SC Baptist Disaster Relief Closes Out Louisiana Flood Response
A mud-out unit from the low country was one of the last South Carolina Baptist Disaster Relief (SCB DR) teams to serve in the multi-state flood response after Louisiana’s devastating March flood. Shortly after the SC unit’s departure on May 20, Louisiana Baptists shifted to “rebuild” mode.
Sixty people from SC worked in Louisiana over a nine-week span of time. One shower/laundry unit was there for eight weeks, and another served for four weeks. Three different flood recovery (mud-out) units made the trip to work in Louisiana homes, and one of them went back for a second stint.
Chaplains and other team members on the SC teams made 267 ministry contacts, which included prayers, spiritual discussions, encouragement conversations, and/or gospel presentations. They also gave out 40 Bibles.
The first SCB DR unit to mobilize was the shower/laundry unit from Shady Grove Church in the Saluda Association, directed by Carolyn Tribble. They arrived in the Shreveport area eleven days after the flooding began, to provide showers and wash clothes primarily for the mud-out teams working out of the DR command post/housing site there.
The laundry unit from Bamberg First Baptist in the Barnwell-Bamberg Association served in three different locations in Louisiana. This unit was manned by volunteers from the Piedmont Association’s laundry unit, as well as volunteers from other areas of South Carolina, and was directed by Randy Mullikin. These teams washed clothes for community members and shelter residents, giving the volunteers many ministry contacts with flood survivors.
On both of the shower and laundry units, teams rotated in weekly to keep the ministry going, and the shower unit was also run by local Louisiana church volunteers for a time. Altogether, these two units provided 508 showers and washed 788 laundry loads.
Going to Louisiana once in April and once in May was the Greenville Association mud-out unit directed by Jim Whitworth. Additionally, the Forestville Baptist Church’s unit (Three Rivers Association) was used by a team from Brookwood Church, Simpsonville (Greenville Association) that was directed by Lenny Miller. This was a partnership effort where one church had the trailer and equipment and the other had volunteers. All three of these teams were supplemented by volunteers from other areas of South Carolina.
The final SC unit to serve in the Louisiana response was the mud-out unit from Pine Level Baptist in the Savannah River Association, under the direction of Gary Mixson.
Mud-out is a dirty, difficult, and time-consuming job, with some houses requiring several days of work.
In the four mud-out trips, our SCB DR units performed 23 complete jobs, which included tear-out, debris removal, pressure washing, and spraying for mold. They also worked in homes that only needed partial jobs, doing 36 of these separate tasks.