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Faith in Shelters

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The people of Baton Rouge are not alone on their journey toward rebuilding their lives.

Flooding in Louisiana has affected over 100,000 homes throughout the Baton Rouge area. Nearly two weeks after historic storms dropped 24 inches of rain across southern Louisiana, thousands of people still remain at shelters and unable to return to their homes. 

During these trying times, some residents find comfort in relief shelters by having a meal with their neighbors, or playing board games with their children. For others, comfort can be found by speaking to men of the cloth. Spiritual care is one of the elements the Red Cross uses to give shelter residents hope when there seems to be only despair. 

Reverend Stelios, from International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), is one of the religious leaders who spend their time speaking to people making these relief shelters their temporary home. The Reverend can be found offering words of wisdom to the residents or just listening to their struggles—both of which are incredibly comforting in their own way. 

Another religious leader who frequents these relief shelters is Pastor Gray, who is also a resident of Gonzales, Louisiana—one of the many areas hit hard by flooding. Pastor Gray gives hope to the people who lost everything through his attitude. The positivity he exudes is contagious. Not only does the Pastor crack jokes with the residents living in the shelter, he also brings smiles to the volunteers working the relief operation. Truly an amazing person showing people the light through their dark times. 

The road to recovery is a long one—especially after a disaster as bad as the one that struck southern Louisiana this summer. However, the residents who were affected by this disaster do not have to travel this road alone. Thankfully, there are many organizations, governments groups and other people willing to help along the way. Whether it’s the good Reverend from the IOCC Emergency Relief team, or a person dropping off supplies at their local Salvation Army Chapter—the people of Baton Rouge are not alone on their journey toward rebuilding their lives.