Thanks so much for considering a trip to Minot, ND. This is the town Vern and I call HOME. We already have our “I helped rebuild Minot” T-shirts after a 2 week stint of flood work in July.
I am sure you have all heard of the devastation the town felt. About 1/5 of the population was evacuated. 4000 homes had flood water problems, over 800 of them had at least 6 feet of swamp water on the main floor. 5 schools are totally wasted and many churches were affected.
The bad thing in the Minot area is that they need to get as much done as possible before the winter sets in. Unlike some of the southern areas, once November hits they are pretty much done until late March / early April. I’m sure that if the dates set don’t work the area would accept help whenever you are able to go. There is a site that will coordinate people / churches that NEED help with people that are able to help. You will also find that those directly involved will be there busting their buns to help. One of the FEMA reps when we were there commented that he had done disaster work in 40 states and that Minot had gotten more done in 2 weeks than some places got done in 6 months.
What church are you looking at helping? I know that Christ Lutheran / Augistana Lutheran / and Faith Methodist all had at least 3 feet of water in the sanctuary. Several other churches had the basements full.
The housing issue is bad. Housing was in short supply BEFORE the flood with the influx of oil workers…now with 4000 homes unable to be lived in, it is even worse. In many cases, the pastors of the churches lost not only the church, but their own homes as well and many of the parishioners that would ordinarily open their homes to mission groups no longer have a home.
That said- if you are interested in going to the area, I may be able to help with some logistics. We have made 4 trips to ND already this summer, so don’t know if we would be able to do it again now. I do have 3 sisters in town that all know lots of people and have a relationship with all three churches that were totaled.
*Christ Lutheran – my sister Verla is president of the church. She said they would be spending $250,000 just for cleanup – they didn’t have a $$ for the rebuilding phase of it.
*Augistana Lutheran – my mom’s pastor had her office there. My Mom and sister Marlys’s church, Faith Lutheran in Surrey ND, had been housing mission groups there. They have cots, bath-rooms, kitchen. They had an agreement for the workers to shower in the school locker rooms. Also the YMCA was offering free showers to workers. Surrey is just a few miles from Minot. Augistana is also currently partnering with my sister Jen’s church.
*Faith Methodist was the church Vern and I attended when we lived in Minot. They are currently partnering with the church my Father-in-law attends.
Let me know if you would like me to pursue more information or call on my sisters for their thoughts.
God Bless you all
Linda and Vern Emerson