On March 1, Maytown, KY, experienced a record-breaking flood. CrossRoads has been serving in this town for many years. It has served as the base for our Appalachia field, housing our tools and vehicles in an old firehouse. While the flood was not unexpected, the level of the water was a surprise. The usual “safe areas” that locals move their vehicles and belongings to were underwater, meaning a lot of damage. Many homes, vehicles, and our firehouse were flooded.
During the flood and the following clean-up, our Appalachia Field Coordinator, CJ Noe, sent out regular updates on the situation. “Now we are ready to go and clean up the mess,” CJ said in an early update. She continued by saying that we are here to “just love and see how God is going to work through this. Because the ultimate goal is that people are reminded and hear that he loves them. That’s why we do this.”
The initial response was to clean up the firehouse and assess the damage to our tools and vehicles. In an update on Facebook, CJ described the shock of seeing the damage first hand, “There are smells that are indescribable. With each step, a new discovery was made of something destroyed in the flood. As we started to clean up, hope did too.” Our field leaders didn’t have to ask for help themselves. One of our partners in Appalachia called them and offered their services in cleaning up the firehouse. “We were so grateful to have our local church partner Ridgepoint Church in Prestonsburg meet our team to begin the cleanout of our shop,” CJ shared in an email update. “We were humbled as they told us that we have been there helping so many since 2006, and they wanted to help us get everything back in order so that we could serve effectively.”
While working on the initial clean-up, our field leaders also checked in with neighbors and partners to see how they could serve the community after this disaster. “We are being obedient and listening to what the church leaders have for us to do,” CJ explained in a video update. “This will be a great opportunity for the body of Christ to reach out to others in a tough time.” Thanks to many generous donations, our team purchased and assembled clean-up kits to give to homeowners in Maytown and Wayland.
Moving forward, CJ and Jim Bougher, our Appalachia Field Director, are looking for opportunities to continue serving long-term. “Our hope is to continue to walk alongside this community even after [the disaster relief teams] move out,” CJ explained. “We are still there walking alongside them and pointing them to Jesus, and being the hands and feet of Jesus as we walk through life with them and meeting the needs that come up after the initial shock of the flood.”
To continue serving in Appalachia, we need some assistance in replacing tools and equipment damaged in the flood. CJ explained that they lost three ministry vehicles despite moving them to high ground. “We also lost the refrigerator that we used for our groups’ food and many of our small electric and gas tools. We are working to recover as much as possible. Please pray that God will provide the donation of these needs to us. As you can see, we get a lot of life out of what God provides.”
“For those that have made donations, I am humbled and blown away by your generosity,” CJ praised. “It has been huge for us and has been amazing to have been able to go and meet needs immediately. Super honored that you wanted to join us in meeting these needs.” If you would like to assist in serving Appalachia after this flood, you can donate by texting APPFLOOD to 71777 or asking us about booking a trip to serve in the field!