‘Our Hearts Are Truly Breaking’: Lake Charles Processes Tragedy

By Todd Sumlin   •   May 25, 2021

It seems like Lake Charles, Louisiana, can't catch a break. From flooding and Hurricane Laura last year to another recent round of torrential rains, residents have endured a tough time in the midst of COVID-19. Ready to help during crises, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team has deployed to the community alongside Samaritan's Purse in hopes of sharing God's love and helping them get back on their feet again.
While Samaritan's Purse organizes volunteers to clean up flooded homes, crisis-trained chaplains support the volunteers and talk with residents about life, faith and struggles. Grief is now racking the community that lost five lives in the floodwaters. “Our hearts are truly breaking,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said at a news conference to report the deaths.
Oftentimes, these conversations lead to asking God for help in prayer. So far, chaplains have prayed with more than 70 people in the community.
No stranger to Lake Charles, the Rapid Response Team helped the region for months following Hurricane Laura. And just like the previous deployment, a Billy Graham chaplain leads Samaritan's Purse volunteers in prayer each morning before they head to work sites. The chaplains realize prayer isn't just commanded by God, but it also invites Him into their work and aligns their hearts with His will.
At the beginning of deployments, chaplains often pass out Samaritan's Purse flyers, building a relationship with locals and telling them how they are there alongside Samaritan's Purse to help the community with its physical needs.
An inside look of the crisis-trained chaplains talking with a homeowner and Samaritan's Purse volunteers.
The chaplains never stop being chaplains—meaning many times they minister to those they encounter during lunch or dinner breaks.
While chaplains always offer conversation and a listening ear, their talks with locals sometimes lead to faith questions. As wet furniture is taken outside and walls are stripped, chaplains often use "Steps to Peace With God" booklets that are filled with Scripture to explain the steps to following Christ. Have you made the decision to walk with God? Start a relationship with Him.
Please join the chaplains in praying for Lake Charles, a city that's faced one trial after another in the past year. Ask God to help them turn to Him in the wake of suffering and pray for the families who have lost loved ones.