'Love for Lake Charles' organization gives blessings and hope from Israel

A rabbi and pastor work together to raise funds for victims of the hurricanes.

 (photo credit: GENESIS FOUNDATION 123)
(photo credit: GENESIS FOUNDATION 123)
Residents of Lake Charles, Louisiana, were hit hard by two devastating hurricanes this year. Homes and lives were destroyed, making getting by that much harder in the midst of a pandemic, as if 2020 hadn't been hard enough.
In response to this predicament, the Genesis 123 Foundation launched an emergency campaign to provide blessings and hope from Israel.
Earlier this year, Pastor Todd Schumacher of the Church of the King hosted Jonathan Feldstein of the Genesis 123 Foundation in Lake Charles, to teach about Jewish traditions related to Shabbat. Todd is an Evangelical Christian; Feldstein is an Orthodox Jew.
On the verge of the second hurricane, the rabbi asked the pastor how his community was managing and that they should pray together. Feldstein heard the stress in Todd’s voice, personally and on behalf of the community. In consultation with the Genesis 123 Foundation board, they devised an opportunity to help, launching an emergency fund called Love for Lake Charles, which received immediate donations.
After the storms, and donations from big relief organizations ran out, Todd knew that many people who had difficulties this year still had many needs. Therefore, Todd and Feldstein developed a plan to help in a meaningful way, and bless the residents of Lake Charles – in a biblical way. It turns out that through this, there’s also an indirect blessing for Israel.
Suggesting that the funds raised be used toward helping to renovate and paint the house of a man whose home was habitable but required considerable repairs, the pastor noted that weeks after the hurricane, the man’s wife died as well. The idea that he would wake up to a fresh start in his home, knowing that it was a blessing from Israel, resonated well. 
Feldstein then realized that there were many more whose homes were not habitable, requiring much more work and funds. However, he saw an opportunity.
Because of the pandemic, the Genesis 123 flagship program Run for Zion in March was canceled. Feldstein was left with dozens of Jerusalem stone covers for mezzuzot – Bible portions attached to door frames – that were meant as gifts for the participants and donors.
Since it would have cost more to ship them to the participants all around the world, with the permission of the participants and donors, the beautiful stone covers were donated to the Church of the King, which will be distributed along with the scriptural verses explaining their significance as people are able to move back into their homes.