Life is a challenge in Lake Charles, Louisiana, which is home to an international pro-life and pro-family ministry – and the site of major cleanup efforts following a major hurricane.
Hurricane Laura struck Lake Charles and the surrounding communities hard last week with winds topping 150 mph and a 15-foot storm surge. The Category 4 storm left at least two dozen dead and millions of Louisiana and Texas households without power. The cost of the storm damage is still being assessed.
Jennifer Morse is the founder of the Ruth Institute, with headquarters in Lake Charles. She tells OneNewsNow that in the city of approximately 75,000 people – located roughly 40 miles inland – there's no power, no air conditioning, no Internet, no water, no garbage pickup, no refrigeration or ice … and only two service stations providing gasoline.
"My family's home is completely fine, so that is a mercy," she begins. "We have friends who have been completely wiped out, and the Ruth Institute offices were wiped out. [They] were completely destroyed and are completely unusable."
She describes the city itself as unlivable right now even though people are returning to repair damage in pretty tough circumstances.
"… The most basic things that you take for granted in life are not there," Morse shares. "You know you can't just turn on a light switch. You can't just open the refrigerator. It's hot. It's humid. You step outside and you're dripping with sweat right away."
But relief organizations such as Samaritan's Purse, Friend Ships, and Eight Days of Hope are continuing to assist people with basic needs and get the city back in order.
Ruth Institute staff who work remotely are handling some ministry activities, but books and other materials are not being shipped at present while donations are being accepted online.