I feel so incredibly blessed that because of living my dream through Coming Alive Ministries God often opens doors that I would have never asked or imagined. One of those doors in the past years has been being able to partner with Reach Global’s Crisis Response Team. (click here to find out more about this awesome ministry) I have been blessed to partner with them in crisis response in Nepal and Ecuador, and last week in Louisiana.
I was having a normal week ( as normal as anything is for me of course, which may or may not have included catching a lizard in my bathroom with a hair straightener and at one point doing an exercise video way to close to a lit candle and catching a small portion of my hair on fire) when I heard of the historic flooding in Louisiana.
I actually first heard of it by seeing a post by my cousin, whose family lives in one of the towns that were going completely underwater. My cousin’s cousin posted a simple phrase, ” Need help” and then included her address. They were underwater and needing rescue. I began to pray for her and kept praying.
This post gripped my heart and I knew I needed to go. I was not sure what I could do, but I wanted to put my yes on the table. God arranged it was the only weekend I had free in the next few months.
Opal my Honda Odyssey and I got on the road.
I love the way Reach Global responds. They are about people not just projects. They are about offering Hope to the Hurting. They are about partnering with the local church. They are about ministering physically , spiritually and emotionally.
My first day I rode around with one of the incredible men coordinating the response effort. The sites of devastation were unbelievable.
I asked God to give hope to hand people as I held their stories.
And God kept reminding me as they spoke that somehow He was with them.
It may have seemed the waters would overcome them but they were held by the one who holds the waters.
Natural disasters bring about hard questions of where is God in the midst.
Your own life disasters can bring about those same questions.
I am beginning to realize I may not ever have some of those answers this side of heaven.
But I can hold out a hand of hope. I can offer my heart. And I can trust God’s heart is good even in the unbelievable bad.
As the homeowners told their stories, story after story of losing everything but surviving against all odds, they kept saying how blessed they were.
Here we were, standing among the piles of everything they had worked hard for. All of their stuff. And they would speak of blessings. Of rescue. Of how they would get through.
Pictures may fade but memories will not.
There are years of rebuilding to do. There are thousands of homes that need gutting even now. But I am holding hope for the stories of restoration.
For people like Dale. He was an elderly disabled man our team found dragging one piece of debris out of his house at a time. Our team was able to come in and gut his home and hand him hope.
On Sunday, we went after church to pass out food that had been donated by a family that was from another town in Louisiana . (It was awesome to see how the Louisianian people were helping eachother).
We went from house to house passing out food. A small gesture really. But food and a smile can be the lifeline a person needs as they gut everything they have owned.
We had four boxes of food left and were trying to decide to eat them since we were starving and not close to any open restaurants, or pass them out.
We decided to pass them out and then had the struggle of which house , as these streets were houses upon houses of people who had lost everything.
We prayed and sensed the direction of the Lord to one house on the corner.
We went in, gave the food and prayed for them. In particular, I talked to the woman who was cleaning out her kitchen cabinets. She was recovering from back surgery and had lost most everything in her home. We prayed, hugged, and left.
Later I found out the craziest thing.
Since reading the first post about the flood I had not stopped praying for my cousin’s family member that posted she needed help.
Guess what! The last house we went to, with the last four boxes of food, was her house.
I still cannot get over it.
Only God could have done that.
He reminded me again and again, When we pass through the waters, He promised to be with us.
When you pass through the waters, He is with you.
For information on how YOU can help with the overwhelming devastation, click here .