Our partners and coalitions have been working tirelessly to help in the recovery efforts of Hurricane Laura. We hope to eventually share the hard work these groups are doing in the Lake Charles and Orange area. Today, we take a small glimpse into what Houston Responds East and Inspire Church has been up to since the disaster hit.
Saturday, Aug. 29th - Inspire Church first connected with the Harris Co. Sheriff's Dept. to connect with churches and agencies in the Lake Charles area that had been affected by Hurricane Laura. Several pastors were contacted by Pastor Heard and arrangements made to send us supplies.
Sunday, Aug. 30th - A convoy of 18 tractor-trailers from Kroger left their Houston warehouse, escorted by the Harris County Sheriffs’ (HOT) Homeless Outreach Team. Upon arrival in Lake Charles, they immediately began to connect with the local pastors. Kroger provided two trailers. From one trailer they were able to deliver 19 pallets of bottled water to Pastor Brent Keating at Living Way Pentecostal Church to share with other local pastors. Due to downed power lines across many streets, travel throughout the city was quite dangerous; however, they were able to successfully returned the next day with more supplies.
Monday, Aug. 31st - Inspire and HR East returned with the Sheriff's team to deliver two more tractor-trailers full of supplies from the Houston Food Bank to Pastor Todd Schumacher, Church of the King, who has a large distribution center. A second trailer load from Kroger with 23 pallets of water and ice was then transported by the Sheriff’s team to Pastor Todd. Curt Williams with the Youth Reach team accompanied our team on this convoy to distribute 10,000 lbs. of ice and supplies and a team equipped to cut trees in the community.
Tuesday, Sept. 1st: Kroger contacted Inspire again about sending a portable 10 person shower trailer with a water tank. Since this whole area is without electricity, water, and in some places, gas, they may not have power and water for several weeks. Kroger had purchased three water/shower trailers, but was accidentally given one extra unit and wanted to know who in the Lake Charles area could use it. They would provide transportation, delivery and set-up. Pastor Brent Keating received it with a …”Praise God--and thank you all!” Yes!!!
Wednesday, Sept. 2nd: - After working with Generation Park and their community development program for several months, our team was able to secure approval to occupy a new 50k sq. ft. warehouse as a Hurricane Laura distribution site. With keys in hand, we have launched a massive partnership with the Harris County Sheriff’s Dept.
This has become a concerted effort to collect supplies from five sub-stations within the Harris County Sheriff’s Department, plus building materials collected through Houston Responds. Weekly supplies will be delivered through this collaboration to Lake Charles and the surrounding area. This was surely a “God-thing!”
Friday, Sept. 4th: The Harris County Sheriffs wanted to donate supplies for their fellow officers, so the two trailers were returned for three different locations: Westlake, DeQuincy, and DeRidder. At each site, we made connections with faith leaders and prayed with them. As we were unloading supplies at Westlake, we met Chief of Police Chris Wilrye and prayed with him and his staff.
When we took supplies to DeQuincy, we were introduced to the Mayor, Chief of Police, and other officers. Before leaving, we prayed with their team.
At our last stop in DeRidder, we delivered 12 pallets of supplies and met Mayor Misty Clanton and her staff, along with Assistant Chief Larry Dickens who is an Associate Pastor of Christway Church. As we huddled in front of the City Hall with their staff, we prayed for God’s continued grace.
On the ride home, Sheriff Ed Gonzales was so elated about the successful reports, he is planning a trip on Tuesday to deliver more supplies. We pray we can continue meeting the needs of our friends and believers in this devastated area.
For more information on our Hurricane Laura recovery efforts, visit www.houstonresponds.org/laurasupplydrive.
Make sure to follow us on social media for daily updates!