NOLA 4H: Hearts for the Hungry, Homeless, and Hurting

Christian Families United for Progress


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Hurricane Katrina was the largest residential disaster in United States history. Twelve years later there is no more federal aid, and many inner-city communities are still hurting. New Orleans has the third highest homeless rate in the nation with 1,700 homeless persons every night, much of this due to the hurricane and loss of homes. Entire neighborhoods were wiped out. Many residents lost friends and family and still suffer from loneliness and depression. Six inner-city LCMS churches, their pastors, leaders, and members have come together to serve Christ by serving their neighbors and providing food and shelter. The NOLA 4H churches work closely with other organizations to support various outreach ministries such as food banks, clothing, toiletries, Bibles, prayer books, counseling, and clinics. Funds will go towards these ministries and equipping each of the fellowship halls in the six churches to serve more people.

nullDonna, who is homeless, attends Gloria Dei Lutheran Church regularly and volunteers in the food pantry, helping pack food bags for hundreds of hungry families served twice a week.
nullAfter eating at the "Feed the Hungry" Saturday at St. Paul Lutheran Church NE, two volunteers were able to convince a small group of those who attended to pose for a picture. It is often difficult to get people who have come off the streets for a free meal to agree to be photographed.

WHEREAS, Christ, in His Holy Word, has charged us to reach out to the hungry, homeless, and hurting poor; and
WHEREAS, Inner-city churches are a means of providing mercy ministries and propagating His Word to all people, most especially "the least of these;" and
WHEREAS, The people of Christian Families United for Progress (six New Orleans Lutheran churches with African-American pastors serving the inner city) are unable to finance fully the cost of feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and providing healing to the hurting; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the delegates gathered at the 2017 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League Convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico, vote the sum of $100,000 to help aid the hurting in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Donate to the 2017–2019 Mission Goal

nullPopular Mechanics Magazine ran this photo of Katrina flooding August 2005 at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church — after about 2 feet of water had gone down. All six church buildings in the NOLA 4H grant experienced similar flooding.
nullLWML members at Mount Zion Lutheran Church prepare hot food for the "Feed the Hungry" Saturdays at the inner city church. Volunteers fix over 200 plates of food for the homeless, seniors and poor families and often send food bags home with the hungry.
nullRev. Jerome Terry started making boxes with needed items for homeless men and women on his own, and handing them out whenever he saw homeless during the day. When his congregation found out, they wanted to help. They began filling 100 boxes a month, and taking them to homeless shelters and sharing them on the streets. Each box includes snack foods, socks, bus tokens, Scripture, soap, washcloth, weather-related items (hats, gloves), pocket change. Other items are added and changed out each month.
nullA partnership between the six churches and Camp Restore, a Lutheran outreach organization in New Orleans, means that college students from around the country volunteer in church summer programs. They provide positive interaction for children, like this 9-year-old, Denim, and they also learn about the inner city. Volunteer Grace Riddle wrote about her experience, the Christ-centered focus of the summer camp, and the struggles for children who live in poverty. She said, "I've been so privileged in my life. I don't have really any life experiences that I could relate to Denim's other than just being a kid. Because when it comes down to it, everyone at that summer program is just a kid. And even though they can be difficult to wrangle sometimes, they are good people who, because of their circumstances, might not get to have the bright futures they deserve."
nullMount Zion Lutheran Church, as all the other churches, makes sure that the community knows that they are being fed with good food, and their hunger is abated, and that they also provide spiritual food, to eternal life. Jesus said: "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again,but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." John 4:14-15


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