Devastation Widespread in Wake of Hurricane Laura; CHOG Congregations Affected
By Carl Stagner
In view of the COVID-19 crisis and escalating racial tensions, residents along the Gulf Coast couldn’t have imagined things getting worse. But in the pre-dawn hours of Thursday, August 27, things got worse—much worse. More than 1.5 million people were told to evacuate ahead of the storm, and, sadly, multitudes are returning to homes, businesses, and churches damaged or destroyed. Due to mass power outages, road closures, and communication limitations caused by the disaster, assessments of damage to our Church of God congregations are incomplete and will remain ongoing. Already, Church of God Ministries has received several reports of severe damage to both church buildings and homes of persons belonging to our congregations. Thankfully, the Disaster Relief Team has identified how the Movement can help.
Making landfall as a Category 4 monster, Hurricane Laura pummeled Louisiana and parts of Texas with winds up to 150 miles per hour. The brick walls of Westlake Church of God in Westlake, Louisiana, could not withstand such force. Neither could the roof and church sign at New Life Community Church of God, where pictures submitted only offer a glimpse into the challenges the Vinton congregation now faces. While Christ Community Church of God at Lake Charles suffered no structural damage, the home of their pastor, Rick McClain, suffered significant roof damage. Restoration of power and water is also expected to take a month for many of our brothers and sisters in the path of Laura, including Gateway Church of God in Moss Bluff/Lake Charles area, where windows were blown out and a large awning ripped off.
These reports only scratch the surface of the magnitude of this latest disaster. Though the severe weather may have moved on, for countless lives and ministries, the storm has only begun.
Church of God Ministries isn’t waiting for a complete picture of the crisis to respond. Funds are being sent to these hardest-hit areas. As the Disaster Relief Team monitors the critical situation, reaching out to our pastors and churches on the ground, will you partner with us with your generous donation? Give now at https://faithlife.com/coggm-c/give?funds=4743.
Thank you for your prayerful and financial support. Please stay tuned for updates.
In crises where an immediate response is critical for relief, Church of God Ministries advances funds in anticipation of a gracious outpouring of donations from churches and individuals. Such advances are made from a limited Disaster Relief Fund maintained by Church of God Ministries for emergency response to disaster. Disaster Relief contributions are utilized to bring relief to those affected by disasters worldwide. Give now at https://faithlife.com/coggm-c/give?funds=4743. Donations can also be mailed to Church of God Ministries, PO Box 2420, Anderson, IN 46018; please note that your gift is for Disaster Relief, Project #45.04502. Learn more about Church of God Disaster Relief at https://www.jesusisthesubject.org/disaster-relief/. Thank you!
*Feature (top) photo: Damage sustained at Gateway Church of God.