Advice for churches in the path of Hurricane Florence — from those who’ve been there
'We need God’s help.” As Hurricane Florence barrels toward the…
As Hurricane Florence roars toward the East Coast, Christians are preparing for the worst.
With a storm surge of up to 12 feet expected in some areas, many residents have made the decision to leave. Highways are packed as people heed the evacuation orders and make their way inland.
At Carolina Bible Camp, in Mocksvillle, N.C., about four hours northwest of Wilmington, North Carolina, preparations have been made to turn the camp, which is associated with Churches of Christ, into an evacuation center.
“We’ve got several places at the camp where people will be safe,” Jacky Burton, the camp’s executive director, told The Christian Chronicle.
Burton said the camp sent out a note on Facebook inviting those who needed a place to stay to use the camp. Dozens decided to accept the offer.
“We’re doing whatever we need to do to take care of them,” Burton said. “We’ve had several volunteers to help with cooking or anything they can do to help with the evacuation.”
Along the coast, in Wilmington, Robert Stanley, a deacon at the Pine Valley Church of Christ, and his family have decided to stay and brave the storm, hoping they can be there to help others who can’t leave.
“This area floods a lot, and people get stranded,” Stanley said. “There are a lot of people that can’t afford to leave, and they’re going to need help.”
He said the church’s food pantry was cleaned out this week by those in need. He and a few other deacons are standing by ready to welcome a relief crew to the building to help after the storm.
Disaster Assistance CoC is working with the Pine Valley congregation and others along the coast to set up after the storm passes.
Forecasters say this storm could bring deadly storm surges, surpassing what Houston saw just one year ago. Still, Stanley says it’s worth the risk to stay and help those in need.
“It’s not our first rodeo. We’ll be fine,” he said. “God’s going to take care of us.”
He said they are prepared for days of flooding rain, but they’re also prepared to be the hands and feet of Jesus by assisting their neighbors in need.
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