Safe from the flood

WELS Christian Aid and Relief has been monitoring the widespread flooding in Colorado. The record rains that started coming down Sept. 10 have left several communities and homes covered in mud and completely destroyed. Christian Aid and Relief is standing ready for opportunities to serve not only WELS churches and members in need, but also the communities as they face the daunting clean-up.

So far, reports from area WELS pastors has been positive; damage to churches and members’ homes has been minimal. “Even though there isn’t a dire and devastating need within our own churches, the opportunity to serve our communities is an important thing to do.” says Mr. Mark Vance, director of operations for Christian Aid and Relief. “Christian Aid and Relief can help congregations help their communities.” Vance will be heading to Colorado on Sept. 28 to assess the damage.

So far, Christian Aid and Relief has wired $5,000 to Peace in Boulder to help a few members with clean-up needs.

Rev. Jesse Stern, pastor at Peace, says, “God’s goodness and grace was, is, and remains visibly sufficient for all of our members and friends.  A major portion of the flooding in Boulder was just over a block southwest of the church. . . . I have talked with everyone connected to Peace, and we rejoice that no lives were lost and the damage reported was somewhat minimal.”

Stern says, “In the scheme of things, the things that are affected are pretty replaceable. God’s goodness and providence is always there, and at times like this he allows us to see it in absolutely amazing ways.”

Other WELS pastors in the affected area of Colorado have similar reports. Rev. Mike Traudt, pastor at Our Savior, Longmont, reports, “We have no damage to church property. We had five members who were under orders to get out. Two of the families did leave their homes and were able to return already. We have members who have been here for 50 years and have never seen anything like this. God be praised for his kind care and almighty reminder that he still rules the winds and waves.”

Rev. Earl Treptow, the Nebraska District president says, “God is good. He is good, of course, even when floods take down your home and church, but sometimes he makes it clear by the blessings that he grants.”

It is currently too soon to tell exactly what the widespread damage in the communities will be, where the needs are, and what clean-up will entail. One of the biggest hindrances is the damage to infrastructure. With roads washed away, some people can’t return to their homes. The Colorado congregations are monitoring the communities’ needs and are ready to work with Christian Aid and Relief should the opportunities arise.

Treptow says, “When we’re good neighbors, the love of Christ shows through. The Lord will provide opportunities to witness. Even if he doesn’t provide opportunities to witness, just to serve is the privilege and the right of a Christian and congregation.”

Learn more about WELS Christian Aid and Relief.