David Meyer disaster relief

Disaster Relief: Hurricane Laura

- by Hand of Hope 4 MIN READ

On August 27, 2020, Hurricane Laura struck southern Louisiana, devastating cities like Lake Charles and leaving hundreds of thousands without water or electricity.

With winds in excess of 150mph, the Category 4 storm left homes and businesses in ruins, and it left residents wondering how to survive and move forward in the absence of the most basic necessities.

Through your generous support, Hand of Hope came alongside 8 Days of Hope, God's Pit Crew, Convoy of Hope, Mercy Chefs, and Our Savior’s Church Jennings to bring immediate relief to those impacted by this disaster.

“Moments of Hope”

Without water or electricity, tens of thousands of people were instantly in need of the most basic necessities. That’s when Mercy Chefs arrived to do what they do best.

“This is in the top five of the storms I’ve ever seen in my life,” Founder Gary LeBlanc said. “And COVID has complicated it to a level that’s just unbelievable. We’re here just to share a moment of hope and compassion with people. And we believe that’s a hot meal and cold drink of water.”

In Lake Charles, four days after the storm, a line of people extended for nearly three miles outside the Mercy Chefs kitchen, waiting for lunch to be served. Because of your support, receiving nutritious meals is one less thing they had to be concerned about in the wake of such devastation.

“They’re stuck in homes that are broken, with no AC and no lights,” LeBlanc said. “They’re stuck in a place of great despair. And our hope is that a hot meal will bring a moment of normalcy to them.”

Around the corner, another line formed as a procession of cars made their way through Convoy of Hope’s “drive through,” receiving necessities like food, hygiene kits, baby products and tarps. But on 90-degree days, there’s one thing at the top of everyone’s list—water.

“It’s just so hot and people go through water quickly,” Convoy of Hope’s Jeff Nene said. “We’re only on Day 3, and we’ve already had 24 tractor trailer loads of water that are here or making their way here right now.”

Residents of Lake Charles were especially at risk. Hurricane Laura not only damaged many of their homes, but it also damaged the local water towers, causing an instant shortage. Without these outreaches, so many had nowhere else to turn.

“Partners of Joyce Meyer Ministries, we can’t do what we do without you,” Nene said. “When you look around here and see all of these people…you make it possible. You’re giving right to the people receiving this product.”

None of this can happen without your support. If you’d like to help other disaster relief efforts worldwide, visit joycemeyer.org/DisasterRelief

We’re Here to Help

In Hurricane Laura’s aftermath, thousands returned to find their family home or business in shambles. In the midst of it all, you provided a support system for so many people who are overwhelmed by their loss and the monumental task of starting over…people like David Dejean.

After the storm passed, Dejean returned to find his home badly damaged, the roof partially collapsed, and his barn completely destroyed. To make matters worse, the high winds took down nearly every tree on his beautiful lot. Without water or electricity, he immediately started to clean up, attempting to salvage his life’s work.

“When I met him, he was just exhausted,” Chris Chiles from God’s Pit Crew said. “I could see it on him. Sitting on his front porch with his head in his hands, he just said, ‘I can’t move anymore.’ I said, ‘Brother, you just sit there and let us take over.’”

The team immediately went to work, clearing trees and debris and helping Dejean figure out the next steps. Tired, emotional, and still trying to digest the events of the past few days, David was amazed by the love and support.

“I’ve never seen this in my entire life,” Dejean said. “I’m so appreciative and so grateful. It’s a blessing, and I’m so happy as I work right along with them. Somebody loves me…Somebody’s looking over me.”

Across town, Rachel arrived home to find her family home buried in debris. Within the past two months, this college student had lost her father and inherited the home. Still grieving his loss, Rachael was overwhelmed by the devastation and what to do next.

That’s when a team from Eight Days of Hope showed up in her very hour of need and didn’t leave until they had cleared her entire property. Because of you, Rachel and so many others gained the strength to move forward—they were able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

You Can Be a Lifeline