Day 3 – Lafayette

Monday, Nov. 21, 2016

I got up at 6 am and checked the weather outside, only to find that the car was covered in frost. It was just below the freezing point but it warmed up quickly. By early morning it was quite warm and the temperature got as high as 22 C (72F).

Our site director is Bruce Weber and his wife Marj is the office administrator. They are from Kitchener, Ontario. Maria Martens, our cook, is from Steinbach and Joan Dyck, who is from Winnipeg, is the assistant cook. Peter and Margaret Goertzen are long term workers from norther Alberta. Gordon Martens, Maria’s husband, is also a long term worker.

Last night we heard a little about the disaster that devastated the area.

On August 12 and 13 of this year, Lafayette had 2 consecutive days with 10+ inches of rains and then continued to have storms, off and on, for the next several days. The high levels of water were referred to as a ‘ 1000 year rain ‘ and the worst national disaster in the US since hurricane Sandy. Thirteen people lost their lives, 30,000 residents were evacuated and tens of thousands of others were stranded in their homes and vehicles. Its estimated that 146,000 homes were damaged by the flooding, which is unusual because the area is not in a flood plain and most local insurances do not offer flood insurance for that reason.

Spencer and I both had a good nights sleep and I was thinking about the devastation that had affected the area as I got ready for the day.

We made our lunches at 6:45 and had breakfast at 7 am, followed by devotions. We packed the trucks and left for our job sites shortly after 8 am.

Spencer and I joined Peter and Gordon to work at a house of a lady called Mary, although she said her name was actually George, which is what most locals call her. She is a single mother in her mid 50’s, who has 4 children, although they are all grown up and live near by.

Spencer and I started by removing the subfloor in the kitchen and dining room and then removing all of the staple remnants from the floor.


Peter and Gordon worked on some electrical work and worked on securing the foundation.



In the afternoon we removed some of the floor and the walls around the fireplace that were rotten and had been infested with termites.

We packed up around 4:30 pm and headed back to camp, but on our way, we stopped at the house where Joan and Margaret were ” mudding ” the drywall. Peter and Gordon ( sounds like a 60’s singing group), inspected the work, while Margaret and Joan continued to work.


Eventually we all headed back to camp, cleaned up and had supper with Amy who is the case worker for Love Acadia, the organization that arranges the cases for us to work on. She came from New York and she was hired by the Love Acadia organization that was formed by the church where we are staying. After a delicious supper, we spent the evening discussing many different subjects, including the situation in Lafayette and the opportunities available to serve here.

At one point in the evening I received a ‘ 1-800 ‘ phone call, which I ignored until they called again. The gentleman told me that he was calling from the RBC bank and he informed me that my credit card had been compromised. He asked me if I was in New York and after telling him that I was in Louisiana, he informed me that several charges had been made today to my credit card from New York so he was going to, reverse the charges, cancel my card and send a new one to my house. When I checked my credit card online, I found that there were several charges between $25 and $200 pending from New York stores on my credit card. I was glad that he had called and that I had answered the phone.

2 thoughts on “Day 3 – Lafayette

  1. Hi Ralf, So sorry to hear of those unauthorized bank withdrawals. Where did that information get into the wrong hands? Will be praying for God’s wall of protection around you.

    1. Thanks Erika,

      I think that someone got my credit card information at one of my stops but I was happy to hear that the RBC bank called me the same day, verified that they were fraudulent charges and reversed the charges.
      I have been having a great time hear and I think that Spencer is also having a good time.


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