Wednesday, November 11, 2015

What happens when you say "Let's stop and talk to the first person we see."

Four days after the flood, October 9th, Katie, Frank(a member of Riverside), and I were driving through a neighborhood rumored to be heavily impacted by the flooding.  As we were driving, we could see homes that had been impacted, but we were unable to make contact with any of the homeowners.  We decided that the next person we saw outside we would stop and talk to them.  As we continued through the neighborhood, we saw a lady coming out of her front door carrying a box so we backed up and stopped.  As I hopped out of the car, I could tell Lisa was not happy to see us.  We soon learned though that there had been numerous gawkers driving through the neighborhood.

Al and Lisa's home being dried out after the belongings were removed
After introducing ourselves and sharing a little about Riverside Community Church, the church we are partnering with, we asked if they needed any help.  Lisa explained that the Congaree River that runs right behind her house rose all the way up into their finished basement.  The water level reached nearly a foot in the basement.  Frank, Katie, and I decided to go back to the church to recruit some more help for removing the contents of Al and Lisa's home.

When we returned an hour later with over half a dozen people, we got to meet Lisa's husband, Al.  Al shared that before we showed up he felt hopeless and unsure of where to begin.  As we hauled their belongings to the curb, he continued to thank us for helping them.  I just kept praising God that He had allowed Lisa to be outside just as we were driving by. After a couple of hours of hauling things to the curb, we were able to get everything out.  As we wrapped up for the day, we spent a few minutes praying for Al and Lisa and thanking God for His perfect timing.  Al and Lisa both were choked up as they thanked us and told us how we had given them hope again.

As I reflected on the afternoon later that day, I was struck by what Al had said about giving them hope and how that's exactly what God did for us.  We were in a hopeless condition because of our sin; we deserved death.  "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,  made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved." (Eph 2:4-5) Thank you Lord for paying the price for our sins and giving us an eternal hope. 

You can contact us for more info on how you, your family, and your church can be involved in the flood recovery efforts here in SC.  You can also visit our website to find out how you can donate funds towards this response.  We hope to see yall here in SC!

**The story continues: During the first week of November, we were able to send a team from Utah to help install the new sheetrock.  Al and Lisa were blown away by God's provision and we were thankful to get to serve them in the wake of the floods.