In Kentucky, Nazarene Disaster Relief volunteers continue to serve people impacted by the historic rains and flooding that in late July left 43 people dead across six counties. As with most disasters, while initial relief supplies are needed and vital to survival, the work to rebuild and restore what was damaged goes on for weeks, months, and even years after the event.
On October 14, Pastor Dwayne Mills of Appalachia Reach Out, a Nazarene Compassionate Ministry center in Kentucky, shared an update on the ongoing work:
“[This was] week #8 working the Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief in Perry County, Kentucky. It was an impactful [time] overseeing six job sites with my counterpart and friend, Greg Wells (of the Love Your Neighbor organization). It has been intense, life-changing, extremely challenging, and non-stop work, but God continues to be faithful and open doors for Appalachia Reach Out as we serve in relief work."
Greg Wells, executive director of Love Your Neighbor Kentucky has partnered closely with Rev. Mills and Appalachia Reach Out to organize the compassionate response to the floods. What follows is an additional update on the response, shared on social media on October 19:
“Some 12 weeks ago, Dwayne Mills called and asked me to come alongside him in assessing the need for recovery efforts following what has been deemed a 1,000-year flood in eastern Kentucky. We had little idea that all these weeks later we’d still be fully invested in this effort.
Over the last three months, we have witnessed many highs and lows in the lives of some wonderful people. We’ve seen these families walk through some of the toughest days of life and then watched as the hope has been restored as they see their homes begin to come back together.
These homes are returning to normal, due to the tremendous efforts of so many incredible volunteers and donors. We’ve hosted over 300 hard-working people who have donated their time to make a difference. We’ve had hundreds of donors who have so graciously offered financial support which has allowed us to buy the materials.
However, the need is still incredible! Over the last week, we’ve received a dozen new requests for assistance. As the larger organizations have moved out of the area, the need has not. The fact that the volunteer and donor base has reduced in size has created access for us to encounter even more need. The needs are still numerous and with winter rapidly approaching, [they are] urgent.
How can you help? Pray for the families who are still displaced. There is still great need for volunteers to come and [provide] the physical labor to restore these homes. There is also still financial need to purchase supplies. These families have lost everything and have little ability to reestablish their homes without some help.”
To make a donation to support these efforts, visit www.ncm.org/kentucky
To volunteer serve, contact Dwayne Mills at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Photos courtesy of Dwayne Mills and depict volunteers from Cornerstone Church of the Nazarene in Wheelersburg, OH.)