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Restoration/Redemption Work to Continue in Katrinaland

Contact: Trinity Evangelical Free Church, 985-893-0218


COVINGTON, Louisiana, Jan. 2 /Christian Newswire/ -- A recent decision by a church board of elders has brought fresh energy to the compassion action/evangelism work which sprang from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina in late summer 2005.


Recently, Pastor Michael Sprague asked the board of Trinity Evangelical Free Church, Covington, Louisiana, to "make another one year commitment and then re-evaluate at that time," Sprague said. "They, however, felt led to make an indefinite commitment to the work of Compassion.


"The visible hand of Jesus is so strong that it is unmistakable. We are attempting to engage a greater percentage of our people in the work. We are continuing to house and deploy about 100 people a day at Trinity Church and position 50 people a day to be deployed from Castle Rock." Castle Rock is an inner city church in New Orleans.


Trinity Church, on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, houses the Katrina response work of the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA), led by Mark Lewis of the EFCA Crisis Response Ministry. According to Pastor Sprague, the EFCA Crisis Response staff needs the ongoing support of resources and volunteers from across the country to continue the ministry of restoration and reconstruction. With a three-year commitment in place for assisting the greater New Orleans region, the ministry is focused on showing the love of Christ to those in need through building relationships.


More than 6,000 volunteers affiliated with EFCA churches and other denominations, as well as college campuses, have already served the needs of hurricane victims through Trinity's efforts, fanning out into neighborhoods to conduct needs assessments and returning to clear trees and brush, gut homes, remove black mold, and reconstruct homes and businesses. As they meet the beneficiaries of their compassionate activities, teams openly give Jesus the credit for their presence and share the good news of the Gospel as opportunity affords.


Sprague and Lewis welcome new commitments from churches and groups to send teams and families to spend a week sleeping on the worship center floor, or staying in their own campers in the church parking lot, and deploying from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily as what Sprague calls "the hands of Jesus." In addition to performing physically challenging work, team members take on the tasks of cooking for the volunteers and actively listening to area residents who come to the church to replenish their home kitchens with supplies available through Trinity's "free store," a room filled daily with provisions brought in by God's people.


The ongoing, inspiring blessings have been chronicled in Pastor Sprague's book Stories from Katrinaland: God Responds to Disaster in New Orleans, available at the church and by mail order for $15, with proceeds being devoted to the relief efforts. When ordering the book by mail, please write checks/money orders (add $5/book for shipping/handling) to Trinity Church, and mail to P.O. Box 351, Prospect Heights IL 60070.


For more information about volunteering, visit the church's website at www.trinitychurchonline.net or EFCA Crisis Response at www.touchglobal.org.


To contact Pastor Sprague or Mark Lewis for information or interviews, call the church at (985) 893-0218. Emails can be sent to MDSprague00@bellsouth.net or mlewis@efca.org.