No matter what language you use, it means the same thing – a great big THANK YOU from the Lockhart Baptist Church to all the churches and individuals who enabled them to provide a safe haven for their community during the 2016 Denham Springs flood. The disaster produced dozens of stories – some funny, lots of them heart wrenching, a few miraculous. But, in my opinion, none so big as the story about the generosity of ordinary folk all over the country that flowed to total strangers in an unknown Louisiana parish.


Nobody waited on the government. This was, strictly, neighbor helping neighbor, a reply to a desperate call for help. Studies have shown that Americans remain some of the most generous people ever, and this response confirms that. The church has record of almost 50 churches and individuals who sent checks; others gave small amounts of cash that, eventually, added up to more than $47,000. This total doesn’t include all the small cash donations or the fifty trailer loads of goods that came to the church for distribution, and every penny went to flood victims. Church members volunteered hours and hours making sure everything got directly to the right people – the flood victims, not “administrative expenses.”

To mention just a few: Hurricane Sandy survivors sent a package of supplies. They knew first-hand what kinds of things were needed immediately. One grateful flood victim stayed a couple nights, then sent a check for $1,000. Immanuel Baptist Church of Corunna, MI, not only sent 27 men to stay a week and rebuild, they slept on the church floor, cooked their own meals and paid for all the renovation materials they used. Checks and supplies arrived from friends of friends, churches telling churches of the need, and friends and families of Lockhart Baptist church members. Supplies and grocery contributions were so generous, in fact, at one point, Pastor Ostten had to stop receiving them because the church had more than they could hand out. They’d already rented a shipping container to store what wouldn’t fit in the church building. Distribution went on over a month, all disbursed by volunteers.


Pastor Ostten mentioned how hard it had been to thank everyone properly, so we arranged for him to record his appreciation for all those who came to the fore. Whether they gave a little or a lot did not matter. No one gave to be known, but because they were moved by another’s disaster. What counts is “they” stepped up. “They” cared. ‘They” went the second mile.

We offer sincere apologies if we’ve missed anyone, but we do want to include a list of churches who contributed; not only to say a formal “thank you,” but to help our audience appreciate the size of the generous response. I have not included a list of individuals only because I do not have their permission to do so.

Following is the list of churches: First Baptist Church, McNeil, MS; Bethel Baptist Church, Warrensburg, MO; Heritage Baptist Church, Hot Springs AR; Southwest Baptist Church, Oklahoma City, OK; Occupy #1 Baptist Church, Kinder, LA; Antioch Baptist Church, Middlesex, NC: Bible Baptist Church, Bradenton, FL; Ozark Baptist Church, Bergman, AR; Anchor Baptist Church, Pisgah, NC; Emmanuel Baptist Church, Valley, AL; Friendship Baptist Church, Highland, AR; Grace Memorial Baptist Church, Slidell, LA; Parkside Baptist, Mesquite, TX; Colonial Baptist Church, Rodgers, AR; Maranatha Baptist Church, Bethany OK; Southwest Church, Shawnee, OK; Immanuel Baptist Church, Corunna, MI; Northgate Baptist Church, McAlester, OK; Bible Baptist Church, El Reno, OK; and a business, Southeast LA Underwater Search and Recovery, Slidell, LA; Barron Baptist Church, Tucson, AZ; Baptist tabernacle, Shreveport, LA; Baptist Temple, Alexandria, LA; Hope Baptist Church, Alexandria, LA; New Hope Baptist Church, Ore City, TX; Lancaster Baptist Church, Lancaster, CA; Sun and Shield Baptist Church, Marana, AZ; Wall of Grace Ministries, McKenzie, TN.

Only words like “unbelievable,” or “incredible” or “amazing,” can describe the outpouring of love and care shown to this Louisiana neighborhood. They represent the best of both the Christian and the American Spirit.

Like Pastor Ostten says, “We absolutely could not have done this without all of the help we received,”

So…MERCI…DANKE… GRAZIEARIGATO…GRACIAS…TODAHowever you want to say itfrom those Americans who needed you during that horrific time, to those who heard their cry, “THANK YOU!”



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