Reaching out even when the waters are rising

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The flooding from heavy rainfalls that began last week has claimed at least seven lives in Louisiana, and prompted the rescue of more than 20,000 people. Many member of Zachary United Methodist Church, in Zachary, Louisiana, are among those coping with major flood damage. “We’ve got people who had four feet of water in their
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Photo courtesy of Zachary UMC/Facebook

Photo courtesy of Zachary UMC/Facebook

The flooding from heavy rainfalls that began last week has claimed at least seven lives in Louisiana, and prompted the rescue of more than 20,000 people.

Many member of Zachary United Methodist Church, in Zachary, Louisiana, are among those coping with major flood damage.

“We’ve got people who had four feet of water in their homes,” said the Rev. Ricky Willis, pastor.

Willis said his parsonage had minor water damage, and the church building had none. Other local churches weren’t so fortunate, so Zachary United Methodist served as the site of a community worship service Sunday.

Zachary United Methodist also has been sending teams out to help church members deal with flood damage, especially those who don’t have much family support.

Willis noted that the Baton Rouge area has felt considerable racial tension this summer, owing to the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling, a black man, by police, and later the killing of three Baton Rouge police officers.

For Willis, one good outcome of the flood has been to see the racial tension yield to a spirit of cooperation in early relief efforts.

“Everybody is saying what a beautiful thing that we’re all working together. We’re not focused on the divisions,” he said.

You can help those affected by the flooding in Louisiana by donating cash or flood buckets.

This story was shortened and reprinted with the permission of the Louisiana Annual Conference. Read the full story here.

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