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A Louisiana-based ministry is trying to help the people impacted by Hurricane Laura while also trying to retrieve and repair some of its own property.
Friend Ships, the international all-volunteer organization that provides humanitarian aid, disaster relief, and medical services, is based in Lake Charles. Co-founder Sondra Tipton explains it is "about 30 miles from where Laura made landfall and came up as nearly a category five hurricane, the worst we've ever seen. We're getting our feet under us right now, and we're also helping the community."
At this point, Friend Ships is distributing heavy-duty vinyl to people in the community, and hot meal service and commodity distribution could begin today.
"We're also trying to get six of our ships that broke loose and went up river," Tipton continues. "The wind was so strong it pulled the moorings right out of the ground -- the big, steel moorings that are sunk eight feet in the ground in cement -- and just dragged us right up the river. So we're getting those back up and going with repairs to help the community."
Samaritan's Purse is also hard at work in hard-hit Louisiana. Luther Harrison, a spokesman for the ministry, told the "Washington Watch" program the ministry is attempting to help 300 families that need assistance.
After prepositioning in Dallas, Samaritan's work began last Friday and marked Samaritan's 15th trip to the state since 2002, he said.
Friend Ships, says Tipton, is grateful for the opportunity to serve.
"The Lord was with us," she declares. "There were so many wonderful things that he did to spare more damage than we did get, and we're just grateful to be right here in this devastated community to be able to help right away."
She invites anyone looking to help the ministry right now to pray.
"We always ask for prayer," she tells OneNewsNow. "We very rarely ask for funds, but this time we could really use funds, commodities, and volunteers."
According to Harrison, he is urging the public to keep their attention on Louisiana despite competing news stories that might draw people away.
"This is going to be a long event," he warns, "and families are going to need a lot of help because there's a lot of devastation..."
One of the reasons Friend Ships is currently short-staffed is because the ministry has a crew setting up a medical facility in Gaza.
Editor's Note: This story has been updated with information from Samaritan's Purse.
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