions (“What do you need?” or “How can I help?”), but instead simply ACTED. Not that asking those questions was bad – it was completely normal! I just didn’t quite have an answer for them. So, they cooked a meal. Gave a gift card. Rolled out a sleeping bag. Donned rubber gloves and face masks and helped gather stuff into garbage bags and bins. Let a hug linger longer than usual in those moments when the tears wouldn’t stop.
I want to encourage you, too, not to wait for the answer to “how can I help?” before reaching out to love someone hurting. There are SO many of our neighbors in Louisiana who need help. Our primary love language is food in Louisiana, and we are GOOD at it. Help by providing a meal for someone. Or maybe you can help by offering up a bed and shelter. Help someone with gutting or cleaning their home. Help replace their lost items. Help reunite owners with their lost pets. Help restock a kitchen pantry. Provide help in the form of a hand to hold or a shoulder to cry on.
Help by reminding them Jesus loves them, has a plan for them, and will provide for their EVERY need.
Jeremiah 29:11 “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
Philippians 4:19 “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”
1 Peter 4:10 “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
Matthew 25:40 “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
There are so many local ministries, churches, organizations and individuals reaching out to provide. Click here for practical ways YOU can be a part of helping our hurting community. Thank you for sharing God’s love in so many ways.