25 October 2009

Flood Victims Deal With More Than Just a Flood

As many of you know, I have been in the Atlanta area helping with the flood relief efforts. I can't believe how devastating this flood has been for so many. The statistics that I have heard are that in Austell, GA nearly 50% of the residence can no longer live in their homes. That is astounding! Another statistic that I heard was that less than 10% of those affected had flood insurance. That leaves a whole lot of people that lost everything, or most everything with little hope for rebuilding any time soon. FEMA has pulled out, along with many other organizations, which leaves people even more hopeless. People are hurt and afraid and are very concerned about what lies ahead.

Meet Janice! We went to her house last week to clean up the drywall edges and spray for mold. It was an easy job because they only had a foot or two of water on the first floor. In a very short time we were finished and standing at the front door to talk and pray with Janice before we left. As soon as Alex, our team lead, mentioned Chaplains that were available to council, she began to cry. As our team ministered to her she wept and wept. All we could do was tell her that we loved her and that God loved her and it was going to be OK. We asked her how we could specifically pray for her. She told us that just two weeks before the flood she had buried her brother. She had twin sons who were both in Europe awaiting deployment to Irag. Her one son's wife filed for divorce the day he arrived in Germany and Janice is now taking care of two of her grandchildren. Now comes the flood and they lost everything on the first floor of their house, they had no flood insurance. As she spoke I choked back tears as my heart was broken for this woman and her situation. We talked to her for about ten minutes and prayed for her, gave her a Bible and walked away. There was nothing more we could do.

This is just one story of the dozens that I have heard since I've been here. Janice and her husband only had the first floor damaged. They could still live in their house. As I drove away I started to think, "What about all the other people who lost everything? What are they going to do?" My heart began to break even more. That night, in a large group setting with other volunteers, I told Janice's story. This time I couldn't choke back the tears. It is so hard to see this first hand and not have it effect you emotionally. People are hurting so bad and their seems like so little we can to, but our God is bigger than this. Our God has empowered us to bring hope to the hurting and that is what I am doing. Janice is one of many people who I have been able to be a part of giving hope to. There are many, many more just like her. We can't forget that these people's lives cannot be put on hold because of this. They must keep living and with that, things still happen in their lives. Amongst the everyday situations and happening they have the flood to deal with. The situation on TV may look small, but it is everything to those affected by it.

I know at some point I have to leave here. I don't want to, my heart doesn't want to. My goal is to stay another two weeks in this area. This would put me at almost a month here. With staying another two weeks comes a big cost. I am asking that you prayerfully consider helping financially with this effort. All money raised will go directly to flood relief expenses, as well as giving what I can to help others continue the work here. It is a difficult road ahead for many, but I know that together we can help ease some of the stress and give hope to the hopeless. Please stand in prayer with me as I not only help people rebuild their homes, but also rebuild their lives. Thank you so much for your prayers and support, I wouldn't be here without them.

If you would like to give financially please visit RightSideUpMinistries.org to find out how you can give a tax deductible gift.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Scott, I'm glad to see this post, dated within this past week. I have collected a few items to donate to flood victims, and kept thinking of asking my friends to donate as well, so I can take a load up to the area. But I put off asking, and started to wonder if I was too late, if help was no longer needed (despite knowing how long they have continued to need help in New Orleans after Katrina). I am encouraged to go ahead with collecting donations.

    This is Danae--we met after the Pride parade yesterday.


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