Its hard for me to believe that I am composing another post to you about my hometown, Baton Rouge, but here I am doing just that.
I am hoping that many of you have seen on the news what is happening in Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas. I can tell you first hand that the devastation I am seeing is similar to what we witnessed after Katrina in New Orleans. The area that is impacted by flooding is enormous. Statistics are showing that 4 trillion gallons of water dumped on our area in a matter of 48 hours. The amount to fill 6 million olympic size pools. The places that were flooded were not areas used to getting water, so many did not have flood insurance. The water rose so fast that many were trapped in their homes having to be evacuated by boat.
My own parents were evacuated by boat on Saturday afternoon as their home began to be surrounding by water. Something, I promise you do not want to watch your family member go through. They stayed with us until yesterday morning when we were able to get back to their home to assess damages. Thankfully, their damage is minimal.
The impact is so overwhelming its hard to know where to start helping. I am reminded of posts that Beth Knobbe shared earlier in our mercy matters series about asking of the need before we act.
Many in our area are trying to assess needs before they can share with others how to help. I invite you to begin praying now as we wait and listen for the needs that will come. I am writing you, my readers and friends, to not only pray for all that are impacted, but I ask that you also pray how you and your organizations might be able to consider LONG-ROAD support.
I spoke to several priests and ministry people today. They need space to assess needs for their organizations and also for the people of their parish. Once they know needs, would you consider seeing how your church, your organization, or even a group of friends might be able to help. Adopting another church? Adopting families in need? Helping schools get back on their feet? I am joining with you in my own discernment of how to act right now.
There are 12,000 people in shelters that they know of right now with waters still rising in an area of our state. There is the question of finding housing for all that were displaced as well as the long road of recovery ahead. Chris and I drove through neighborhoods on the way to my parents house that the roads were piled high with 100s of people’s entire belongings on the front of their yards. That was just one small area that we saw.
Throughout all of this, I am reminded of the strength of the people in Louisiana. The “cajun navy” was in full force rescuing people from homes and rooftops. My own uncle, brother, and my hubby, Chris were part of this rescue effort. The power of social media has been unbelievable as people were using Facebook to post their need of rescue and people were able to respond.
As I know more I will share with you specifics, but for now I can only turn to St. Ignatius’ wisdom of discernment: For us to pray. For us gather data of what is needed. For us to discern how we might be called to respond.
How might we be called to put mercy in action to support the people in Louisiana?
Know from the bottom of my heart I thank you, and know that I join you in prayer for the people here and for discerning how to respond to the needs I see.
***Photo found from this website.