Volunteers use missionary trip to help repair SWLA homes with hurricane damage

Published: Jun. 15, 2023 at 11:57 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - One missionary project is seeking to change the world by repairing one house at a time. And as plenty of people in the Lake Area are still looking for help after hurricanes Laura and Delta, “World Changers” looks to step and help deal with insurance, contractors, or the repairs themselves.

This week, more than 130 students on a domestic mission trip in Lake Charles came down with one goal.

“Getting out to be able to serve other people,” said volunteer Byron Herrick who traveled 6 hours to work on a new roof for a Lake Charles homeowner. ”That’s where they make their roots. They want to stay there, they want to thrive there and enjoy what they have.”

Over five days and 13 project sites, a group of people all ventured out with that mindset. Herrick’s group started by removing the tarps off one home and working to put up a roof to prevent any more water damage.

“World Changers” facilitates mission trips by working with local organizations and churches like Sale Street Baptist Church.

“It’s literally about being outside of our comfort zone. I mean there’s other guys that this is their profession they do it in the heat all day and we never ask them how come you do it in the heat,” said Herrick.

Pastor and project coordinator for the Sale Street Baptist Church, Drew Mills, says this project is all about serving others and that they’re just happy to help a neighbor.

”When we think about a neighbor and who that is it isn’t about proximity necessarily,” said Mills. “It’s one another, it’s brothers and sisters, you know we’re all people it’s why we’re here is to help one another.”

For some volunteers it’s spending hours repairing a roof, for others it’s painting schools, or putting down a floor.

“All the groups that have come in town they all stay at the church facility and so we have different rooms, classrooms, things like that,” says Mills. “So they are sleeping on air mattresses and cots in these rooms.”

One of the volunteers, Grace Denning, came all the way from Georgia. She says she’s excited to be here to help others despite the circumstances, “I love being able to help people, serve in any way possible, even if it’s up on a rooftop baking in the heat like if I’m able to help that’s why I’m here.”

It may not be your typical idea of a summer vacation but it’s a calling to those who want to serve.

Herrick says, ”When we have the opportunity to be able to go and help somebody that’s in need let’s do it.”