By Rick Burnette
Hurricane Laura, a Category 4 hurricane, made landfall along the southwest Louisiana coast on August 27, 2020, impacting numerous communities, including Lake Charles, La. High winds devastated the city and surrounding areas.
Almost six weeks later, on October 9, Hurricane Delta struck the same region as a Category 2 storm, undoing recent repairs and inflecting further damage.
Fortunately, CBF Disaster Response and state/regional leaders were already engaged in collaborative recovery efforts with the National Baptist Convention of America International, Inc. (NBCA), led by its President, Dr. Samuel Tolbert, Jr. and NBCA disaster response team leaders.
Dr. Tolbert, who was forced to evacuate to Lufkin, Texas due to Hurricane Delta, stated that he will return to Lake Charles as soon as streets are clear.
La’Conya Ceasar, a jointly contracted Local Response Contractor who handles recovery logistics, including the coordination of volunteer response teams for rebuilding efforts and spiritual care, also evacuated to Texas.
Kyle Kelly, Coordinator for CBF Louisiana, reports that CBF congregations have already been involved in recovery efforts following Hurricane Laura, including a team from Broadmoor Baptist in Baton Rouge who delivered supplies to the Hope Center, a ministry arm of Greater St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church in Baton Rouge.
A CBF Florida equipment trailer was also deployed to Hope Center soon after Hurricane Laura, with CBF Disaster Response continuing to facilitate the delivery of post-disaster household recovery containers and providing additional financial assistance towards initial recovery efforts.
In addition, Kenny Phillips, the CBF Florida Disaster Response Coordinator, is slated to assist the National Baptist disaster response team with post-Hurricane Delta recovery efforts in Lake Charles.
As numerous properties have been damaged by the successive hurricane, the National Baptists and CBF are working to locate a suitable site for hosting disaster response teams. Due to COVID-19 concerns, CBF and NBCA volunteer efforts will be conducted along the guidelines listed here.
We also ask for your continued prayer as recovery efforts continue in response to Hurricane Laura and Hurricane Delta:
- Pray for the residents of Lake Charles who were forced, once again, to evacuate prior to the storm.
- Continue to pray for our local partners, the National Baptist Convention of America, and specifically for Great St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church, as they coordinate and host recovery efforts.
- Please pray for efforts to locate a suitable facility to safely host volunteer teams.
- Pray for La’Conya Ceasar who is serving as a jointly contracted Local Response Coordinator
- Please pray that CBF churches will discern ways to best engage, including giving and possibly sending volunteers teams.
- Also pray for recovery efforts as they are complicated by COVID-19.
During this time of limited disaster response, we would also like to recommend these alternative ways of supporting CBF Disaster Response efforts:
- Continue to pray for ongoing recovery needs in the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Louisiana and Florida
- As we continue to navigate the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, we encourage financial contributions for these efforts and future events.
CBF Disaster Response does not accept food, water or material donations.
If you prefer, you may also give by mailing a check payable to “CBF” to:
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
PO Box 102972
Atlanta, GA 30368-2972
*be sure to include “Hurricane Response” in the memo line
For more information about overall CBF Domestic Disaster Response activities, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.