Brethren, as you may know, two weeks ago the eastern half of Kentucky saw historic flooding and widespread devastation. 1200-1800 homes have been flooded in Breathitt County alone. In our partnership with Mennonite Disaster Service, we have been connecting with national and regional leadership to determine the best course of action for relief response. Many of you might not know we have two Brethren Churches in the area and Riverside Christian Training School, with whom we share a historical connection. Although the church in Krypton, Kentucky was unaffected, Drushal Memorial Church and Riverside were both flooded. No loss of life or injury was recorded but the school, church, and community will need help to dig out and rebuild for months to come.
Mennonite Disaster Service is in search of a project director and assessors for April and May to help coordinate the early response efforts. Responsibilities for the Project Director would oversee day-to-day tasks include welcoming groups, connecting the volunteers to clients, making sure safety measures are followed, make sure volunteers have the resources they need, and connecting with local partners to find meaningful work. Organization and people skills are imperative. Assessors would travel ahead of the volunteer groups to verify the need, clarify with the homeowner the scope of work, and help the Project Director discern the order and priority of jobs available in the field. MDS is working through Turner’s Creek Mennonite Church in the local area to help with the response and process. If you are willing to help with disaster response in the larger community, please let Darin or Pastor Phil Swartzentruber know. Volunteer opportunities would be 1-2 months at a time. Call Darin Bontrager at 717-682-3480, or Phil Swartzentruber at 606-568-6073 for more information.
For churches and individuals interested in helping Drushal Memorial Church and Riverside School, contact Meg Asher, the Principal for the school to find out how you can engage there. They can host up to 15 volunteers on campus. You can reach Meg at (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Please continue to hold the entire community of Breathitt County in prayer as so many have lost their homes and possessions. This is truly a time for each of us to seek God’s face on their behalf. As we move to the end of the pandemic this might be a perfect time to test the waters of grace anew, and volunteer to help those unfortunate to have been in the path of the torrent.