Thursday, September 15, 2005

Houses of Worship become “Homes” to those in Need

Monday, September 12, 2005 — BATON ROUGE – “You are dealing with a great soup of rationality and irrationality, and it’s just cooking,” said Paul Dirdak, Deputy General Secretary of the United Methodist Committee (UMC) on Relief, of the ever-increasing anxiety among evacuees.
The United Methodist Committee on Relief have offered eight local churches in the Baton Rouge area as a refuge for some 150 American Red Cross volunteers tending to the needs of local Hurricane Katrina survivors. (Photo Credit: Hugh Quinn/American Red Cross)
Thanks to eight local churches, volunteers are offered an opportunity for solace and asylum from the chaos of their disaster relief efforts. Dirdak, traveling with United Methodist general secretary, Reverend R. Randy Day, stopped by Broadmoor United Methodist Church this week to witness the outpouring of support from members of the congregation.
Approximately 150 American Red Cross volunteers are finding their home in the quiet, cool fellowship hall where cots, backpacks, journals and shoes create a colorful landscape.
With the blink of an eye, members of UMCs around the nation have quickly transformed their houses of worship into homes for those in need. The kitchen at Broadmoor buzzes with activity as the women inside do what they love – cook, bake and feed the hungry and exhausted Red Cross workers. Scraps of paper line the walls in the hallways with notes of thanks to the incredible generosity.
After providing 65 years of disaster relief around the world, Dirdak seemed unphased by the wreckage of Katrina. “The US hasn’t had an experience like this before. Now it gets to join the rest of the World.”


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