Torrential rains bring a flood of response

August 04, 2016

Torrential rains in mid-July resulted in major damage across East-Central Minnesota, flooded roads and homes in Kanabec County—and an impressive response from a variety of volunteer organizations. One of them was the Minnesota Annual Conference Disaster Response Team (DRT).

Thanks to the coordination of Anne Harvell and Gary Klason, United Methodists from five churches in Minnesota and South Dakota joined members of Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) in ministering to and with community members in Mora, where there was substantial damage.

Sandbagging and clean-up were priorities as numerous volunteers from inside and outside the community worked together. DRT members did their part alongside the fire and sheriff’s departments, Red Cross, Salvation Army, and other organizations. Local businesses sent their employees and donated sand, water, and food. The local hospital provided showers for out-of-town volunteers.

On short notice, Mora UMC made space for the DRT members to sleep while they were there. Church members also showed hospitality to their new friends by providing a meal.

It takes a whole village to rise to the occasion in response to a flood. But it doesn’t happen without a lot of advanced training and behind-the-scenes coordination. The Minnesota Conference DRT was ready and prepared when called upon.

When asked why they do it, various team members replied, “I like being the hands and feet of Jesus,” “We are to do all the good we can,” “My soul is nourished,” and “I see the connection of all God’s people.”

If you are interested learning more about the conference DRT, click here. Volunteers, supplies, and financial donations are always needed.

Rev. Lyndy Zabel is director of missional impact for the Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.

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