Helping Hands and other volunteers from US Gulf Coast states converge on Louisiana to assist with cleanup efforts.
Before Hurricane Ida slammed into Louisiana on Aug. 29, Rev. Drew Sutton, leader of the 600-member First United Methodist Church in Hammond, Louisiana, decided to relocate his young family to Baton Rouge.
Before he went to bed that night around 10:30 p.m., they still had power and he wondered if the worst was over. When he checked Facebook around 4 a.m., however, “I just saw people posting everywhere like this is the worst night of our lives,” Rev. Sutton recalled to Church Newsroom.
Volunteers brought in chain saws, rakes and track loaders to begin clearing the grounds of his church. Joining with their Methodist friends, many hands made quick work.
“The way people are showing up and responding, knowing the need is great, it’s been phenomenal … seeing that level of commitment just reflects the life of the Church and the belief that God is in the midst of this storm, no matter how bad it has gotten and how bad it looks,” said Rev. Sutton.
All missionaries were relocated from the storm’s path in advance of the storm, and many are now working as part of the cleanup.
Quinn Millington, a regional Church leader, brought heavy equipment from Montgomery, Alabama. “It’s overwhelming when [residents] come back and they look at their house and there’s trees down and there’s no power and there’s standing water, and they’re wondering, ‘What has happened to my home?’” he said. “It’s nice that we can walk in and eliminate at least one or two of their concerns and offer some love acting like the Savior.”