Nazarenes respond to flooding in eastern Kentucky

Nazarenes respond to flooding in eastern Kentucky

by
Nazarene Compassionate Ministries
| 04 Aug 2022
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KY Flood

Over the course of 48 hours, the Appalachian mountain region of eastern Kentucky received 8-10½ inches of rain near the end of last week. The deluge overwhelmed 20 waterways that span 60 miles, causing massive flooding and impacting more than 100,000 people in multiple counties. Flooding also impacted the neighboring states of Virginia and West Virginia.

The disaster claimed 37 lives (including the lives of four children), washed away homes, and destroyed roads and bridges. National Guard members airlifted many residents to safety as crews rescued 1,300 people from flooded locations. A full week later, thousands of Kentuckians still remain without power, and hundreds are living in emergency shelters and state parks. Clean water systems have also been compromised due to power outages or flooding.

Harlan Church of the Nazarene, located in Harlan County, was not affected by the floods due to its hilltop location. Whitesburg Church of the Nazarene in Letcher County was the most heavily affected Nazarene property, as its parsonage was deemed a total loss. The water reached the top of the church building, and it may also be classified as a total loss.

All Nazarene church members who have been affected by the floods are accounted for, according to Eastern Kentucky District Superintendent Doug Wyatt. Some have lost their entire homes with nothing left on the foundation.

The recovery process will be long, taking years for communities to rebound. Meanwhile, people who lost loved ones and homes will live with the impact of this disaster for the rest of their lives.

Nazarene relief efforts have centered in Perry County, Kentucky, where compassionate ministry leaders Dwayne Mills and Greg Wells are organizing a response to the widespread need there. Appalachia Reach Out, a Nazarene compassionate ministry center operating out of Inez, Kentucky, is partnering with organizations to help distribute water and supplies to residents. The primary need at this time, however, is for workers and funds. Mills and Wells confirm that they are prepared to receive immediate teams of workers for performing demolition and cleanup of affected areas.

Leaders ask that those interested in assisting directly with the relief effort in eastern Kentucky communicate their intent to come prior to arriving. With the help of surrounding churches, organizers are equipped to welcome and house teams of up to 50 volunteers. To learn more, go to the Facebook pages of Dwayne Mills and Greg Wells or contact them by email: dwayne.p.mills@gmail.com (Dwayne); grandwells@mac.com (Greg).

Prayer is requested for those who have lost loved ones, possessions, and livelihoods. Pray for those vulnerable to additional crises in the midst of their displacement and dislocation. Pray for responders equipped to serve and dignify devastated communities with compassion. To send a prayer or note of encouragement, go to ncm.org/pray.

Churches and individuals around the world can provide financial support through the Kentucky Flood Relief 2022 fund. Donations will be used for immediate needs, such as water and food, as well as long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts.

To send donations by mail:

In the U.S., make checks payable to "General Treasurer" and send them to: 

Global Treasury Services
Church of the Nazarene
P.O. Box 843116
Kansas City, MO 64184-3116

Be sure to put 140005 in the Memo area.

In Canada, make checks payable to "Church of the Nazarene Canada" and send them to:

Church of the Nazarene Canada
3657 Ponytrail Drive, Mississauga, ON | L4X 1W5

Be sure to put 140005 in the Memo area.

For any other country, give through your local church or district, designating your gift to the Kentucky Flood Relief 2022 fund.

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