This Christmas, United Methodists in Louisiana are mindful of our neighbors who were deeply impacted by devastating floods in 2016.
That care and concern has stretched across the denomination as individuals and churches send response teams, donations, and sometimes, a bit of Christmas cheer to help flood survivors.
The children of Wayne United Methodist Church in Wayne, Pennsylvania heard of the devastation caused by the catastrophic floods in Louisiana.
“We spent time with the children, showing them videos and maps and helping them to understand how many had suffered. And how, in many ways, it was like the Noah story with the water just rising and rising,” said Susan Scott, a missions teacher at the Pennsylvania church. “We asked them to think about what that would mean for our community had it happened here in Eastern Pennsylvania. And we all agreed that we were anxious to help in some small way with Louisiana’s recovery.”
So, the children of Wayne UMC started making greeting cards which they packaged and sold during the month of November. “It is the church’s custom for the children to sell handmade items to their church members and community each year during advent to raise money for a selected need or cause. This year, due to the great need in Louisiana, the children were able to double their anticipated fundraising goal,” said Rev. John Edd Harper, coordinator of the Louisiana Conference Board of Ordained Ministry. Harper has served as a liaison between Wayne UMC and Hope Community UMC in Baton Rouge, from which a family was chosen to receive the funds raised by the Pennsylvania church.
Calvin, Jordan and Brianna Hudson and their parents were the fortunate recipients of this gift “from the heart.” “This year, they will have an unexpected Christmas blessing of new clothes, tennis shoes, video games and a gift card to help the family with repairs to their flooded home,” said Rev. H. Louis Jones, pastor of Hope Community UMC. “We are grateful to Susan Scott for her work with the children at Wayne Church, and for the way they have spread some Christmas joy to one of our church families.”
Story by Betty Backstrom, Communication Liaison for the Louisiana Conference