USA (MNN) — The rains in South Carolina have stopped, but now the flood of emotions is taking a toll.
In the last several days, 19 lives have been claimed, and water has barged into homes and buildings, sweeping away belongings and mementos. Much of South Carolina and parts of North Carolina are experiencing grief and loss.
“People have been dramatically affected, and they’re really dealing with shock,” says Mark Lewis of ReachGlobal Crisis Response. “The impact upon people has been really significant.”
Lewis shares the traumatizing story of one family who believed their home would be safe from flooding. But in the morning, they woke up with six feet of water in their house. To escape, their family had to climb on top of furniture pieces, maneuver their way out of the house, and float to safety.
“It’s those kinds of experiences that people had. Today after the water’s gone down or next week, you won’t really be able to see it on them. But it’s what they’ve experienced.”
In some areas, waters are still rising. In others, they’re slowly declining, and families are returning to discover the damages of their dismantled homes.
“It’s not a mop and a bucket, and it’s all fine,” Lewis explains. “It’s major damage to homes. It’s major damage to infrastructure, and this is going to affect some people for quite a while,”
ReachGlobal arrived on the scene just several days ago to assist Riverside Community Church, which had three inches of water pooling in their basement. Despite that, members of the church reached out to the rest of the community, helping in any way they could.
One member of the church was a football coach and gave his football team an option to help clean up. Among the individuals the team helped was an athletic director for a rival school.
“It’s just very beautiful, incarnational things that we see happening, flowing out of the church. It’s just a very natural response. So we’re very excited to be partnered with them and their work,” Lewis says.
ReachGlobal is providing support, resources, and assistance to Riverside to clean up around the community and share the Grace of God.
Riverside’s Pastor Landon said the church wants to be a “sustained neighbor.” And since it’s a local church, team members will be able to develop and maintain relationships for years to come.
“Especially the church needs to have a clear eye to engaging with people in relationship–to walk alongside them through the ups and downs, the long-term roller coaster of emotions that people will feel as they kind of settle into this reality.”
The next days, weeks, and months will be the hardest on anyone who has experienced this loss. Be praying for them to find God’s hope and comfort. Iif you’d like to provide resources, give through ReachGlobal here.