On August 31, 2021, Hurricane Ida hit Hurley, VA. Judith Meadows, a resident impacted by the storm, shared, “My husband heard a loud roar…He looked out, saw it, and knew it was gonna be bad.”
Her husband, Braxton, added, “I said, ‘Get up, get up! We gotta get out of here!’”
In one day, nearly 10 inches of rain fell, causing flash floods, water damage, and mudslides. Dozens of homes were destroyed, leaving many families in desperate need of help. In the homes that weren’t completely destroyed, most belongings within four feet from the ground weren’t salvageable. Mud levels even reached the windowsills of some homes!
Amidst the devastation and grief, SBCVirginia Disaster Relief teams showed up to bring hope, healing, and help. Brandon Trail from Swift Creek Baptist Church (Midlothian) explained, “I don’t think any of us were prepared for the extent of the damage that happened to this home. The mud actually came through the windows.”
The teams began removing mud, damaged sheet rock, insulation, and flooring, getting rid of the waste and making room for restoration. Investing over 1,000 hours, the Disaster Relief teams provided flood relief and heavy machinery operation to help the community. Harman Memorial Baptist Church (Grundy) housed the DR volunteers, providing a place for sleeping, eating, and showering.
“One of the things I love about our convention is that when we focus our energy, we can do incredible things,” explained Shawn Ames, Relief Ministries coordinator for the SBCVirginia.
“Even though we are working physically, we stop every chance we get to talk to [the homeowners],” Herbert Hamlet of Liberty Baptist Church (Appomattox) shared. “That helps them. But the main thing we want to do is just show them the love of God.”
Swift Creek volunteer Allen Worley added, “If we lift a hand and help our neighbor when they’re in distress, we believe that’s what Christ wanted us to do.”
The mission of Disaster Relief is to be the hands and feet of Christ and to make a difference for God’s Kingdom. And in the words of homeowner Braxton Meadows, “That’s probably the best testimony they could have.”
To see the work done in Hurley by SBCV’s Disaster Relief team, visit: tinyurl.com/Hurley-dr