Waters rising in Missouri, the church prays and prepares
From your disaster Deacons....
We have just had a weekend of near-constant rain--more than our swollen rivers can hold within their banks--and more is predicted for the next few days. Almost all of the rivers in southern Missouri, have flooded, causing many of our neighbors to be evacuated from their homes and resulting in hardship to their everyday lives. We see their anguish in pictures from the news reports. Our neighbors' pain tears at our hearts. They live in anxiety in what may happen before the day is done. We want to help.
At this impact stage of a disaster, the volunteer sandbaggers are a Godsend, but for the rest of us, we can do little more than pray and give the experienced first responders room to provide their rescue. We pray …
--Praying for those suffering from storms--
Loving God, in the communion of Christ, we are joined with the trials and sufferings of all. Be with those who endure the wind and rain. Protect those in the path of danger. Open the pathway of evacuations. Help loved ones find one another in the chaos. Provide assistance to those who need help. Ease the fears of all and make your presence known in the stillness of your peace; Through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
After the rains have stopped, when the evacuees are returning to their devastated homes, the relief and recovery stages of the floods will continue--even after the news reports have dwindled, and many have forgotten about the flood's impact. We must not forget our neighbors after others have moved on.
Your Diocesan Disaster Coordinators are in daily contact with the disaster recovery teams. We'll let you know what we can do at that time. In the meantime, continue to pray.
Deacon Jerre Birdsong and Deacon Nancy Belcher
- Local updates: The St. Francis parish office and hall in downtown Eureka is under water. Before the waters rose, 17 volunteers helped move everything to the second floor. Depending upon today's rain totals, it might be possible for them to check on the building status on Thursday. If the space is no longer useable, plans are for a small trailer to be set up at the site of the new church in the interim. The Masonic Temple where services are currently held has basement flooding during heavy rain, making the lower level (kitchen, space, bathrooms) unusable.
- In Poplar Bluff, the levee on the south side of town gave way on May 1. The Black River Coliseum is open as a shelter. Members of Holy Cross Church are organizing to deliver some of the shelter's needed items. North of Poplar Bluff, the town of Van Buren is flooded.
- Deacons Jerre and Nancy have compiled a number of online flood, disaster, and prayer resources and we're building up the webpage at diocesemo.org/disaster. The contact info for our disaster deacons is also on this page.
Praying for those suffering from storms (c)Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Grateful for permission to reproduce this prayer from Worship Resources for Natural Disasters, available online with other disaster response resources at http://www.elca.org/Resources/Lutheran-Disaster-Response