Special to the Reporter

Hurricane Gustav and Ike wreaked havoc along the Texas Gulf Coast.

Buildings that were damaged during Hurricane Katrina and Rita that were nearly rebuilt were destroyed again.

Pastors and churches in the affected areas have experienced their own disaster while trying to minister to those who lost everything, highlighting how critical volunteers are in a disaster.

First United Methodist Church (FUMC) has responded with flood buckets, donations of furniture, financial donations and labor.

FUMC of Glen Rose was involved through a chainsaw ministry to Baton Rouge and surrounding areas where huge oak trees were blown on to houses and into yards. Two trips were made to do chainsaw work.

The reward of the ministry came when elderly people with tears in their eyes could not believe that someone would come from so far away to help. Some homes in the area were without power for four weeks.

Hurricane Ike did more flood damage than Hurricane Rita in southwest Louisiana. Homes and churches that were not elevated flooded with 15 feet of water. Cameron Parish received 15 to 18 feet of water.

Reverend James Moore of Wakefield United Methodist Church in Cameron lost almost of his possessions and his church was nearly destroyed. FUMC received donations of furniture that was taken to Moore and other people who lost everything.

Volunteers will be needed all along the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast for months to come. People able to work with sheet rock, roofing and other construction work are especially needed.

People wishing to help can contact their church or go through the United Methodist Committee on Relief and FUMC in Glen Rose.