By Rev. Wade Roof, Mt. Tabor, West Columbia
This past month, we witnessed one of the most horrific and devastating events in South Carolina history, with FLOOD2015. The rains came, the waters rose, and everything in its path was destroyed. While many of us were spared from the tragedy of flooding, so many others, including a few people from our congregation, were not so lucky. While rebuilding has begun, it will take a long time for South Carolina to return to normal.
On the Monday after the flooding began the people of Mt. Tabor began bringing relief to those who had lost everything. Items included clothing, food, water, blankets, toiletries, coffee, and many other supplies to the church, and allowed us to become a Red Cross drop off site for relief efforts in Columbia. We did not stop there. We invited others to join with us to work for the common good. And they showed up.
Other Lutheran Churches in West Columbia began showing up with supplies and giving of themselves to help those in need. They didn’t just give stuff though, they gave themselves and stayed to help with distribution of these materials. And our efforts were multiplied as Transfiguration Lutheran, Faith Lutheran, Mt. Hermon Lutheran, Our Savior Lutheran, and other Lutheran Churches from West Columbia, Lexington, and Columbia began showing up and lending a hand. Yet, it did not stop there either.
Mt. Tabor, then invited other churches and people from the community to assist us with the relief effort and they showed up as well. People from First Baptist of West Columbia, then other Baptist Churches, then students from Gray Collegiate Academy, then people from every denomination under the sun joined with us to be Jesus’ hands and feet and we put aside any difference we had and we served together in one accord for our one God. And I believe God used this to bring us closer together.
By the end of the week, people from different religions – Christians, Buddhist, Hindu, and others were working side by side for the good of all of God’s children in Lexington and Columbia. And we watched as black and white, men and women, Christian and non-Christian, gathered under one roof, provided service and healing for those affected by this flood.
Behind the scenes Mt. Tabor organized people to go into houses that had major damage and you worked to help clean, repair, and restore these houses and their owners back to normal. People throughout the area gave gave money and helped them see a future, where not only would their stuff be ok, but a future where the people around them would lift them up until they could walk on their own once more.
God used Mt. Tabor to be His hands and His feet, and the people responded with a loud voice, “Here I am Lord!”