Old Map Shows???

Every child loves digging through old stuff.  Looking through grandma’s attic is a national pastime.  You can find some interesting things hidden away and forgotten. 

Such is the case recently at Clara Springs Camp.  Someone found a map, an old map from the 1950’s.  The camp asked for help.  They posted, “Can you help us out?  Is it a treasure map, scavenger hunt, or locations of the best places to hide at Camp?  We need your help in discovering what this lost map from 1954 is trying to show us.

Responses on social media were varied.  One interesting one was that the numbers could mark trees that were to be removed, or conversely, trees that were to be retained.

So what do you remember?  Or what do you think?


Overwhelming Response From Volunteers

On March 12, Louisiana’s 211 network began answering calls about COVID-19.  As of March 30, Louisiana 211 has received approximately 30,000 calls for help and as many messages from individuals texting for information.  This surge in activity led to an increased need for volunteers to assist in answering these calls.  United Way of Northwest Louisiana requested volunteers from the community and received an overwhelming response from citizens volunteering to help answer calls to the Louisiana 211 Helpline. As a result of this response, additional volunteers are no longer needed to handle the increase in calls at this time.

“We appreciate the overwhelming interest of the community to volunteer at this time,” said Louise Droddy, Director of 211 for United Way of Northwest Louisiana. “United Way of Northwest Louisiana will continue to collect names in case more volunteers are needed in the future.”

While priority will be given to those who have already registered to volunteer with 211, individuals interested in volunteering should continue to visit www.unitedwaynwla.org/volunteer-form to learn more about other volunteer opportunities currently available. This will allow those interested in community services to be deployed as needs and other opportunities arise.

In addition to volunteering, there are other ways to support our community at this time. “When we feel the most helpless, we actually have the power to do the most good,” says Dr. Bruce Willson, President and CEO of United Way of Northwest Louisiana.  “We encourage people to give to the United for NWLA Fund.  Gifts to this fund support families struggling in Northwest Louisiana after they have exhausted resources they were connected to through 211.”

For more tips on additional ways the community can help, United Way also shared 5 Things You Can Do to Fight the COVID-19 Crisis.

Thank you to everyone helping our community during this difficult time through volunteering or contributing to the United for NWLA Fund. We are all in this together, and United Way is here to help!


April First Church Updates

Hickory Grove Baptist Church
Hickory Grove Baptist will not have Church services until the first Sunday in May, as per the latest Presidential Executive Order.  Even though we are not meeting at this time, remember God on Sunday.  Stay safe!!

Open Door Fellowship

Open Door is using Go To Meeting to connect with members.  This week they invited members of the Tuesday evening men’s prayer meeting to attend via an invite to Go To Meeting.  Wednesday evening (tonight) they plan to conduct the Wednesday evening service via Go To Meeting.  Last Sunday the regular morning worship was conducted from the pastor’s home.

Abundant Life Worship Center

Their Sunday services were conducted via social media and the internet.  The church posted that they were providing their 9:15 am, 10:30 am and 6:00 pm on Facebook Live, YouTube and on the church website alwccoushatta.org.

Many churches in the parish including First Baptist, Cowboy Church, New Life, and First Methodist/Wesley Chapel are using Facebook Live to present their messages.  The Governor’s Executive Order limiting the size of gatherings to 10 or less has shut down most religious services.

Any church that would like to have their service information included in future issues of The Journal should email details to RedRiverParishJournal@gmail.com.  This is the way we communicate at The Journal.


Notice of Death

Graveside services for Cleo Marie Walker, 91, of Campti, LA were held at 2 P.M. Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at Campti Baptist Cemetery with Bro. Mike Honzell officiating. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Services under the direction of Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home, Coushatta, LA.

Mrs. Walker was born November 2, 1928 in Campti, LA and passed away March 28, 2020. Mrs. Walker had a true passion for fishing. She not only enjoyed catching fish, but also loved frying fish. When you came to her home, she would have cold fish in the refrigerator, but by the time you left, she had hot fried fish ready for you. She also enjoyed league bowling. For over fifty years, Mrs. Walker wrote a column in the Natchitoches Times sharing the news of her community and for many years enjoyed working the polls during elections. She was very active in her church and loved spending time with her family. She will be dearly missed by all those who knew and loved her.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Alaman “Boss” Walker; one son Robert Walker; granddaughter Samantha Coleman; great-grandson Brayden Theriot; siblings Mildred Roberts, “Sonny Boy” Black, Huey Glen Black, Ronnie and Donnie Black.

Mrs. Walker is survived by two sons, Chuck Walker and wife Rae Nell, and Dennis Walker and wife Pam; two daughters, Glenda Carter and Toni Beaudoin; thirteen grandchildren: Rachal Henry, Diana Smith, Christy Beer, Stacy Walker, Ryan Walker, Allison Niette, Bridget Walker, Misty and Mandy Walker, Dana Moreau, Pete Moreau, Brandon Coleman, and Jonathan Coleman; numerous great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews; and sister-in-law Sissie Black.

Pallbearers will be her grandsons, Ryan Walker, Brandon Coleman, Jonathan Coleman, Bubba Henry, Conner Beer, Troy Smith, and Ronald Black and Ronnie Black.

The family wishes to express a special thanks to Synergy Home Health and Hospice of Natchitoches.


ETC… for Wednesday, April 1st

It’s April Fool’s Day, the first day of April.  Who started a day of foolery?  The History Channel said. “Some historians speculate that April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563. People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes.”

Snopes.com said, “Wherever and whenever the custom began, it has since evolved its own lore and set of unofficial rules. Superstition has it that the pranking period expires at noon on the 1st of April and any jokes attempted after that time will call bad luck down onto the head of the perpetrator. Additionally, those who fail to respond with good humor to tricks played upon them are said to attract bad luck to themselves.”

Many newspapers have run bogus stories and the day is a favorite of morning radio hosts.  The most outrageous this reporter can recall is one carried out by Zoo 100 in New York’s Scott Shannon.  Bruce Springsteen gave a concert in New Jersey on the night of March 31st (supposedly that was a fact).  The next morning Shannon and Zoo started with a traffic report of unusual congestion around the concert site.  That lead to a reporter going on site and reporting back that Springsteen (who was known for long encores) was still performing. The Hook was the reporter said that “If you left early last night, your ticket is still good to return this morning and enjoy the rest of the encore.”  The legend continues about many people not going to work but to New Jersey to catch Springsteen in concert.  April fools!

While we are on foolery, have you seen the story circulating on social media that Nostradamus predicted the COVID-19 virus.  The Journal checked Snopes and that supposed prediction doesn’t stand up.  Here is what Snopes.com said:

“Michel de Nostradamus was an astrologer who lived in France in the 1500s and is most famous today for the poetic quatrains he wrote for his book, “Les Prophéties,” which many enthusiasts now claim foretold various significant historical events. Nostradamus wrote a lot of stuff so general (and obscure) that with the help of a little imagination (and some liberal interpretations from the original French), people have claimed he has “predicted” nearly every event of significance since the mid-16th century.

Snopes added, “But this particular viral prediction was not expressed in quatrain form, nor could we find anything like it published in “Les Prophéties.” We also found no mention of this supposed prophecy prior to the events of early 2020, which generally indicates it is a modern hoax.”

If you are planning on going to Texas there is a 14-day self-quarantine requirement.  Texas State Troopers will screen everyone from Louisiana along highways entering the state.  Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed that order on March 29th.  Early reports are that the troopers are observing travel along the border in northwest Louisiana but have not taken any actions supporting the governor’s order.

Northwestern State University recruiters are finding innovative ways to stay in touch with prospective students despite social distancing.   “The recruiters are still working their territories reaching out to each student providing virtual tours, Zoom sessions and, as always, being their primary resource at NSU,” said Ashlee Hewitt, director of recruiting.  “Their communication efforts are email, texts, phone calls, Zoom and social media.”  Earlier in March, Hewitt recorded a video message to reassure next year’s freshmen that she and her staff are always available to answer questions and offer assistance.


CHRISTUS Coushatta Expands Telehealth Services

CHRISTUS Coushatta Health Care Center has drastically expanded telehealth services and online screening tools with secure video and telephone visits and an online COVID-19 screening tool.

Beginning now, telehealth services are available to offer secure, HIPAA-compliant video visits for clinic patients regarding routine visits with a Primary Care Provider. These video visits are available for Apple iPhone and Android users. These new telehealth services are in addition to the Primary Care services available at the clinics in Boyce and Ringgold. 

“CHRISTUS Coushatta is making both video or telephone visits available to our community,” said Brandon Hillman, RN, MBA, Administrator, CHRISTUS Coushatta Health Care Center. “They can both be used for simple things such as coughs and colds, or for more complicated things such as helping manage diabetes or heart disease at this time.”

If a patient begins a video visit and their primary care provider determines the need for an in-person evaluation, that will be arranged. If further testing such as blood work or consultations is necessary, a referral and instructions will be provided. Both video and telephone visits are covered by nearly all major medical insurances including Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans. Depending on your plan, you may be billed a copay, just as though you were seeing your provider in a traditional office setting. There is no additional cost associated with a telemedicine visit.

“The new telehealth systems can be used to prevent overcrowding in clinics while preventing exposures, reducing risk and facilitating high-quality care,” said Hillman. “Due to the extraordinary circumstances created by the current COVID-19 pandemic, regulatory agencies have approved new patients to be seen via telemedicine visits.”

In addition to telehealth services, the new CHRISTUS COVID Chatbot is live at CHRISTUSHealth.org and accessible by the public. The goal is to alleviate stress on call centers and the clinic staffs by offering a dedicated tool to help patients self-screen for the virus and get direction on what steps they need to take next.

A chatbot is an artificial intelligence (AI) unit programmed into a website to perform basic, automated duties, such as replying to customers on a retail site or engaging with users on social media messenger services.

“Patients will interact with our chatbot through a text-chat interface on the website,” said Hillman. “The COVID Health Chatbot is available 24/7 and will provide a screening function for patients who are ill with fever or cough or shortness of breath and have had travel to any region that has known community spread of coronavirus or if you have any of the above symptoms and exposure to a person with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.”

“As health care systems adapt their procedures and we all make changes to our daily lives and routines, it is important that CHRISTUS Coushatta Health Care Center does everything we can to ensure patients have access to the medical care they need,” said Hillman. “We are poised to do whatever it takes to continue bringing you the same seamless, compassionate care you have come to expect, while also doing everything we can to minimize the spread of infectious disease throughout the communities we serve.”


Residents Pray for First COVID-19 Victim in Red River

Late Wednesday night The Journal informed you that a lady in our parish had been diagnosed by her physician with the COVID-19 virus.  Her husband asked The Journal to pass along his plea to friends and fellow believers to pray for her.

You did it.  Response to our article was positive with folks from all over the area commenting that they were praying for Nancy Spears.

On Thursday Wayne Spears posted, “Report on Nancy Spears – I have been getting a lot of request on Nancy’s updated condition. I have tried to answer them on a personal level but there are too many for me to handle so I have resorted to Facebook. Nancy’s oxygen level is still low although she is on oxygen. Her cough is no better. It is a wait and see game at this point. Continue praying…”

Also on Thursday the Baptist Message posted a request for the church to pray:

Urgent prayers have been requested by the family of Nancy Spears, a member of Fairview Baptist Church in Fairview Alpha, who has tested positive for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Spears’ husband, Wayne Spears, is a former Louisiana Baptist pastor and serves as CEO of Abbie Lane Retreat Ministry in Coushatta, a non-denominational 80-acre retreat facility for ministers and their wives.

According to Wayne Spears, his wife fell ill 9-10 days ago. Her symptoms worsened over time and she was admitted to the emergency room at Highland Hospital in Shreveport on Sunday, March 22.

Wayne Spears has posted updates on his Facebook page, which has been flooded with posts from others offering prayers and encouragement for the family. The couple is quarantined for 14 days, beginning Tuesday, March 24. Nancy Spears is still at Highland Hospital while her husband is at their home.

“Her physical condition was so weak going into this, for her to make it will be the result of prayer and God’s grace,” Spears told the Baptist Message. “I am probably positive because I have been with her constantly.  However, I cannot be tested until I have symptoms, coughing and fever.”

Wayne Spears noted that the family has received encouragement from those who developed relationships with them at Abbie Lane Retreat Ministry and during the time he served as a pastor for more than 40 years. Previously he served as pastor of Verda Baptist Church, Morningside Baptist Church, Shreveport, and Fairmont Park Baptist in La Porte, Texas.

“I am praying that these prayers and God’s grace will once again show the world that God is God and He is in charge, even in times such as these,” he said.

Their pastor, Matt Endris, said his members have reached out to offer prayers and support for the family.

“Wayne and Nancy need your support through prayer,” Endris said. “They truly are faithful servants in the family of God and to the family of God. A great way to pray for Nancy is that God will use this time to bring glory to Himself.

“We need to pray for her health to be restored and for many lost people to come to faith in Christ as they see God’s great grace and power revealed in Nancy’s life,” he continues. “We need to pray for Wayne to remain healthy and that God will give him opportunity to share his faith in Christ through this time. Let’s love the Spears’ through our prayers for them.”

You may post your prayers and send messages via Wayne Spears Facebook page.


Feeding Program Launched

Will of God Ministries has begun a daily feeding program in Coushatta.  Their pastor, Dr. Johnny Cox said the purpose is to feed children and to deliver hot meals to their homes.

The first shipment of hot meals arrived about 11:30 am on Wednesday, March 25th.  It was delivered to Coushatta by Simple Church of Shreveport-Bossier.  Bryan Reed and Bill McConathy from the church brought a pickup loaded with hot and cold food containers.  McConathy said they are delivering the food that is prepared by the Northwest Louisiana Food Bank.

Dr. Cox told The Journal, “Church volunteers are assembling the meals.  We are delivering them to neighborhoods.  Initially the meals will be delivered every day.  Later we will arrange for meal pick-up.”

Cox said people from Will of God Ministries are volunteering right now.  He said, “Anyone who would like to help, call the church at 932-3177.  We need additional people to lend a hand.”

On this first day of distributing the meals, Cox added, “We are in the infant stage and we’re figuring it out as we go.”


Registrar of Voters Closes Due To Virus

The Red River Registrar of Voters Office has closed due to the COVID-19 virus.  This is the second courthouse office to close in recent days.

Registrar Debra Jones said the closure was due to the Governor’s Stay Home order.  Most services of the Registrar are available online.  With the postponement of the April 4th election to June 20th, early voting did not take place.

Details of the closure announcement are listed below.