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Story by Theresa Schmidt for KPLC News 7


Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) – Many in Southwest Louisiana are still struggling to recover from Hurricane Laura and the disasters that followed.

A collaboration between Mennonites and Amish, along with the Louisiana Methodist Conference and the Fuller Disaster Rebuilders have come together to rebuild houses and fix roofs as their resources allow.

Some may do a double-take to see women with dresses and little bonnets on roofs in the area. They are Amish women working along with others tackling the repairs.

One of four houses they’re working on right now belongs to Beverly Goodly, who says they are an answer to her prayers.


“What you have to do is believe,” Goodly said. “Believe, trust God and don’t give up. He doesn’t want you to give up. He wants you to trust him.”

Each group shares its expertise and gifts – from rebuilding skills, construction management, funding, or case management – which means finding those in need who might otherwise fall through the cracks.

Bill Howell is with Louisiana Methodists.

“I had clear direction from the bishop of United Methodist Conference that Lake Charles was not to be forgotten and that was my first priority when I took this job was to get Lake Charles up and running again,” he said.


Gideon Yoder with Mennonite Disaster Service and Disaster Services of Ohio says they have more than 40 people working here.

“You help people that cannot help themselves with the storm and hopeful that we can help people that need help. And we’re not competition to any local contractors because we’re just here to help people that can’t help themselves,” Yoder said.

Yoder says they do what the Bible tells them to do.

“According to the Bible we should help other people out of love. It’s fulfilling instead of going on vacation. The Lord has been good to me so I try to give time to him.”


Howell says it’s a unique and wonderful collaboration.

“I think it’s most unusual. I think you are going to find that this is going to be the model that we use in Louisiana. It’s unbelievable how the three organizations have come together to make thing happen,” Howell said.

Goodly calls the work a miracle and shares her story to give hope to others.

“Yes I had crying nights and crying days, but I never gave up and I stood on his word and his promises. He would never leave me, never forsake me,” said Goodly.

To apply for help, call 337-476-1080.

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