WILMINGTON, De. — While national media has been focused on the heroic work of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief and other volunteer organizations aiding survivors of Hurricane Ida along the Gulf Coast, Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCM/D) Disaster Relief (DR) volunteers have been cleaning up storm damage much closer to home.
When the remnants of Hurricane Ida swept through the region, high levels of wind and rain pummeled Wilmington, Delaware, and created massive urban flooding. The Brandywine Creek, running through the city, hit a record high, pushing 4-5 feet of water into several neighborhoods. The flooding forced many households into temporary emergency shelters until utilities could be reactivated and homes made safe for occupancy.
Since mid-September, BCM/D DR volunteers have partnered with other local community organizations to minister to the physical and emotional needs of flood survivors. DR volunteers have been carrying out mud, wet debris, and carpeting; removing drywall; power washing; and treating for mold so that residents can move back into their homes. As they finish each house, DR teams have been praying with residents, some of whom were moved to tears.
“So many of the people we’ve worked with have been elderly or of very limited financial means,” observed Ellen Udovich, BCM/D’s DR director. “This flood has been one more challenge in a long list of challenges they face. To hear that they are not forgotten and that God sees them and has sent us to help them is powerful. We’re praying that the Holy Spirit continues to use these gospel seeds we’re sowing into their lives.”
In addition to the flood work in Wilmington, BCM/D DR has been supporting Hurricane Ida recovery work in the Philadelphia area as well, loaning both a shower trailer and chainsaw damage assessors.
Although much work has been done, many residents still need help with storm cleanup. Church mission teams are welcome to join DR volunteers on weekends. Ogletown Baptist Church has graciously opened its facility for volunteers needing overnight weekend housing. For more information on how your church can participate, contact Ellen Udovich at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cover photo: Bill Quillen, a Oak Grove Baptist Church member, repairs damaged wood (photo by Ellen Udovich).