Did you know more homes were damaged during the Great Louisiana 2016 floods than during Hurricane Katrina? The devastation was massive – 155,000 homes were flooded, 95% of the small town of Denham Springs was affected by major damage, with only 5-6 businesses still open for business. ADRN teams visited 2,450 home in Denham Springs over a period of 3 weeks, bringing resources, comfort, and prayer during a time of great loss.
As part of the Logistics team, I was able to assist in loading up the Command Trailer, the Operations Equipment Trailer, and an 18-wheeler full of much-needed survivor supplies, much of it donated by the generous people of Austin. Upon arriving, we unloaded the 18-wheeler, set up tents, and provided logistical support to our CISM teams, admin teams, and incident commander.
To give leadership a well-deserved break after going fast and furious for a week solid (14 to 16-hour days in humid heat), I served as the CISM site lead for three days, assigning target areas to our CISM teams, checking in on their safety throughout the day, training up new volunteers to serve in different areas, and ensuring a smooth transition to the next CISM site lead.
Denham Springs was a constant battle against the storms that threatened daily to impede our progress in reaching survivors door-to-door, but praise God for Psalm 107: 28-31 “Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distresses. He caused the storm to be still, so that the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad because they were quiet, so He guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness, and for His wonders to the sons of men!”
There were so many God stories that came out of the Denham Springs deployment, but perhaps on a personal note, my favorite was on my last morning as CISM site lead – as the Logistics team entered into morning worship in the truck onsite before the volunteers arrived for the day, we listened to the song “Oceans”, thanking the Lord for peace to prevail over the day’s operations. At that moment, the Lord gave me a vision of His heart, inside of His body, beating peacefully, not one iota of hurry or worry, just beating, like a jellyfish floats, in perfect timing, in perfect rhythm, until my own heart was beating to the same rhythm. Absolute communion.
Lord, how I was thankful to not only see His heartbeat, but to feel it, and keep on feeling it regardless of what came our way that day. I have since recalled that image the best I can (it has not since been as vibrant and interactive as it was on that day), and His heartbeat has been my focal point of peace when amidst the wind and the waves.
Pictures on scene
Great Louisiana 2016 Floods ADRN video
Spirit 105’s “Donations for Louisiana Survivors”