BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The message was clear at Bethany South on Sunday as hundreds of displaced church members prayed for renewal. They stood tall and held their hands high with their heads bowed praying for those around them.
Lead Pastor Jonathan Stockstill asked those in attendance to clear their minds and open their hearts.
"Every person needs to be spiritually filled. Maybe you haven't sensed God's presence in nine days because we weren't able to assemble last weekend, but in this service, God is going to fill you with new life," Stockstill said.
Bethany South was packed with more than its regular congregation on Sunday. Church members displaced from their flooded campuses in Baker and Livingston Parish were there to worship and find support. There was plenty.
"Can we hear it for our first time guests really quick? So glad they are here," Stockstill said.
They watched as a video of last week's disaster laid out a stark reality of what happened and the destruction that remains. Stockstill asked those whose homes were devastated to stand for a special prayer and words of encouragement.
"Maybe you lost your clothes, your car, or your house. Maybe you had to sleep in a shelter for several days, maybe in the home of someone else. I know we all have a story," Stockstill said.
Church members, John and Veronica Pursifull, lost their family home in Denham Springs. They now share a home with 33 people and four dogs. Yet, they still found reasons to smile.
"We've even been helped by churches I've never heard of. A group from Mississippi helped clean stuff out of our houses," John Pursifull said.
"Today God spoke to me. I don't need to have too much stuff because how many people don't have anything and we are so blessed," Veronica Pursifull said.
While their faith may have been tested, Pastor Stockstill challenged everyone to pray, help their neighbors and leave the rest in the hands of a higher power.
"I see you one year from now you are better than you were. I see in one year God restoring your life though his blessing, his provision, by his ways," Stockstill said.
Bethany is asking for volunteers to help them with their mission to help people in the Baton Rouge Metro area rebuild.
Anyone who would like to help can text the word FLOOD to the number (225) 442-9556.