Story by Roger Drinnon
Photos by Erik M. Lunsford
Apart from the large piles of debris that line entire roadsides, many houses appear undamaged from outside until you walk inside. In the balmy late-summer weather of Louisiana, the stench of “black mold” comes quickly, and its smell lingers, as workers wear protective masks to avoid breathing in its spores. There is also drywall dust in the air, as moldy sections of flood-damaged walls must be cut away quickly and insulation must be removed during the “muck-out” phase of flood recovery.
It’s a dirty job that some Lutherans are glad to volunteer for, especially given that about 140 families of members from nearby Trinity Lutheran Church and those who are part of its staff and school were affected. Overall, about 40,000 homes were impacted by the flooding.
Thanks to the generosity of donors across the LCMS — whom the Synod relies on as de facto disaster responders — LCMS Disaster Response, in coordination with the LCMS Southern District, has provided approximately $200,000 in grants to help with flood-recovery efforts. This includes providing gift cards for victims’ immediate needs, grants to help fund the volunteer camp and grants to help families with children attending Baton Rouge Lutheran School.
In the aftermath of the flooding, local residents have been looking after one another, and members of Trinity have been assisting victims while also organizing and strategizing recovery efforts.
Roger Drinnon (firstname.lastname@example.org) is director of Editorial Services and Media Relations for LCMS Communications.
Erik M. Lunsford (email@example.com) is managing photojournalist for LCMS Communications.
Posted Oct. 7, 2016