September 16, 2020
By Aaron Weaver
DECATUR, Ga. — The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is inviting volunteer teams to Lake Charles, La., to begin long-term recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura.
CBF Disaster Response and state/regional leaders gathered in Lake Charles on September 4 to assess the damage resulting from Hurricane Laura and made plans for the recovery in collaboration with the National Baptist Convention of America International, Inc. (NBCA) and its President, Dr. Samuel Tolbert, Jr. Tolbert is also the pastor of Lake Charles’ Greater St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church, which will receive volunteer teams, serve as host site and provide accommodations for volunteer teams for the CBF-NBCA collaboration.
In addition to deploying an equipment trailer and providing financial assistance towards initial recovery efforts, CBF Disaster Response has partnered with NBCA to hire a local response coordinator to handle recovery logistics, including the coordination of volunteer response teams for rebuilding efforts and spiritual care. La’Conya Ceasar, a resident of Lake Charles, will serve in this role.
Ceasar, who is the owner of a notary and business consulting firm, is an active volunteer in the Lake Charles community and currently directs a youth grant program in Calcasieu Parish. She previously served as a project coordinator for disaster response efforts following Hurricane Harvey in 2018, helping those impacted by the storm to return into their homes safely.
“CBF Disaster Response is grateful that La’Conya Ceasar is serving as the local response coordinator for Hurricane Laura recovery efforts in Lake Charles,” said Rick Burnette, director of CBF Disaster Response. “She comes highly recommended by Dr. Tolbert and Greater St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church and has both the local knowledge and network needed to handle response logistics and to host volunteer teams.”
Burnette said that CBF-certified spiritual care providers will also be engaged as needed, possibly on-site and remotely. Due to COVID-19, the CBF-NBCA collaboration will be conducted according to special guidelines.
Volunteer teams interested in participating in the storm clean-up and property repairs should visit www.cbf.net/dr-volunteer for additional information.
Pray: Below are just a few ways that you can pray for the relief efforts.
- Please pray for financial support for the on-site recovery and that disaster response leaders will be able to gain access to needed materials in midst of supply chain challenges.
- Please pray for the residents of Lake Charles who were forces to evacuate prior to the storm. Because of the damage and slow return of electricity, many remain away from their homes.
- Please pray for our local partners, the National Baptist Convention of America Inc., and specifically Dr. Samuel Tolbert and Greater St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church as they coordinate and host recovery efforts.
- Please pray for volunteer teams as they engage in clean-up efforts. Pray for their sustained health and strength as they serve during a global pandemic.
- Please pray that CBF churches will discern ways to best engage, including giving and possibly sending volunteer teams.
- Please pray for these long-term recovery efforts as they are complicated by COVID-19
- Please pray that the actions and activities of the planned CBF-NBCA response may help heal and repair racial wounds and result in formation of deepened relationships.
Give: Please give generously to support CBF Disaster Response’s joint recovery efforts in Lake Charles with the National Baptist Convention of America International Inc. at www.cbf.net/dr-give.
Your gift will provide food, cleaning supplies and essentials for families. You’ll support long-term recovery by providing much-needed items like tools, equipment and building supplies. Please give today.
CBF is a Christian network that helps people put their faith into practice through ministry efforts, global missions and a broad community of support. The Fellowship’s mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.