What's happening and how you can help.
Ed: How is your organization responding to the disaster in Louisiana right now?
Ross Johnson, Director of Disaster Response, Lutheran Church Missouri Synod:
Right now we're partnering with Lutheran congregations across Louisiana, particularly in Baton Rouge.
The first phase of our disaster response is to partner with local congregations that are going to be doing muck-out and dealing with immediate needs of people who have been affected by the flooding.
We're anticipating the first eight to ten weeks we're going to be bringing volunteer teams in. We already have volunteers who going to do the muck-out, tearing out the flooring and drywall. We're also giving out flood buckets and emergencies supplies. We have elders at our churches and congregational pastors who are doing spiritual care during the immediate phase.
We like to blend hands-on help along with spiritual care. I think that's one thing that makes a church-based response slightly different than government-based responses is we don't only help out with temporal needs, but we also help out with spiritual needs.
We find that oftentimes when somebody has gone through a traumatic event in their life and has enormous economic loss or has been displaced, that they also need spiritual care. We have elders and spiritual care leaders within our congregation that are visiting as well as mucking-out homes.
David Melber, Vice President, Send Relief (North American Mission Board):
Right now we are doing a lot of assessing. The expanse of the flooding has impacted somewhere near 100,000 homes, and the estimates are running right now between 250,000 and 350,000 people. It is a disaster of epic proportions in the fact that so many of the people who had their homes ...