‘Today, we are one ministry’: Faith-based community supports Hurricane Ida relief

Published 12:00 pm Tuesday, September 28, 2021

LAPLACE — While Hope and Purpose Ministries of Kenner and Prayer House Ministries of Mobile didn’t plan on being in the same place at the same time Saturday morning, the two groups came together in prayer as cars lined up along the Cambridge subdivision in LaPlace.

The ministries were in St. John the Baptist Parish for the same faith-driven purpose — to provide food, supplies and comfort to victims of Hurricane Ida.

Larry and Andi Oney of Hope and Purpose Ministries lived in St. John Parish for many years and attended Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Reserve. The community remains close to their hearts.

“Hope and Purpose Ministries was started about five years ago. The main three scriptures that go with our ministry are to heal the broken-hearted, give people a hope and purpose for their lives, and to expand the kingdom of God,” Andi Oney said. “We try to follow the promptings of the Holy Father who said that we should stay close to the poor. Our target is to reach the people who were hit the hardest and those who may be underserved.”

Hope and Purpose Ministries often collaborates with other members of the faith-based community, from the big Catholic churches along the river to the smaller churches that serve as pillars of their respective neighborhoods. By joining with others, the ministry is able to have a greater impact and reach more people in need.

An assortment of items were distributed in LaPlace Saturday morning, including but not limited to canned goods, fresh fruit, baby supplies, children’s toys, gallons of milk, hygiene products, cleaning supplies and envelopes of cash.

Larry Oney said Hope and Purpose Ministries will continue serving the community in the spirit of Christ.

Just across the parking lot, in front of Clay’s Café, Prayer House Ministries from Mobile, Alabama served hot meals of grilled chicken, green beans, rice, corn bread, peas and butter beans. Cases of water, house supplies, personal hygiene items and snacks were also distributed.

“We prayed together this morning. Today, we are one ministry,” Andi Oney said.

Deaconess Frenita Dickson said Pastor Billy King Jr. and members of Prayer House Ministries wanted to make a difference in hurricane-impacted areas.

“We do community outreach in our area once a month. Once we heard about the area that was hard hit by Hurricane Ida, we decided to plan and come here to be a blessing,” Dickson said. “It’s devastating, and we know how much people are hurting because we’ve dealt with this at one time in Mobile. We just wanted to reach out and be a blessing any way we can.”