As Midwest communities along the Mississippi River face a difficult recovery from the worst flooding the region has seen in 15 years, Foursquare pastors, church leaders and congregants are on the scene to bring assistance to people and neighborhoods that are in the most need.
Iowa District Supervisor Jim Machen and Regional Supervisor Cliff Hanes are actively engaged in assessing the needs of our churches and the communities affected by the flooding. Assistant General Supervisor Jim Scott is also in the region, helping to mobilize Foursquare’s response as people determine how to clean up and rebuild their homes and their lives.
Two semi trailer-loads of supplies have been shipped to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, one of the hardest-hit areas to date. Cedar Rapids Christian Center, a Foursquare church pastored by Barry Foster, was flooded with nearly four feet of water. Jim Machen, who accompanied Pastor Barry as he walked through his church building, writes: “We had to wear boots and masks to go through the church building once the water receded. The four-and-a-half feet of water that was in the church many days did major damage.”
Other areas in Iowa impacted by the rising water include:
- Waterloo: Pastor Jerry Burrow’s home was inundated with three feet of floodwater.
- Waverly: Water flooded the home of a recent Foursquare church planter.
- Vinton: Scattered flooding caused much damage, but recovery efforts are going well.
- Iowa City: A trailer park and some businesses were flooded, and a large church in the community had water inside up to the roof. House of Praise Foursquare Church, pastored by Richard McCaslin is fine, but the homes of two families in the church were flooded.
- Fort Madison: Flooding of homes and businesses along the river was made worse by a semi-load of carbon dust inadvertently dispersed into the floodwater.
Several Iowa churches, while not directly affected by flooding, have strongly participated in local relief efforts. Foursquare congregants from both Living Hope Community Church in Davenport, pastored by Renee Holm, and Burlington Foursquare Church, pastored by Sam Fratt, are providing meals for relief workers. The city of Davenport alone received one initial damage estimate of $4.5 million. Cleanup and restoration of the damaged region could take four years or more to complete.
The Foursquare church family across the U.S. is encouraged to pray diligently for our pastors and fellow Christians, especially those serving the needs of people affected by the flooding, as well as those volunteers who are working tirelessly to help with cleanup and restoration.
The National Church Office released initial funding for flood relief in several communities in Iowa, and is accepting donations to assist as additional needs are identified and assessed.
Ways to help
1. Monetary donations may be made payable to The Foursquare Church and mailed to:
The Foursquare Church
1910 W. Sunset Blvd., Suite 200
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Please clearly mark “Disaster Relief” on the memo line of each check.
2. The Iowa District office currently is establishing a process for coordination of work teams. Teams wishing to assist with cleanup and recovery should contact the Iowa District office by calling 563.243.0701.
3. Pray for God’s grace to embrace those that mourn, “to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” Isaiah 61:2-4 (NKJV).