The recent flooding crisis in my home state is an opportunity to serve our sisters and brothers like never before.
In recent days, severe floods have devastated several communities in the hills and mountains of Southeastern Kentucky—where I was born, raised, and lived for 19 years.
Several of the towns and communities where I once played sports, attended school, went to church, hung out with friends, and traveled—places where I still have close family, friends, and former neighbors—are now experiencing incomprehensible suffering.
Not only have precious lives been lost, but schools are flooded, homes destroyed, livelihoods ruined, businesses upended, and local church structures broken or demolished. With the death toll on the rise, numerous residents still missing, and even more rain expected in the days to come, the floods have worsened an already tenuous social and economic situation for many.
On the one hand, I’m trying to heed Paul’s exhortation to “pray continually” for the residents in my native land. On the other hand, as Paul says in Romans 8:26, I “do not know what [I] ought to pray for” because the suffering is so immense.
My heart is broken and filled with grief knowing that so many residents have lost everything. Nevertheless, I cry out to God to shine his mercy and grace and meet all their needs out of his abundance, through the kindness and generosity of his image bearers.
My home church in Hindman, Kentucky—one of the towns significantly impacted by the recent floods—taught me the gospel of Jesus Christ many years ago when I was a young Christian, modeling the importance of trusting God and honoring Christ in all circumstances in life.
The faithful saints in our congregation taught me rich truths that impacted me early in my young Christian …