In mid-June, Mike Moore, flood recovery director for the United Methodist Rocky Mountain Annual Conference, reported on the excellent volunteer work accomplished in Colorado by the youth group from First United Methodist Church of Lawrence, Kansas. The group split up and worked on various projects, he said:
One group worked on a home out in Kersey which had been hit hard by the flood. The group tore out damaged fencing and put in new fencing. They painted, cleaned up debris and weeds. The other half of the group worked out at a ranch, painting the bunk house and cleaning debris. They also cleaned a garage and shop for homeowners who live in the same neighborhood. The homeowners they worked for were amazed at the amount of work they accomplished.
On Thursday, Deb got word that the homeowners from Kersey were evacuating due to impending flooding. Melinda was looking for volunteers to help them move everything from their house, which had just been restored this spring. Deb passed the information onto the Lawrence, Kansas, group. It was late afternoon by the time we got the information to them and I didn’t expect them to be able to provide much help as they had been working all day on other projects. BUT, when these kids learned that this client needed help, they told their youth leader that they needed to go help “save “Flip and Michelle.” This group of teens went and worked until 8:00 p.m., loading household items and moving them out of the home. They helped round up the goats so they could be taken to safety. They passed up their evening showers and dinner to go out to the farm, which was swarming with mosquitoes (due to all the flood waters nearby), and work in the wet and mud to help the family move out.
Tami Clark, the youth leader, said they had been on many mission trips before, to Katrina and Sandy and others. This was the first time that they had ever had homeowners work along beside them and as hard as they worked. The appreciation and caring they received from the three homeowners they worked with was amazing to them and made the week very meaningful.