RED LODGE, MT – When the waters of Rock Creek began to surge across its banks into homes and businesses in Red Lodge, Montana, the members of the Church of the Rockies began to respond. At first, it was neighbor helping neighbor, checking on one another and offering aid. Then, the Red Cross arrived. The church family quickly began to volunteer to be the hands and feet for this relief organization. They began preparing and delivering meals, distributing supplies and helping coordinate the response. The church also has a benevolence fund and they too began to meet immediate needs.
Pastor Justin Carter said, “I’m so proud of the way our church has responded. Every day, I’m hearing new stories of how church members have served the people of Red Lodge. It’s amazing. The church immediately reached out to community leaders to offer our facility to be an emergency shelter. We made a few meals, but quickly realized that coordinating with the Red Cross was our niche. Working together, we have had the greatest impact.”
In the next few days, coordination with the Disaster Relief Unit of the Utah Idaho Convention and our Missouri Baptist partners began to take place. A Missouri shower unit that had been assigned to Lee Merck for summer ministry in Bozeman was redeployed. Then, a team from Utah Idaho arrived to coordinate “mud out” crews. As basements have been cleaned out, the team offers to spray them with “Shockwave” to kill bacteria and mitigate against mold forming. As these homes dry out, they will be ready to rebuild. The team has had opportunity to pray with flood victims, exchange stories, and be a source of hope and encouragement.
This is excerpted from a longer article by Darren Hales, Church Strengthening Team Leader for the Montana Southern Baptist Convention. Here is the link to the complete article published 6/30/2022