[Updated on August 19]
Several members of GCI congregations in Baton Rouge and Lafayette, LA were severely impacted by the recent flooding in Southern Louisiana and Mississippi, which has displaced about 40,000 residents and has killed at least 13. Following is an update from Anthony Rice who pastors the two GCI congregations most heavily impacted (flooding has also been reported in the Hammond, LA church area where Mike Horchak is pastor, but apparently no members have sustained damage). Following Anthony’s report are videos of the devastation, and a note from GCI Treasurer Mat Morgan on how GCI congregations can assist. Here is Anthony’s report:
It’s hard to believe what has happened in Southern Louisiana! The area affected is about ten times the area impacted by Hurricane Katrina, though because the area impacted this time is largely rural, not as many people have been affected.
About 20 GCI families in Baton Rouge and Lafayette have been significantly impacted. As far as I know, there was no loss of life or serious injury among our members. However, there was significant property damage with several homes flooded (including the home of Leonard and Mattie Tillotson who pastor our church in Natchez, MS), some lost cars, and several had to be rescued by boat or National Guard.
The flood water is starting to recede on the northern end of the area, though the southern end is being impacted as the flood water heads south (see map below). The water was as much as 16′ above flood stage near where I live. My family is OK but still boxed in by the water.
Thanks for your prayers for us. I’ll keep in touch with the members here, then with our Home Office concerning needs for financial or other forms of assistance.
Here’s how you can help
This message is from Mat Morgan, GCI Treasurer.
From time to time we’re contacted about helping members impacted by major disasters like the recent flooding in Southern Louisiana. If your congregation has a heart to help members impacted by disasters, probably the best way to do so is to donate to our GCI Disaster Relief Fund. The Fund was established to help provide members in disaster areas with emergency needs such as food, water, medicine, clothing, temporary housing, home and/or church hall repair, temporary local pastoral salary expenses and other emergency needs. Monies received into the Fund that are not immediately needed will remain in the Fund to be allocated in future disasters.
In previous years, the Fund has helped members recover from Hurricane Katrina, flooding in Bangladesh, a tsunami in the Solomon Islands, typhoons in the Philippines and an earthquake in Haiti. On behalf of those helped by the Fund, I express sincere appreciation to the congregations and individuals who have generously donated to the Fund.
If your congregation would like to donate to the Fund, your treasurer can set up a one-time or monthly donation through the GCI Online system (http://online.gci.org) by logging in and selecting Church Giving under the Treasurer tab. If your congregation prefers to send a check, make it out to Grace Communion International, indicating on the memo line that the donation is for the GCI Disaster Relief Fund. Send donations to:
GCI Disaster Relief Fund
Grace Communion International
P.O Box 5005
Glendora, California 91740