Hurricanes and other natural disasters have smacked the state of Louisiana with powerful winds and heavy rain causing flooding, loss of homes, businesses, infrastructure, and livelihood. At the same time, many Iowans pray for rain as we experience drought conditions over much of our state.
The Louisiana United Methodist Conference has a new staff person for disaster response who happens to have lived and worked in Coon Rapids, Iowa! Some may remember William (Bill) Howell, Jr. and his wife, Katherine, who were active lay members in their local church, graduated from the School of Lay Ministry, and participated as overseas volunteers on mission trips. Katherine served in a position as a district United Methodist Women officer. The Howells moved to Jacksonville, Florida, to be closer to family and grandchildren.
Bill Howell will serve as the new Director of the Louisiana UMC Missional Engagement and Outreach
Office. This office manages the conference’s disaster response ministry. His background ranges from mission training with Global Ministries to vision research at Florida State University as a published researcher to active-duty service in the United States Air Force and reserve duty at the U.S. Central Command as an intelligence officer.
Barely in this position for two weeks, he has been visiting hard-hit locations talking with local church persons and officials in preparation for work teams to come to offer assistance for Louisianians. ERT (Emergency Response Training) and Team leader training sessions are scheduled here in Iowa, with more information forthcoming. Let’s organize work teams to assist with the rebuilding of lives in Louisiana!
For more information about Disaster Ministries and its work here in Iowa, don't hesitate to get in touch with Rev. Catie Newman, the Iowa Conference Disaster Response Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org