Even though north central Nebraska suffered devastating destruction and loss of life, livestock, machinery and fences due to the March 14 Spencer Dam break, I keep hearing stories of miracles in the midst of the tragedy.
It is absolutely heartwarming to see the overwhelming response of people throughout the Midwest and further. Wesleyans as far away as New Jersey have contacted me to ask how they can pray and serve.
People have provided donations of food, water, clothing and supplies to help those affected by the flooding. Trucks and trailers filled with supplies continue to arrive daily. The concern now is where to store the delivered items.
Spencer Wesleyan Church (SWC) in Spencer, Nebraska, where I serve as pastor, has played what we consider to be a small part in the vast amount of clean-up operations. The nearby town of Lynch (population of 230 and 13 miles east of Spencer) was hard hit.
Sixty homes there, which is about half the town, experienced flood damage and may be uninhabitable for several months until they dry out and repairs can be made. On March 17, we cancelled Sunday school and church at SWC, and several people went to Lynch to help with initial clean-up and unload recently-delivered supplies.
The residents of Boyd County where Lynch and Spencer are located have pulled together in ways I have never experienced. Jim and Mindy McBride, Lynch fire chief and his wife, whose own house sustained major damage, have been working tirelessly from morning to night to help others and coordinate relief efforts.
One Lynch resident who had become disillusioned with the Church and Christians, is experiencing the love of Christ’s body in an entirely new way as they provide care and comfort. No questions are being asked of the resident other than how and what help is needed. I am watching this one person see Christ and his Church with a new perspective as neighbors care for neighbors.
Please continue to pray for all of eastern Nebraska as many communities have experienced flooding. Recovery will take a long time and it is our prayer that relationships being formed or renewed now will last even longer.