After the rains came, and everything started to settle, it became pretty clear that things were going to be alright in much of Ridgeville, Givhans and the Lebanon Communities, but there are many places still dealing with water slowly leaving the state. Churches and homes still getting rid of water, assessing damage, and beginning the slow process of putting life back together.
Yesterday I drove through Columbia, and it is clear with the bridges still out, and the road closures (and the water systems just coming back into full operation) that this has and will be a longer road than usual. I’d like to say a few thanks to some of the amazing people I’ve seen helping.
(1) I’d like to thank the South Carolina UMC Conference, United Methodist Volunteers in Mission, and the Emergency Relief Teams already engaged and working across the state. We’re blessed to have so many people from so many places putting brotherly/sisterly love into action. (By the way there is a training tomorrow if you’d like to join those teams). Also, thanks to the Conference and our Bishop for immediately posting information on how to get things done.
(2) I’d like to thank the churches of the Ridgeville Charge. We’ve already made up 60 Health Kits, which were brought to the Conference Office yesterday. (See pictures above). I talked with the ladies there, and they said that they are shipping them out to communities fast, and these health kits are in great need. We should continue to send them if we can, and I’ll make sure that somehow they keep getting to the Conference Office as fast as possible (drop off in the Vestibule’s of any of our Ridgeville Charge Churches. Also – thank you for already giving so much to the Canaan UMC church on Route 61. There are ERT teams working there, and they are worshipping at their sister church Sand Hill UMC until the church is ready to use again. Continue to be in prayers for them, and maybe check in with anyone you know in that area and see if anyone needs anything specific. We’ll be giving their emergency fund a love offering after this Sunday. Make sure to invite folks back out to church for worship, and to maximize how much we can send in aid. I’ve seen SC people coming together in the name of God, and my hope and prayer is that this will continue. God is good!
(3) To those areas outside the affected zone, and those places out of state who have come to help and have sent bottled water. Thank you for your prayers and generosity. God is doing amazing things here, and I believe by prayer you are doing the best thing possible. God is giving us all we need, and the people of SC are strong. Pray for those without homes, send funds if you can to relief organizations (see my previous blog for more information about giving and making health kits), and keep telling us you’re thinking about us as the work continues in our hardest hit areas.
My favorite scripture verse is: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for theLord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
We have seen His mighty power, we have seen Him work through the love of so many, and our faith is putting our hands to work for our neighbors! Blessed be the name of the Lord our God!