Hope Village Summary (Posted to Facebook on Dec 17, 2013)

James 2:14-18

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.

 

This Bible verse speaks to what motivated the thousands of volunteers that traveled here to assist those in need. And while we are told not to be prideful, it bears sharing what was accomplished during the Hope Village operational period. It provided hope and healing to all the displaced, broken, and hurting people after the 2011 flood. When it was all done and over, 5200+ people came to Minot to help with the rebuild. Some as many as 6 times! 170,000 hours of volunteer time was given valued at neary 3.25 million dollars. And most improtantly, 550 homes were reoccupied after our efforts!

People from all walks of faith came together in spartan accomedations to give their time and talents and share their faith with the homeowners. Faith partners across Minot came together and started a movement that people said couldn’t work. It DID work because they saw beyond the naysayers and trusted that God’s plan for the recovery included them. Staying true to that is why the success happened. It has been a great joy to see all the “God stuff” that happened at Hope Village. Never a day went by that we didn’t see God at work through Hope Village.

To all that came and was a part of something bigger than all of us, thank you for your commitment, thank you for your supoport, and thank you for being the hands and feet of Jesus. As the month closes down we see the last of Hope Village passing into history as well. It has been a fantastic voyage for all that joined in on the mission and ministry.

Minot Flood Relief

From June 28, 2011 – The record-high water levels currently flooding Minot’s valley have damaged 4,100 homes and forced thousands of people to seek refuge on higher ground with friends, family, and in emergency shelters. While many families were able to move their belongings from their home before evacuating, countless others had to leave some or everything behind. OSLC had reached out to members of the congregation as well as the community who are flood evacuees by providing shelter, moving people, supplying food and coordinating needs. OSLC volunteers continue to serve daily meals for the EOC (Emergency Operations Center).

The wait for the waters to recede will be several weeks, after which displaced homeowners must begin to assess the damage to their homes. Church members from several states are preparing to come to Minot to assist in the recovery. Cleanup of salvageable houses will be a long, arduous task that could take several months. Displaced families will need temporary housing as well as clothing, food, and personal items during this time.

Please take time to lift the people of Minot before the Lord Jesus in your prayers. Thank you.

Click on the “2011 Flood Response Blog” http://www.oslcnow.com/2011-flood-response-blog/ to get the full story and the very latest on OSLC’s response to the catastrophic 2011 flood.

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John and Deb Walker, evacuated from their home, hug and pray during a church service for three Lutheran congregations held at The Vegas Hotel Sunday, June 26. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast) Read story

 

Thank You Notes From People…

Thank You Cards from Families Receiving

Gifts from the Minot LCMS Flood Relief Fund

 

To the Flood Relief Committee,

It helps to know that someone cares, thank you!  We so appreciate the money you sent and the fact that you included us even though we moved away – words cannot express the deep gratitude towards the people who donated money to the Minot LCMS flood relief committee. This money is a big help, as we have not found jobs yet.  Again, a BIG thank you to ALL!  Our hearts are with you.  Friends in Christ.  M & J

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Dear Pastor Krueger,

Sorry I’m late in getting this to you.  Your members were a Godsend to me installing insulation.  I’ll need you again next spring, hopefully.   Christmas blessings.  KK

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Dear Friends,

Thank you very much for the check for $865.95.  It was unexpected.  Peter and I will put every penny into the 100 year old home we love so much.  We can hardly wait to get our antiques back into the house.  Thank you very much.   P & C

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Dear Minot LCMS Flood Relief Committee,

Thank you so much for your thoughts, prayers and financial gift.  The rebuilding is going well and hope to be back in my home early spring 2012.  This has been an event that none of us ever thought we would have to face.  God will uphold us through this as he always has.  God’s blessings to all of you.  GA

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Dear Flood Relief Committee

Thank you so much for your generous gift of money towards our flood recovery.  It is greatly appreciated.  May the season of Christmas bring new reasons to thank Him for His love and faithfulness. G&R

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Dear Pastor Krueger,

Who do I thank for the generous gift from the church?  Man what a BLESSING and a huge surprise!  I am so thankful.  LW

OSLC Flood Response – July 15 Update

Recovery planning and steps beginning – Monday and Tuesday on the flood response have been days of planning and preparation. 

1. Grant applications were submitted to the Minot Community Foundation’s Flood Relief fund.  Both OSLC and LHLH have submitted applications.  

2. Registrations for damaged homes and volunteers travelling to Minot were received. OSLC staff members completed forms manually during the week and then submitted them by fax to the LDR offices for intake.  The LDR site (through RCC) is now online.  You can register directly through our web site or go through the Minot city web site. 

3. OSLC’s Flood Response Team met to organize the next steps that our congregation will be involved in as the recovery process begins in earnest.  Six areas of responsiblity were identified:

  • Coordinating tools, equipment, storage and supplies for OSLC members and friends to use.  Orphan Grain Train will be supplying storage pods and larger equipment.  OSLC volunteers will manage the usage. 
  • Managing OSLC’s Flood Relief Fund.  A team of members will be gathered to collect and assess needs, track dollars, submit reports as necessary, distribute gifts and generate additional Flood Relief Funds.  The church continues to receive donations to the flood relief fund.  Once again all donations through this fund will be distributed to families in need. 
  • “Move Team” Coordinator – The move team coordinator will manage the use of OSLC trailers and make them available for LDR mission team use and for moving OSLC members to their restored or to their new homes.  The move coordinator(s) will serve as contact points for members to telephone and arrange dates and times for OSLC moving assistance. 
  • Communications and Publicity – Members of this team will be contact points for communicating to the congregation.  When an LDR volunteer team is set up for assisting a family, that information will be communicated to the congregation at large.  Friends within the congregation are then able to assist as volunteers at large and help at the job site.  Communication’s team members will also communicate a family’s moving information to the congregation so that friends can assist and moving teams can be formed.  This would consist of weekly announcements within the OSLC bulletin and the maintaining of a web blog for pepole to access each week.
  • LDR Christian Care Line – This is a crisis hotline with distinctly Christian caring.  Bonnie Rennich has accepted the responsibility to make this happen as she works with LDR, Stephen Ministers from OSLC and Christ Lutheran Church, and volunteers from the congregation.  You may find out more at http://www.oslcnow.com/2011/07/11/can-you-help-ldr-christian-care-line/.
  • Grant Writers – These would be people who have a natural writing ability who might be able to assist Pastor Krueger in the writing and research of Grants. 

4. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans funded a $15,000 grant request written by Pastor Krueger to provide covered trailers to be used by LDR for the duration of the flood recovery and rebuilding.  These trailers will be available for volunteer teams to use as they work on Minot area homes. 

5. The Orphan Grain Train request has been submitted.  If approved, OGT will supply several storage units for OSLC members to use on short term basis while homes are being repaired.  Equipment for OSLC members (and others) to use has also been requested.  If things fall into place, these units should be available to OSLC use during the first week of August.

6. Bonnie Rennich, OSLC’s Director of Music and Congregational Ministries, has made contacts with Stephen leaders from other Minot congregations and has  begun recruiting servants for the LDR Christian Care line.  You might be the right person to serve in this important ministry.  Click here  – http://www.oslcnow.com/2011/07/11/can-you-help-ldr-christian-care-line/ – to find out more.

7. Pastor Krueger continues to serve on the ND Recovery Coordination Center team for the Minot flood disaster. 

8. Because of the risk factors to health and safety, we will be partnering with Lutheran Disaster Response (LDR) for volunteer service and home owner registrations.  LDR has more than 14 years of experience in North Dakota and is serving as the Coordinating Agency for the Ward County Clean up. 

Here’s how it will work for OSLC members:   If you’re an OSLC member and you have lost your home and you’re looking for people who can help, our procedure at this point will be as follows:

  • We will share the information with our church family and encourage them to telephone the homeowner and offer their assistance should they desire.  Members certainly are free to work together to assist one another. 
  •  However, due to safety and health reasons, we will not create and organize teams through our church.  Instead, we will create and organize our teams within LDR’s systems which have been set up to do the maximum amount of good within a coordinated system of experience, safety, checks and balances, and effectiveness. 
  • Therefore if you’re a home owner, we ask that you be patient as the process unfolds.  When working with volunteer help, the systems are set up for the good of all.

 

              The water is beginning to receede and some work is ready to begin.  Please exercise patience during the processes. Remember that your recovery is a marathon, not a sprint.  Most importantly, in all that lays ahead for you and for your family, remember that Christ Jesus will carry you through both the easy and the difficult days that lay ahead.  Make it a point to stop and place your trust in Christ’s promised care – especially when things seem the most difficult.

From Matthew 6 we hear the words of Jesus:   

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?

   28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

OSLC Hope in the Flood of 2011

Dear Pastor Krueger,  My church family was very instrumental in helping Brianna and I to get evacuated during the flood.  Terry Voeller has been a special friend in helping to keep eye on the news and offering immediately for not only Brianna and me, but my 3 pets to come stay with her.  Pastor Voth called and advised that trailers were available and people available to help move.  Lisa Potts offered a place to stay, offered help, her van and a place to store our stuff.  Brent and Patti Detlaff came with a trailer and 2 vans to move stuff. Patti called the day after the evacuation to check how we’re doing and to help with moving back when we get the ok.   We couldn’t have got all my stuff out of the basement without the help of my church friends.  It’s great to know that we can count on my church family as my biological family was too far away to get here to help.  Kim Martin also offered a place to stay and Brianna and I (and pets) will be going to Kim’s sometime this weekend as Terry will also be taking in Barb Bethel.  Terry has taken in another friend of hers so has a houseful!!  What a great church family to have!

I keep looking for the good in this situation as I keep having a phrase from this song playing in my head which is  “God is good, all the time”.    The good is knowing the people you can count on, spending time with friends in prayer, sharing meals and getting to know each other better.  We know we are not alone!  Stuff can be replaced but good friends are hard to find and are priceless!

A friend in Christ,

Gayle Balster