CAMA Responds to Louisiana Flood

August 20, 2016: One of the worst recent U.S. disasters hit Louisiana this week. Days of heavy thunderstorms poured 31 inches of rain across a third of the state. The Louisiana flood has reportedly taken 13 lives and damaged 40,000 homes.

CAMA Responds to Louisiana FloodTwo small Alliance church plants are located in the disaster area: Burning Heart Fellowship in Greenwell Springs (near Baton Rouge) and New Hope Community Church in Gretna (just outside New Orleans). While their buildings were spared, several Alliance church members’ homes have sustained damage.

“At least two families in Burning Heart Fellowship had their homes completely flooded. It is a very sad scene,” said Phil Hagar, superintendent of the Alliance Southern District. “When you lose everything, you lose everything.”

Gary Fairchild, director of Global Disaster Response for Compassion and Mercy Associates (CAMA), has authorized $14,000 from the CAMA Disaster Relief Fund to assist with recovery efforts. Paul Kaiser from the Alliance Metropolitan District, who led CAMA relief efforts after superstorm Sandy, will travel to New Orleans this weekend. He will stay one to two weeks to assess the damages and determine next steps.

“We’re really grateful for Paul’s help,” Hagar said.

During the past several days, the two congregations have focused on helping church attendees, family members, and friends who have suffered property damage. Kaiser will provide the expertise needed to help these communities recover.

“Beyond our little church family, we have many friends and relatives who experienced flooding in their homes,” said James Harthoorn, pastor of Burning Heart Fellowship. “It seems like more than half the people we know in Watson and Greenwell Springs experienced flooding to some level.”

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated many of these same communities. This recent storm brought three times as much rain as that disaster did more than 10 years ago. As one church member lamented, “Didn’t we just go through this?”

CAMA’s disaster relief efforts will begin in these church communities, focusing primarily on the needs of the most vulnerable—the elderly, single mothers, and the extremely poor—who have little or no means to restore their lives.

CAMA needs your help to support these recovery efforts. Together we can restore hope and help these two small congregations extend Christ’s love and care to their communities.

Give today to the CAMA Disaster Relief Fund.


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