“Nothing in life compares to helping a neighbor in need.” In the Bible, Jesus redefines our neighbor as anyone we can help in time of need. Our neighbors in Kentucky certainly needed that helping hand.
In the days immediately after the flooding, Ruthie and I met a lot of people struggling to find a way forward. Many lost their homes and belongings. Some lost friends and family members. People grasp for that helping hand in times like these. Covered in mud and with tears in their eyes, they welcomed our embrace and prayers.
Pain and loss after KY flooding
A coordinator asked us to visit a couple he sensed was struggling. During the flood, they had waited 12 hours to be rescued by boat and lost two friends, one whose body had not been recovered. Then there was the young couple who had just married and closed on a house six days before the flood ruined it. They had not even moved in yet.
We also talked with Scott* and his parents, who started coming to the Loaves & Fishes Food Kitchen for meals and comfort. One day at the food kitchen, Scott asked us to come to their place again. “If you can’t find me, look for me. I’ll be around somewhere.”
The next morning Scott committed suicide. We arrived right after it happened and sat with his parents as they tried to comprehend it all. In the following days, the kitchen provided meals for them and we helped with funeral arrangements. The family requested that the Loaves & Fishes volunteers sing at the funeral.
“It does something to your soul”
Every time we look at a CAM project in our rearview mirror, we realize how God used everyone involved to accomplish His purpose. So many hurting people connect with a coordinator or volunteer. These people speak of the things you said when you reached out to steady them. Or the song you sang that encouraged them. Or how you worked in the mud and slime. It’s so rewarding, isn’t it? We were made for this. Nothing in life compares to helping a neighbor in need. It does something to your soul.
*Name changed to protect identity.
Written by Clair & Ruthie Martin
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