Rebuilding homes, caring for lives in Baton Rouge


When I received the email that I would be serving in Louisiana, the excitement was overwhelming. It was my very first Go Now mission. The nerves and excitement slowly became more and more.

Louisiana was a place I had never been before, but had heard of many stories. Baton Rouge was the area where we would be working. This area was the most affected by the flood in August. Words can not describe the damage that was done. As we arrived to Baton Rouge, we slowly discovered how bad the people of Louisiana were affected. 

I loved working with the team I was placed with. At first, I was very scared to get to know them, to share with them about how God has changed us. But God allowed us to be able to work with each other and to not just become friends, but to become a family. A family that will always be together – no matter how far we are from each other. We were able to see how all of us just connected and were able to work together. We were also able to make each other laugh, no matter what. 

One thing that was pretty cool was to be able to learn how to do different construction jobs. We learned how to take down walls and put up drywall. It was an opportunity to learn how to do something that we have never done. Despite being sore and tired as the days went in, God gave us the strength to be able to endure and continue our job. 

We really didn't know what the stories of the people were going to be. As we prepared ourselves to go and serve, some of us didn't know how heartbreaking it would be. Home after home had for sale signs in front. FEMA trailers were scattered here and there, to provide a home for those that were lucky to receive one. We saw debris everywhere. 

One story that really affected me and changed my view was the story of Mrs. Meyers. Her house is 62-years-old and has gone through a lot. She really never expected it to go through a flood and to lose most of her belongings. To see the look in her face as she told her story made my heart break. 

She lived with her daughter and her granddaughter before the flood. She is a very loving mother and wife. Her husband can not really walk so she has to do most of the work. At the moment she is staying with one of her grandsons. Even though it sounds like it's a good thing, she is staying in the attic and makes it really hard for her to be comfortable. The hardest part of all of this to her has been the fact that she can't be in the comfort of her own home. 

She is very thankful for pastor Todd who has helped her through all of this and has made many sacrifices for her. Mrs. Meyers is a very strong lady who has endured a lot of things. She is very hopeful and believes that God has everything in control. He is showing how much He loves her by providing what she needs to start all over. 

I will always remember the work that our group of 15 did. It was a blessing to be able to learn God is at work throughout Baton Rouge and will continue to be – not just in Mrs. Meyers' life, but throughout everyone's lives in Baton Rouge. God has allowed them a fresh start, to begin a new chapter and to glorify His kingdom.

Flor Martinez served as a Go Now missionary over Christmas break in Louisiana. 

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