LAKE CHARLES, La.—As part of Southern Baptists’ coordinated response to Hurricane Laura, teams of Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief (DR) headed to Louisiana on Aug. 30 to offer hope and help.

Don Williams, Oklahoma Baptists’ DR state director, said, “We have been in close conversations with leaders coordinating the disaster response. Oklahoma Baptists have been called on to help, and we will answer that call.”

Oklahoma’s trained DR volunteers, which is part of a half dozen states being deployed to assist, were assigned to Lake Charles, La., Moss Bluff, “one of the hardest hit areas by Hurricane Laura.”

When Hurricane Laura made landfall early Thursday, Aug. 27, Lake Charles endured the brunt of winds that reached 140 miles per hour. Yet according to reports, the damage from Hurricane Laura does not appear to be as extensive as that of Hurricane Harvey (in 2017) and Hurricane Katrina (in 2005).

“There is no electricity anywhere in the city,” said Sam Porter, national director for Southern Baptist Disaster Relief with Send Relief and the North American Mission Board. “Some have said it looks like a hundred tornadoes landed in Lake Charles two nights ago. As we drove in with the truck from Send Relief, we had to dodge debris on the main road in to the church.”

“We are bringing our large generator to bring light to the church, which seems so fitting,” Williams said. “We have a partnership with Red Cross and will be feeding those impacted. We will begin recovery work once our team members arrive.”

Williams said Oklahoma’s feeding team is “capable of cooking about 8,000 meals a day.” He asked Oklahoma Baptists to pray for the volunteer force of approximately 50 to “do the work safely and connect people to Jesus and connect them to the local church.”

In one news interview, Williams said, “It’s going to be a slow process—it was a big storm. We’re there to bring hope, help and healing.”

For DR updates or to donate to Oklahoma Baptist DR, visit

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