Bringing Hope to Baton Rouge – April 2018

Since the devastating flood of 2016, the recovery has dragged on in Baton Rouge.  Thousands of homes are abandoned or still await repair.  Many people just can not afford to rebuild.  And to boot, many homes flooded again in 2017.  Sad.

So, we were delighted to return to offer help, having been in Baton Rouge a year ago.  As last year, our team came from three United Methodist Churches – Asbury in Livermore, Lynnewood in Pleasanton and San Ramon Valley in Alamo.  Our assigned work was to assist two homeowners with their repairs.

One of the projects was reconstruction of a bathroom for Shellie DuPre.  Shellie is a single mother with a young baby trying to hold down a job and go to Nursing School.  Struggling to make ends meet, she could not afford all the repairs her double wide mobile home needed.  We were happy to help.

We also took on the task of floor tile in the home of Janice Rowland.  The rebuild of her duplex had been started by other mission teams.  Her son, Ren, has temporarily moved back from Dallas to take care of his ailing mother and oversee the rebuild.  He is doing much of the work himself.  Besides making a major dent in the tiling effort, we also completed the kitchen counter and cabinet installation and kitchen plumbing.  However, it is frustrating that there is still much to do on this home.

We found this mission to be so rewarding – helping clients who are clearly trying hard to make it.  We were especially touched by the heartwarming way Ren takes care of his mother, putting his own life on hold to get hers back in order.

Near the end of the week the church where we were staying provided a lovely homemade dinner.  At the dinner, one lady from the congregation spoke, reflecting on our work recovering their church facility last year.  As she said, “despair turned to hope” when they saw their chapel rebuilt and ready for worship to resume.  That is what mission service is all about, bringing hope to those who need it.

In mission together – Steve Elliott, Doug Huey, Coleman Johnson, Roger Everett, Bob Hoffman, Ron Logan, Kerry and Will Davis

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