Back in Louisiana [Tuesday, 1pm]
Again, in the extended entry portion of this post (click “Continue reading” below), or on the new “what’s new?” page of the Morning Star Relief & Hospitality Ministry website (globalgracemissions.org), you can read the latest news about our efforts.
Tues. 9/6, 12 noon
Building a logistics team
Pastor Bixby and Pastor Garard are with Baptist Mid-Missions missionary pastor Roger Price now in Lafayette, LA. Please note that we are working with other legitimate Christian aid endeavors, not in competition with them. Yesterday, Pastor and Mark plugged into the all-day efforts of Operation Renewed Hope to deliver crucial supplies to believers in Hattiesburg, MS, and on the Mississippi coast. Today, they are working with Pastor Price and other representatives of BMM in order to organize and activate a logistics team. They are setting things up and attempting to get a foothold in the community in order to be a help rather than a hindrance. They are trying to reserve spots at a reverted KOA campground where evacuees are being hosted. They will be taking necessities into the Cajundome today: personal hygiene items, underwear, powdered milk, etc. Lafayette currently has 40,000 evacuees. The Cajundome had been slated to host 5,000. Workers are needed and welcome, but please express willingness to Pastor Bixby (for now, until more BMM staff arrives), and coordinate efforts to help us through this logistics team. Strategic allocation of manpower and other resources is important.
Tues. 9/6, 9am
PayPal donation status
and registries update
For donors with PayPal accounts, our PayPal account is able now to accept donations from PayPal users. The account address is firstname.lastname@example.org. We had to wait until after Labor Day to open a separate account at the bank, so we are still working toward acquiring the status that enables our PayPal account to accept normal online donations via credit cards, etc. We appreciate your patience with us, and, as mentioned on the how to help page, we do welcome checks. We are encouraged by a constant trickle of enthusiastic church leaders and individuals inquiring about hosting a family (Colorado and Iowa are 2 new states to join our list of willing host churches nationwide). This hurricane was the Lord’s work, and He is just as in control of our efforts to glorify Him and help people in its aftermath. The magnitude and nature of this relief work is unknown territory for all of us, so we are not precisely sure yet how our program will look and how it will work once it’s set fully in motion. So far, the financial and logistical burdens are staggering. We are confident, though, that God will provide the resources we need (both material and immaterial) in accordance with His agenda for our involvement. We have also registered with the Southwest Emergency Response Network [SWERN] and the Department of Homeland Security’s National Emergency Resource Registry [NERR] and have inquired locally about ways to spread the word about our “open arms / open homes” vision. As a part of our state governor’s plan to host 10,000, Rockford itself is preparing to host 200 Gulf Coast evacuees as a city. As a result of this decision and the circumstances, we are preparing our hearts and our resources as a church to invite these evacuees in, beyond our doorstep.
Mon. 9/5, 10pm
Deliveries and more driving
Our pastors rejoiced to know that the Cessna unloaded the donated items from Rockford and drove them to churches on the Mississippi Coast. After dropping off the generators in Hattiesburg, Pastor and Mark were able to drive down to the coast, see the devastation for themselves, and visit with people there. They weren’t able to stay long but used the time to encourage and pray with the Christians there. They were thrilled to have the privilege of seeing our donations placed directly into the hands of needy Christians. They left there to take Highway 12 west toward the originally-intended destination of Lafayette, Louisiana [click to see map]. Lafayette is the first city west of the disaster zone; it’s already taken in thousands of evacuees and expects at least 40,000 more, according to an NPR spokesman who relocated there himself from New Orleans. The Cajundome stadium there is full of displaced people [see article]. It is in Lafayette that Pastor Roger Price (former missionary to France) has been ministering to the Acadian community, and that is where Pastor Bixby and Pastor Garard will attempt to help and to collect information for organizing an efficient relocation and hospitality program for evacuees.
Filed under: helping the needy |