Faith Life, October 2016

Matthew 25: Ministries Brings Help and Hope to Flood Victims

by Ben Williams

img_7081In August, Matthew 25: Ministries deployed from Cincinnati, Ohio to assist the people of Louisiana after the devastating flooding they experienced. The team brought with them nearly 10,000 pounds of initial relief supplies including personal care and cleaning kits, paper towels, toilet paper, diapers, baby wipes, first aid and safety kits, masks, gloves, ice and blankets. In addition to these supplies, the team brought the mobile Tide Loads of Hope vehicle which washed nearly 500 loads of laundry while on the ground.

The team distributed supplies throughout the greater Baton Rouge and Denham Springs areas. In total, we distributed approximately 785 detergent pods, 1,210 personal care kits, 1,110 cleaning kits, 9,800 rolls of paper products, 125 cases of diapers, 1,010 packs of baby wipes, 255 first aid and safety kits, 225 pairs of safety gloves, 1,250 safety masks, 600 bags of ice, and 25 disaster relief blankets. All of these items were generously donated by Matthew 25: Ministries’ disaster relief partners, as well as many families and individuals throughout the city of Cincinnati.

img_7087The flooding itself was certainly one of the most devastating to impact the United States in recent memory. As the team distributed supplies throughout the affected areas, it quickly became evident that while there was so much devastation, there was also hope and determination in the hearts of the people. Everywhere we looked, there were neighbors helping neighbors, and even more impactful, strangers helping strangers. No matter what situation an individual was in, it seemed there was more concern for the people around them. There were several occurrences of people declining aid supplies asking us to give them to people who needed them more, even though that individual was clearly in need of assistance. This truly spoke to the character of the people of Louisiana.

Tides of Hope with ministry from cincinnati, ohio. Mark Stehlin, Ben Williams and Burke Grismere.
Tides of Hope with ministry from cincinnati, ohio. Mark Stehlin, Ben Williams and Burke Grismere.

Though the Matthew 25: Ministries’ team is no longer in Louisiana, we are not gone. We are committed to continue sending truckloads of supplies for as long as there is still a need. It will be a long process of recovery, but I know the strength and resiliency of the people of Louisiana will continue to shine through as cleanup continues. It is never easy to respond to disasters especially ones as devastating as this one, but it is always such a blessing coming into contact with so many caring people all working toward the same goal. I always say that we go to help those in need, but rarely do I return without feeling encouraged by the people we assist. We will continue to keep you all in our prayers and ask God’s blessings on you in the difficult months to come.