By Message Staff
LAFAYETTE – The relief efforts by Evangeline Baptist Association churches has truly been a team effort.
Not only after Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas and then again in Louisiana, churches in the association along with assistance from numerous non-profit organizations and churches from other denominations have coordinated a response to help those impacted by the storm.
First Baptist Church in Lafayette served as a collection site, receiving 6.5 tons, or $42,000 worth, of supplies, Pastor Steve Horn told the Baptist Message. The supplies filled 26 pallets in a semi which transported the items to First Baptist Church in Vidor, Texas.
Horn said he and his congregation have applied Titus 3:14 to areas of service and their daily lives and the response to Harvey relief efforts was such a time they could place the words of the verse into action.
“This was one of those occasions when we saw our church and others do this,” Horn said. “This has also given us a primary point of contact to do continued ministry in Vidor, where we have a team now doing mud-out work.”
Horn added that past connections were used in the collection effort.
The driver and truck were donated by a trucking company in Chicago, which is owned by a friend of First Lafayette Music Minister John Frank Reeve who he met during an annual mission trip to Romania. When the truck arrived in Vidor, it was met by a man Horn had taught in a class at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in the late 1990s as he was completing his Ph.D.
Horn shared a thank you note he received from a resident of Vidor:
“Thank you so much for your kind words and giving us all hope. The prayer was truly what I needed today. I am a first responder, I was not affected, but my daughter and her husband and my grandchildren live in Vidor and have lost everything as they got about 14 feet of water in their house. I know that God is here with us and if we all place our faith in him he will pull us through these treacherous waters. God bless you all. And again thank you for the message and prayers.”
The Bayou Church in Lafayette also stepped up to help Harvey evacuees who were in their community.
From Sept. 5-8, the church served as the host site for the Harvey Resource Center, a temporary hub to address direct needs for those impacted by Harvey.
With the help of other non-profit organizations through the Acadiana Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, the church was used to provide counseling, meals, clothes, health services and more for more than 1,200 adults and children. Of the 200 volunteers who worked at the resource center, 100 were from the Bayou Church, according to Carol Mills, director of ministries for the Bayou Church.
“This was a model of how you do ministry in a cooperative way, which also gave us an opportunity to share our faith,” Mills said. “When you have labor together for people who are hurting, the walls of differences come down and the door to sharing one’s faith is opened.”