Hurricane Ida roared into Louisiana on August 29, the anniversary of Katrina, as a high Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of over 150 mph, and recorded gusts of up to 175 mph, making Ida the strongest hurricane to ever hit Louisiana.
The Southern District, all of us walking together, has gone into high gear for disaster response. We are not first responders; it took time to get our disaster response teams in place, volunteer camps set up, all to get people in the field helping to respond and bring relief to those devastated by disaster. We have set up two work camps – one at the District Office, the other at Atonement Lutheran Church and School in Metairie. Recovery work is now underway.
We provide muck out work for flooded homes and church buildings, as well as tree removal. All our services are provided free of charge to those we serve. We are able to do this because of generous donations being made by Southern District congregations and people, and by people all around the country, and our Synod, who are walking with us in financial support of our disaster response.
Our goal is always to work through the local congregation. Get the ministry and people up and running so they can serve their neighbor and community. We seem to be at our best when responding to dire needs, and Hurricane Ida is no different. Pastors, people, congregations, and communities are coming together and helping one another. The really big picture goal in all our mercy ministry care is the opportunity to share the Gospel. As we are out helping, people see the church acting contrary to what the media and many people think of churches. As we serve individuals, we get a chance to speak the Gospel to those in need. This is what our disaster response is really all about; it is Gospel lived and spoken to our people and the community, for the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation!
After other relief organizations leave, we will still be here for months to come, cutting trees, mucking out homes, feeding people, and bringing restoration to Southeast Louisiana, all FREE to those we serve.
Donations for disaster relief may be made online or by mailing a check to the Southern District office. 100% of your gift will go directly to the recovery of congregations and church members affected by the disaster. Please give as you are able, to help us help those directly impacted by this destructive and devastating storm.
Donations may be made online here.
Donations by check may be mailed to the Southern District office:
100 Mission Drive
Slidell, LA 70460
Please write “Disaster Relief” on the memo line.
Thank you for your prayers and generous outpouring of financial support!
Volunteers are needed in many areas to help with recovery efforts. Please contact Rose Schutt to learn where help is needed and to volunteer. Rose is also the point of contact for congregations desiring to collect items for distribution to victims of Hurricane Ida.
In the month following the landfall of Ida, walking together we have:
Served more than 8,000 meals through Forged by Fire out of Village Lutheran Church, Lacombe, LA.
Received more than 117 requests for tree damage removal and are working an average of 3 buildings per day.
Mucked out numerous homes.
Distributed tons of clothing, food, cleaning supplies, bottled water, canned foods, diapers and other sanitary items through our distribution center out of Atonement Lutheran Church, Metairie, LA.
Provided generators and hundreds of gallons of fuel for congregations and pastors without power.
We continue to daily send out crews to remove trees and debris from homes and church buildings, as well as send volunteer teams to help with flooding and deliver food and necessities.
We are helping congregations with massive deductibles, some as high as $100,000+, others with $50,000 to $75,000 damage that doesn’t meet the deductible. All of this is done through us as God’s people walking together.
We have received financial gifts from every state in the Union. Some of our numerically smaller congregations have sent gifts of $1,000, $2,000, even $10,000. Other congregations outside our District have given $12,000 and $14,000 gifts along with the hundreds of $20-$100 gifts given. Even with all the fundraising, the costs of recovery outstrip our ability to pay for everything, but we trust God and His people and know the needs will be met.
Please view the photos and videos to see this recovery work in action, made possible by all of us walking together.
Gallery photos courtesy of a variety of sources, including: the Southern District Office, Shepherd’s Heart Disaster Response Ministry, Mercy in Action Disaster Resources, Forged by Fire Disaster Relief Meals, and Atonement Lutheran Church & School.
2022 LCMS Southern District