By Baptist Message staff
NEW ORLEANS (LBM) – Louisiana Baptist Disaster Relief officials have issued an urgent call for monetary and bottled water donations for New Orleans area residents who are being impacted by saltwater in the water supply.
The effort, called ‘Operation Living Water,’ is a joint effort between LBDR, New Orleans area churches and New Orleans Baptist Association Executive Director Jack Hunter and his staff.
On Monday, Oct. 2, and then on Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the foreseeable future, four drop off locations will be accepting donations of bottled water:
— E. L. Kirkland & Son LL, 295 Booner Miller Rd., Deville
— Rolling Hills Ministry, 3487 Hwy. 33, Ruston
— New Life Missions, 123 South Pine St., Independence
— Lake Charles location, TBD
Additionally, financial gifts to purchase water can be given through the LBDR website, louisianabaptists.org/dr. LBDR Strategist Stan Statham said one pallet of water can be purchased for $300 and a truckload of 20 pallets can be bought for $6,000.
Statham said First Baptist Church, Port Sulphur, is expected to be the first church to deliver water to area residents sometime in the first week of October. The LBDR Incident Command Center in Alexandria, headed up by Clark Fooshee, pastor of Second Baptist Church, Jackson, will manage Operation Living Waters.
According to the Louisiana Governor’s Office for Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, drought conditions have diminished freshwater volumes flowing down the Mississippi River. Consequently, saltwater from the Gulf of Mexico is moving upriver. Gov. John Bel Edwards issued an emergency declaration on Sept. 27 for Plaquemines, St. Bernard, Orleans and Jefferson parishes.
“It’s our prayer that as we hand out water to individuals, that many will come to know Christ and receive the eternal living water,” Statham told the Baptist Message. “While we are not panicking, we are preparing to meet the needs of the most vulnerable.”