The Iowa United Methodist Volunteer in Mission Committee (UMVIM) is planning a disaster response work trip to Lake Charles, Louisiana from September 24 – October 2, 2022. Over the past few years, the Southwest Louisiana area has been hit hard by a series of natural disasters, including hurricanes, tornados, flooding, and extreme cold. Residents were only beginning to recover from one disaster when the next one struck, and hundreds of people are still in need of assistance and hope.

Bill Howell, formerly of Coon Rapids and a frequent disaster response volunteer with the Iowa UMVIM, serves as the Director of the Office of Missional Engagement and Outreach for the Louisiana Conference. Bill oversees their disaster response ministry, and together with his wife Katherine leads their effort to meet the needs of the people of the Louisiana Conference.

In January, a team of volunteers from the Iowa Annual Conference traveled to the Lake Charles area for two weeks of work, worship, prayer, and connection with those affected by the recent disasters. The team hung drywall, painted, reconstructed interior rooms, and installed windows — but most importantly shared their love and gave hope to those in need of experiencing God’s grace and love.

For an article describing their fantastic mission experience, see https://bit.ly/3uEqg8r. In addition, you can learn about the Howell’s work building interfaith partnerships for disaster relief at https://www.umnews.org/en/news/multifaithcoalition-helping-with-louisiana-storm-recovery. Kathy Martin will be the group leader of the September 24 – October 2, 2022 work trip. Contact her with questions at: gmakmart@gmail.com, 712-490-1369. Please consider joining her in this life-changing and life-enriching experience in service to others.