Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Grassroots Gettin' It Done

This was an email from a church in Louisiana. Making it happen without asking for government handouts. Read...

Greetings from Crowley Louisiana,
The first loads of your supplies rolled into Acadiana this weekend from two different directions. A group of six students and professors from Johnson Bible College brought a truckload of donated supplies from campus and ministered in one of the areas larger shelters, the Cajun Dome in Lafayette. As with everyone who comes face to face with this disaster they were amazed by the numbers and needs of the refugees that have flooded into our area.

In addition to the Johnson group the Indian Creek Church in Indianapolis Indiana sent a truck loaded to the max with water, medical, and everyday hygiene and cleaning supplies. They were immediately unloaded at a local distribution point and put in the hands of refugees. Medical supplies were also delivered to a very thankful refugee nursing home and med center that are constantly in need of supplies.

The Forest Park Church currently has undertaken a number of ministries to help those stranded indefinitely by this disaster. We have since last Tuesday been helping to feed a thousand or more refugees here in the immediate Crowley area. Each evening we, along with other volunteers in our community, work to provide a hot meal and pass out supplies to all in need.

We are working to help fill the enormous gap left by the Red Cross by distributing your aid to those in great need all around Southern Louisiana. The Red Cross appears more interested at this point in assessing than they do in helping many areas around the State.

Even as I write this letter a team of our Church members are traveling to Bogalusa LA to meet a truck of supplies from Pineville Christian Church in Winston-Salem NC. This small town, near New Orleans hasn’t received any aid from FEMA, and only a few meals from the Red Cross, and are in great need of simple supplies like water and food.

A Church member’s step-mother is the mayor of Eunice a town to the North of Crowley. Their community has set up 15 shelters housing over 3000 refugees without receiving any outside aid from any of the relief organizations. We plan to funnel some of your help in their direction. The list goes on and on, but you get the idea.

Mrs. Priscilla is working with the Ladies of the congregation in what we call the "Laundry mission" an effort to provide washing machines at the local Laundromat free of charge so the refugees can wash what clothes they brought.
The students are working to organize school supplies for kids from kindergarten through college who have been forced by the situation to enroll in area schools.

If your Church would like to help financially we would appreciate that as well. We have ever growing expenses with the distribution of aid. The wide area of devastation and even wider area of refugee dispersion causes us to spend a lot of time and fuel to keep supplies going. We are also involved in buying food for meals, and laundry expenses as well.

Thanks to all of you who are working so hard to help us by gathering supplies and financial help. Below will be a list of needed supplies as well as addresses to send financial help to our relief fund (see the website listed below).

Before I wrap up this note I want to make a plea. For Christians it should be second nature, and yet sometimes we all need reminded. This weekend the load of aid from Indian Creek contained a few Bibles, as refugees got boxes of supplies the workers there told me that more than anything the people remarked "look they put a Bible in here". In this time of disaster many are turning to God and his Word. Before you close the doors of your trailer see if you can make some room for some Bibles, maybe take your Church stamp and mark the cover, or maybe let members write a short note inside. Let’s let them know that these gifts are to the glory of God.
Please continue to be in prayer for the work, and safety of those carrying out these tasks!
Jason Corder
Forest Park Church

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