It has been three weeks since seventeen inches of rain fell on Lake Charles, LA; four months since winter storms and sub-zero temperatures caused frozen and burst pipes; eight months since Hurricane Delta made landfall; and nine and a half months since Hurricane Laura (with hundred and fifty miles per hour winds) slammed into this beleaguered city.
Hope Force has been on the ground in Lake Charles, once again, for two and a half weeks — serving the residents of Lake Charles by mucking out flooded homes. "Mucking out" involves removing parts of the house compromised by water; drywall, insulation, cabinets, and home contents. Without the removal of these elements, mold will grow and the home and living conditions will become unsafe. It is dirty, hot, and humid work — and it is an incredible way to offer tangible compassion to these amazing people who have been so traumatized by four major weather events in just ten months.
Mucking out is simply a tool. None of our Hope Force Staff, Reservists or volunteers would show up if all we did was muck out homes. Many times, it has been heard: “You couldn’t 'pay me'enough to do this!” The reason we are here is for people like Miss Nancy — a homeowner who in just the last few weeks had finished remodeling her home which Hurricanes Laura and Delta damaged. Miss Nancy, who is in her early nineties, watched out her window as we mucked out her neighbor’s house. When she saw us gather to pray, she hurriedly walked across the street — with the assistance of her cane — to pray a blessing over our team. No one present will soon forget that prayer.