Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A special plea for West Virginia

This will be an unusual post.

You might have been following the story about the flooding in West Virginia.  In my house, it's very personal, since it's very nearly my wife's hometown.  We were just there the week before the flood happened.  I just spoke in their church, Elkview Baptist, which is now flooded.  So is the high school where she went to school.  Thankfully, my inlaws live on the top of a mountain there, but it's still been hard watching my wife struggle with the pictures and stories on Facebook.  Her childhood best friend Autumn lost everything.  Literally everything.

West Virginia is mountainous, so building options are three:  You can level the top of a mountain (like they did with the Charleston airport), live on the side of a mountain, or take the only flatland: floodplains.  The present flooding is the worst in more than a hundred years.  People are calling it a thousand-year flood.  Some folks don't just have flooded houses, they've lost their land.  The rivers have eroded away the soil on their property making it essentially useless.  Can you imagine overnight going from having a house and a half acre to losing even the half acre?  The power of moving water is mindboggling.

As I said, my wife's friend Autumn lost everything and launched a Gofundme page to raise money to put her life back together.  She's trying to raise $100,000.  I was skeptical when I first saw that, because $100,000 seems like a lot of money.

Then I looked on my newsfeed this morning, and I saw Answers in Genesis promoting their new Noah's Ark park that cost tens of millions of dollars that was raised mostly from private donations.  That kind of money tends to put things into perspective.  Surely, if creationists can donate millions to build an evangelistic outreach, we could give what is comparatively pocket change to help one woman and her family rebuild their lives?

Please understand I'm not questioning AIG's priorities or being bitter or angry.  There are many important causes in the world, and I don't want to criticize a person's private giving priorities.  I'm just saying that God's people are clearly generous when there is a cause they believe in.  I hope that we can be just as generous here.

It's kind of crazy for me as a person running a nonprofit to try to raise money for someone else (I should be fundraising for Core Academy), but I think that's what the Lord would want us to do.  Jesus didn't just preach and evangelize.  He healed the sick and fed the five thousand.  He cares about our needs here and now, not just in eternity.  I think we should too.

Here's Autumn's story, which is hard to read.  But as I write this, she's already raised almost $28,000 in just three days!  That's over a quarter of what she is hoping to get, and it looks like she has a real shot of making her $100,000 goal.  So I ask all my creationist readers to help my wife's friend make (and beat) her goal.  If you don't want to help her, please find someone else in West Virginia that you can help.  Please spread the word, too, and remember them in your prayers.

Thank you!

Visit Autumn's Gofundme page.


Feedback? Email me at toddcharleswood [at] gmail [dot] com.