When the Water Rises

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Week of Compassion is there.

Dean Phelps, Interim Regional Minister

Like many around Kentucky, I have watched with prayerful concern as reports emerged about the flooding in southeastern Kentucky. Gov. Beshear over the weekend declared a state of emergency for Bell, Clay, Harlan, Knox, Leslie, Letcher, Perry, and Whitley Counties. Four Disciple congregations lie within the emergency area: First Christian Church, Barbourville; First Christian Church, Corbin; Hazard Christian Church; and First Christian Church, Middlesboro.

I hope you will join me in prayer for these congregations, for their members, and for the communities affected by the floods.

At the same time I was hearing reports of flood waters and of more rain expected this week, I also received a call from Caroline Hamilton-Arnold, Associate Director for Domestic Disaster Response at Week of Compassion. She wanted to know how our congregations and members were being impacted by the flooding. Even as the situation unfolded, Week of Compassion was there, ready to assist.

It recalled a past experience for me. In May of 2013, I was only four months into the first of my interim regional ministries, serving Oklahoma’s Disciples. On a Monday afternoon, an EF5 tornado caused extensive damage in Moore, Oklahoma. Even as we received the tornado warnings, Week of Compassion was calling to let me that they were standing with us, ready to assist.

In the aftermath of that and three other tornadoes that struck the same week, Week of Compassion provided financial assistance to those who had suffered damage from the storms. Thanks not only to Week of Compassion but also to those who had given so generously, the Region was able to share love, support, and assistance in very tangible ways with those affected.

In times of adversity, it helps to remember that we do not exist in isolation. We are present precisely because we are the church together.

In addition to our prayers, we can be present with our brothers and sisters in southeastern Kentucky through our gifts to Week of Compassion. The mission offering for Week of Compassion will be received in most of our congregations this Sunday and next, February 16 and 23.

Please make a gift to the ministry of Week of Compassion, and if you feel so moved, add a little extra, specifying it for Kentucky floods.

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