Last weekend’s historic flooding in West Virginia left at least 23 people dead and thousands homeless.
Among those affected are Charles and Tina Larue, who pastor the Clendenin Church of the Nazarene. The church building and parsonage both sustained major flood damage, and the family was trapped on the church’s second floor for a time.
The Larues lost all of their belongings in the flood, but the couple is still doing what they can to help others.
“There are some times you need to be the one who receives, but you can’t stop giving,” Charles told NBC News.
The church received a gymnasium full of donations and is organizing them to be redistributed.
“Dozens of churches took offerings this past week for our friends to the south,” said Kevin Dennis, West Virginia North district superintendent, via Nazarene Compassionate Ministries.
Three families from the Dille Church of the Nazarene, located one hour east of Clendenin, lost their homes in the flood and are living in tents. The bridge and road leading to the church were heavily damaged, and the church property is in need of ground cleanup.
Despite the damage, the congregation is helping its community.
“We will be going into Dille on Friday and Saturday with work crews for grounds cleanup and tree removal,” Dennis said. “Volunteers from FedEx are going to be there working with us on the grounds, as well as preparing food distribution for families still without power and those who have lost everything. The church will be a central point to prep the food and distribute it through that small community.”
A third Church of the Nazarene, located one hour southwest of Dille, sustained minor damage.
“Our Lizemores church is not as bad off as first thought,” Dennis said. “The church has some mud that clogged up the crawl spaces. Their fellowship hall that is being built had some damage, but nothing there is beyond simple cleaning and fixing.”
Summersville Nazarene Camp, owned by the West Virginia North and South districts, has been listed as a crisis center with FEMA and the Center for Disease Control. FedEx will deliver donations received at its West Virginia stores to the camp starting Saturday.
“I'll be there with volunteers to care of the trucks and storage of the items,” Dennis said. “We're working with the local fire department to distribute the items.”
Crisis care kits from across the district were redirected to the camp and are also being distributed to community members.
Local residents can visit the campground for much-needed laundry services.
“This week we installed additional laundry equipment at the front of the camp and will be open for several days to help families in need of clean clothes,” Dennis said. “Volunteers from our district will be there to help them with laundry, giving them additional food and supplies.”
Prayer is requested for those affected by the West Virginia floods, as well as those providing assistance to those in need.
How to help
Please pray for those grieving the loss of loved ones. Pray for those who lost their homes, especially vulnerable children and senior adults. And pray for churches who are working to meet urgent needs.
Church leaders are thankful for the supplies that generous churches and individuals have sent, but they are now requesting financial support to purchase necessary supplies as they move into rebuilding efforts. Churches and individuals around the world can provide support through the West Virginia Flood Relief Fund. Donations will be used for immediate needs, as well as long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts.
To send donations by mail:
In the U.S., make checks payable to "General Treasurer" and send them to:
Global Treasury Services
Church of the Nazarene
P.O. Box 843116
Kansas City, MO 64184-3116
Be sure to put 126604 in the Memo area.
In Canada, make checks payable to "Church of the Nazarene Canada" and send them to:
Church of the Nazarene Canada
20 Regan Road, Unit 9
Brampton, Ontario L7A 1C3
Be sure to put 126604 in the Memo area.
For any other country, give through your local church or district, designating your gift to the West Virginia Flood Relief.