'Faith of a mustard seed' fuels small church response efforts

August 26, 2016
Frequently, smaller churches feel that they are limited in what they can do to help people in need—like the thousands of folks whose lives have been deeply impacted by recent historic floods in South Louisiana. That is not the case with Mer Rouge United Methodist Church in rural North Louisiana, according to the church’s pastor, the Rev. JoAnne Pounds.
 
“Who could believe that a challenge to this small congregation to make 26 UMCOR health kits would produce a total of 85 health kits and a collection of more than 1,500 items? And the cooperation of other churches and a community? God did, that's who!,” said Rev. Pounds, adding that Mer Rouge UMC averages 26 in attendance for Sunday worship. The pastor is shown above giving hygiene kit items to Mica Bourgeois, an Early Response Team volunteer.
 
“These mighty Methodists know the power of a ‘mustard seed,’ perhaps because so many of them are farmers,” said Pounds. “Right now is their busy season just before and during harvest. But this wonderful group, these faithful few took time and resources away from their own interests to help the flood victims in South Louisiana.”
 
Rev. Pounds believes that this recent effort in church disaster response “works toward debunking the myth that small churches cannot do anything to help. I think that this example will be empowering for small churches, and lead to stronger relationships between churches of various sizes. If we are all the body of Christ, perhaps these little congregations are a bit like the vertebrae!”

Story by Betty Backstrom, Communication Liaison for the Louisiana Conference