Service marking flood anniversary offers gratitude, hope

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - One year after the flood, the sanctuary of Living Faith Christian Center, once filled with flood waters, was filled with a chorus of voices that lifted up songs and praise.

Their words also lifted up souls still struggling with the memories of that great flood.

As the parish-wide service reflected on what was lost, the thousands of homes and hundreds of businesses, leaders of the faith, and community also reflected on what was gained.

"An enemy tried to divide us; God allowed some water to bring out the best in us," said Pastor Mark Ellis. "Say, 'You know what, Satan? You're not going to steal that community's identity. That's a community of love. That's a community of resilience. That's the people that's one, that's together.' What the enemy meant for evil, God made it work for our good."

One by one - pastors, first responders, and community leaders - shared their stories of evacuations and rescues and their gratitude to the help that came from within a hurting community.

"On Winbourne Avenue, I saw the most beautiful thing," said Lt. Raymond McGartner with the Baton Rouge Police Department. "I seen people come together. I saw all different color people come together. Nobody was wanting anything, but helping each other."

"We are grateful to the response and all who embraced the true meaning of loving God and loving your neighbor without exception," said East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome.

While leaders, including Gov. John Bel Edwards, admitted that full recovery is still a goal to be reached, they all offered a prayer for hope and strength ahead.

"God will use you as friends to open up the roof and bring healing into someone else's home," said Pastor Jay Avance.

CONTINUING COVERAGE: Historic Flooding Anniversary

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