The Loogootee (Ind.) United Methodist Church continues its privilege to help residents of Slidell, La., rebuild their homes following Hurricane Katrina. The church sent its eighth volunteer in mission team during October to help Katrina survivors. Two years since Katrina, there are still empty houses, piles of rubbish and families living in FEMA trailers.

The Loogootee team of nine included a first-time mission worker and an engineer who served FEMA for a year cleaning up debris.

The team worked with the Northshore Disaster Recovery Team which provides training, tools, supplies and housing. Team members stayed at Aldersgate UMC in Slidell, which has hosted many mission teams in its fellowship hall and fed them while they worked.

Loogootee team's work included vinyl siding, plumbing, painting and laminate flooring in a house owned by a 77-year-old woman, who could speak Creole. She was grateful and said she cries every Friday when a group leaves. It was important for team members to listen to her story and offer hope.

Loogootee UMC's team included Sam and Marie Truelove, Ed Cronk, Paul McFeaters, Martha Greene, LeAnn Petit, Ken Woods, Judy Bruner, and Pastor Jeanne Winter. They were blessed by a congregation that provided their food and housing.

Loogootee is planning a spring trip and invites anyone who would like to help Slidell neighbors rebuild their house. Volunteers return with new skills, but also the blessing of helping someone in need. The trips offer Louisiana hope and give us the joy of giving.

For more information, contact Martha Greene at 812-295-3131 or call the church office at 812-295-3049. Work skills are not necessary just a desire to help your neighbor and rebuild a community.