On Sunday, Jan. 11, a mission team of 66 people, ranging in age from 18 to 80, convened at Camp Restore in New Orleans, La., for a week of construction work on homes that were damaged by Hurricane Katrina in August,
2005. Camp Restore is operated by Recovery Assistance, Inc. (RAI), a nonprofit affiliated with the Southern District of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.
The team was a partnership of nine area Lutheran churches, including: Immanuel Lutheran Church, Crystal Lake; Immanuel Lutheran Church, East Dundee; Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Cary; Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Crystal Lake; St. John's Lutheran Church, Algonquin; St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Barrington; St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Hawthorn Woods; St. Peter Lutheran Church, Gilberts; and St. Peter Lutheran Church, Schaumburg.
During the weeklong trip, the team logged more than 2,000 hours of labor at 14 different job sites throughout the New Orleans area. The work primarily consisted of hanging and mudding drywall, laying ceramic tile and wood flooring, painting, insulating, landscaping and cleaning of Camp Restore.
In conjunction with their manual labor efforts, the team members also brought a message of hope to those they encountered along the way.
"It was wonderful to see God's hand at work in each of the mission team members," commented Dave Moll, director of Mission Ministries at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Barrington, and trip coordinator. "While there is still much work to be done in the Gulf Coast region, every day provides small victories as homeowners get closer to returning to their homes. It seems that the residents have begun adjusting to the 'new' New Orleans, knowing that it will never be the same as pre-Katrina. Our prayers continue to be with the people of this region."
The team returned home on Saturday, Jan. 17. This partnership of churches is already making plans for future mission trips together.