ADRN is proud to partner with one of our sister agencies, SWLA Responds, in Southwest Louisiana. Pastors there are helping their communities following Hurricanes Laura and Delta in 2020, and ADRN is working with the organization to spread the hope and love of Jesus Christ to our neighbors to the east.
If these storms are forgotten memories for some Texans, they are fresh in the minds of Lake Charles residents who still haven’t recovered from them. These nearly back-to-back hurricanes landed in southern Louisiana two years ago, and the city took a hit during both. Hurricane Laura roared into Lake Charles in August 2020, carrying 150 mph winds and 15-foot storm surges that tried to carry away everything in its path. When the storm was over, Laura had made history as the strongest hurricane in Louisiana in more than 160 years. The following September, another storm, Hurricane Delta, visited the city.
But before residents could breathe, 2021 brought more weather challenges for the city, including the February winter storm and freeze that encased Texas. Torrential rain and flooding in May damaged thousands of homes, vehicles, and businesses in Baton Rouge and Lake Charles.
Lake Charles endured two hurricanes, a winter storm, and flooding in nine months, so when SWLA asked ADRN to help by reaching out to survivors, the answer was yes.
At SWLA’s request, ADRN Call Center volunteers contacted more than 340 survivors in Lake Charles, listening to their stories, empathizing with them, encouraging them with the Word of God, and praying for them.
One of those volunteers was John McLain. John hasn’t been with ADRN for long, but he remembered his promise to God when he got the request to help.
“I told God that when He calls, I’m going to answer,” he said.
So for the next seven days, John strapped on his headset, took out his list of residents, and sat in front of a laptop among a bank of phones and computers ADRN had set up for rapid-fire assistance to survivors.
And the survivor stories he heard were heartbreaking.
“I talked to one man who has been living in his recreational vehicle in the shell of his former home. I talked to people whose floors are rotting because of the flood waters. Their insulation got soaked and had to be ripped out. Some of these folks are living without drywall. And they have been for years,” John said.
While John and the rest of the ADRN volunteers won’t be making physical repairs to these survivors’ homes – SWLA Disaster Relief Coalition is working with Eight Days of Hope to restore and rebuild 200 residences – what ADRN provided was just as valuable.
“Many survivors I talked to said they’re starting to get hope again because somebody called, somebody is listening and cares.
“This has been a blessing for me, too, because I can see God moving in my life and changing me through this opportunity, and it increased my dependence on Him,” John said.