LUMBERTON — More than 40 local churches have sent supplies to Baton Rouge, La., where people are still hurting from floods in early September.
After their immediate needs were met, residents of the flooded areas asked for bottled water and for cleaning supplies — particularly bleach as it helps remove mold and mildew from damp places. They needed brooms and mops, buckets, large bath towels, face masks, canned goods and water.
The Lumber River Missionary Baptist Association enlisted all churches in the association to help, according to Dr. Thurman Everett, moderator for the association, who said they purchased about 20,000 bottles of water. Everett said he felt a call to help.
“God gave it to me and I gave it to my association. I asked all the churches to let us come together and be a blessing to our brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s only by the grace of God that it isn’t us,” Everett said. “We can send that message to our brothers and sisters across the road and realize that when one is in trouble, we are all in trouble.”
Everett is pastor of Bryant Swamp Missionary Baptist Church in Bladenboro, whose members helped load a 43-foot trailer with supplies for transport to Louisiana on Monday.
“It has to do with the mission of Christ because all of us suffer at one time or another and people in Baton Rouge were ecstatic when they found out that a team from Lumberton was bringing the necessary supplies,” Everett said.
There are still about 1,000 families who are living in shelters because their homes are not livable, Everett said.
“Volunteers are doing what they can to get them back in their homes,” Everett said.
Alphonza Hall, owner of Hall Trucking Inc., donated the use of one of his tractor-trailer trucks and the services of one of his drivers.
“I just wanted to help people. It seemed like they were in bad shape and we’re just trying to help,” Hall said.
The truck and a van from Bryant Swamp returned to Bladenboro on Thursday, according to Cheryl Shaw, executive secretary, Lumber River Baptist Association.
“Part of our creed is about missions. That’s one reason we do this — it could very well be us,” Shaw said.
Reach Terri Ferguson Smith at 910-416-5865.