I want to write about how close we are to moving to the city (98.9% and only need $185 monthly!) and share all the cool stories about how the Lord has moved these past few months and ways we have specifically seen His hand at work in this process and confirming this step of faith.
However, my heart is so torn. It is so easy to feel detached as we are in Greenville, SC meeting with people, working towards our 100% goal, and looking forward to and making steps to move to NYC, but as I open my Facebook feed, talk to family and friends, and watch the news, I am reminded that so many of our sweet family, friends, ministry partners, and church partners are struggling and in desperate need. I joked about loving to have hurricane parties with my family and I said a few times during Matthew that I wished I could have been there walking through it with my family, but I have been reminded the last week how big of a disaster even a small hurricane can cause.
I grew up in Georgetown, SC and we know people that live all down the coast from Charleston to Myrtle Beach to even having second homes in the outer banks of NC. But we also lived for 4.5 years in Raleigh and worked at campuses in Pembroke and Fayetteville and regularly traveled the I-95 route that leads to both of these places as well as my hometown. How surreal to not only see pictures of the devastation happening in both of these places, but to also know the places I see, know the peoples whose lives are being upended, and to feel so helpless as to how I can help.
In Pembroke, the area is already so very poor and most people didn’t have flood insurance. Some of the very campuses we worked with are talking about postponing classes for the rest of the semester. Some of the people we personally know have lost their homes and all their belongings, not to mention their sources of income.
In Georgetown, not only did trees take out a lot of peoples houses, winds take off a lot of roofs and sides of buildings including a few piers that I grew up walking on, but friends of ours had their deli restaurant on the main street flood, losing not only their precious business (this was their full-time job and they were self-employed) but also halting business during a very busy time of year (see pic below of them cleaning it out). On top of that, almost exactly a year ago, flooding that was very bad in Columbia, SC started coming down all the rivers and led to many, many homes beside the river flooding and after having just rebuilt and got back into their homes within the last month or two, those same homes are flooding again (see the bottom picture below) and the water hasn’t crested yet. Places that I grew up visiting and people that I grew up knowing.
My heart is breaking. I don’t understand. I can’t make it better. I can’t be there to help. But I can pray like crazy. Please know we are thinking of you regularly, praying for you constantly, and while the media spends umpteen hours talking about politics, sexual assaults, and he said-she said, please know that you are not forgotten. We love you all.