By the time I finally got to work today at 4pm, I decided to turn on some music in the warehouse as I filled some orders. I put my iPhone on shuffle and the first song that came on was “Into the Sea” by As Cities Burn. Ironic to say the least.
The events started much earlier when I went down to Riverside Dr to help them salvage the computer and some electronics from the Lasaters store down there. I had driven by our church just about 14 hours before, and all the water was still in the river. No worries…or so I thought.
I helped clean up at Lasaters, then got in my truck, parked by the railroad tracks that go behind our church building, and walked toward the church. Here’s what I saw. I was in complete shock. There was our building in about 2 feet of water. Complete with a truck floating in the parking lot! 14 hours earlier, this scene had not even entered my mind. That’s when the surreal part began – we waded in knee-deep water to our church, unlocked the doors, and began assessing the damage. The scene was literally unbelievable. Until something like this happens, your mind never even goes this far.
Denver and I began putting electronics and chairs up as high as possible, hoping to save them in case the waters rose a few more feet. It was eerie to watch the water level rise and know our church was filling up with water.
We loaded up a bunch of stuff in a big trash can and a cooler, took a door off its hinges, and floated it all across the parking lot as we waded next to it. We loaded up the truck to head back home, but soon heard rumors of many more feet of flooding. We decided we’d go back and get everything of value out so that we wouldn’t have to worry about it. We grabbed the projector and speaker (the last electronics left), triple trash bagged them, and carried them out.
Meanwhile, our neighbor was loading his stuff up in a boat.
We got everything back to the truck eventually and headed home. Once I got home, the emotion hit. I cried hard. I haven’t cried like that in a while. Jenn and I sat in our driveway crying and praying with everything that Awaken Church owns sitting on the tailgate of my truck behind us. Unreal.
I showered, changed clothes, devoured a sandwich, and headed to work.
For those who are wondering, our house is miles from the flooding. We’re nice and dry in northern Clarksville. The flooding can’t get us here – our concern is hail and tornadoes, but we’re not really concerned.
Awaken will be temporarily relocating for our Wednesday and Saturday night services beginning this Wednesday. We’ll be updating everyone with location and time as soon as we get something nailed down.
Here’s some info about Clarksville and the flooding:
- All traffic is being funneled onto one street: Madison. It’s a parking lot.
- Grocery store shelves are emptying out quickly. There have been reports of fighting and people in tears in the check-out line.
- It took me 45 minutes to wait in line and get gas today.
- Clarksville is on a city-wide curfew from 8pm-6am tonight. I feel like I’m in 6th grade again.
- Water is still rising, but it’s supposed to stop tonight (they’ve said that before, though)
- Many businesses, a few churches, and homes are destroyed from the flooding.
- The sewer plant has shut down and raw sewage is being pumped directly into the river. I went swimming in that today. Yummy!
WHAT AWAKEN LOST:
- 80 padded folding chairs and all of our colorful kids chairs ($1,500 value)
- everything in our kids ministry: crib, pack-n-play, changing table, bean bags, baby swing, baby bouncer, rugs, toys, kids tables and chairs, our cabinet of supplies, a TV, and all the kids books and toys
- hundreds of dollars in business cards, bulletins, banners, and CDs that we used for advertising
- a microwave, small refrigerator, and water cooler
- a $700 pulpit that was too heavy to get out
- multiple tables, framed pictures, standing decor for the sanctuary
- our cable snake that hooks our speakers to our sound board ($300 value)
- lots of musical equipment: a drum set, music stands, mic stands, mic cables, speaker cables, and more
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
If you’re local, we could use any donations that a church could use – mainly stuff for kids ministry (gently used toys, books, tables, chairs, bouncer, rocker, crib, etc).
Anyone can help prayerfully and financially. We have online giving available through our church website as always. You can also send gift cards or a check if you’d prefer (let me know if you want to do this and I’ll get you our address).
When we first felt the call to plant a church, my worry was, “how will we afford this?” I told God from the start that if He wanted us to do this, the bills were His problem. That still applies (I reminded Him of that today!). This may seem like a setback to us, but it blows my mind to think that it didn’t surprise Him and He already knows where we’ll be meeting and how He’ll provide. He’s already been so faithful to us.
Thanks for all the prayers and donations that have come in already. Please keep our church, our family, our city, and the other churches and businesses that are suffering, in your prayers!
Here are some pics I took today. The water is at least 2 feet deeper now.