Showing Jesus: Christians offer physical, spiritual help after historic flooding
WAVERLY, Tenn. — The Waverly Church of Christ’s pews were…
UPDATE: See our latest coverage of Hurricane Ida here.
‘The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has spared us once again.”
Angela Marsalis and fellow Christians across New Orleans sent up praise on social media after Hurricane Ida, one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the U.S., blew ashore Sunday.
The Category 4 storm downed power lines and tore roofs from buildings, including the meeting places of at least two Churches of Christ, and caused damage across the city. But Ida, which made landfall exactly 16 years after Hurricane Katrina, did not inflict the level of destruction wrought by that storm in 2005.
Marsalis and her husband, Charles, worship with the Hollygrove Church of Christ, a congregation they planted in New Orleans 12 years ago. The couple took shelter at an area hotel before returning to Hollygrove Monday to inspect the damage.
“Neighbors are safe, a few roof shingles have blown off the roof,” Angela Marsalis posted to Facebook, “trees snapped and lots of cleaning up to do.”
About 55 miles northeast of Hollygrove, the hurricane’s winds ripped apart the roof of the Hollywood Road Church of Christ in Houma, La.
As church members assess damage along the storm’s path — from Louisiana through Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky — relief ministries associated with Churches of Christ are gearing up to assist.
“We’re making preparations and have been in contact with many of our partners along the Gulf Coast,” said workers with One Kingdom, a relief ministry based in West Monroe, La. “Pray for safety over the many residents of south Louisiana and Mississippi who may be impacted by this storm.”
Workers with the Churches of Christ Disaster Response Team also are making plans to work with congregations affected by Ida.
“Communication is difficult due to phone lines down, no electricity and travel restricted,” workers said in an email message to supporters. The Ohio-based ministry plans to continue serving churches in the Tennessee towns of Waverly and McEwen, both impacted by recent historic flooding that preceded the hurricane. Ida is expected to dump more rain on these already waterlogged locales.
Other ministries, including Tennessee-based Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Effort Inc., are preparing to send relief to affected areas.
Back in New Orleans, Angela Marsalis expressed thanks to all of her brothers and sisters in Christ who are praying for those in the storm’s path.
After Katrina, she and her husband took refuge in the balcony of the Carrollton Avenue Church of Christ as floodwaters rose. They’ve shared their story of survival and faith with The Christian Chronicle — and with Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman, who interviewed the couple for a television series titled “The Story of God.”
The people of New Orleans and the surrounding areas “appreciate the love and prayers … sent from all over the world,” Angela Marsalis said. “Please continue to keep the families lifted up as we assess our situation.”
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