After stopping to drop off our things we headed into town to go the church. We started to see signs of flooding on our way. A washed out road over a creek, mud lines along the bushes, businesses closed. Once in town about three-quarters of the businesses were back up and running. All of the restaurants that were open had signs posted in the windows verifying their sanitation.
The church we are working with is called Revival Temple Church. The church has a chapel, a family life center and a main building. Once the waters started to rise on Friday, the church opened their doors as a shelter and distribution center. The national guard dropped off over 200 people that they had rescued. But as the waters continued to rise the church had to send people and donations away, as the water began to come into the chapel and family center. By the time the water had reached its peak, the chapel was under 4-6 feet of water, the family center had 2-3 feet of water, and the main worship center had 10 inches of water. The chapel had just recently undergone $90,000 worth of renovations. It wasn't until Sunday evening the water began to recede. This past week the church was able to fully clean and gut out their main building in order to still hold Sunday service, but the chapel and family center still have some gutting to be done. As of now the family center is back to serving as a distribution hub, providing cleaning supplies, water and meals for volunteers who are helping with clean up efforts. They are focused first on serving the 82 families from within their congregation that have water damage, but also have a list of community members that is growing by the day.
After receiving a quick orientation, we were given a name and an address of our first worksite! We grabbed some cleaning supplies and hit the road!