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The Atlanta Flood of 2009

September 26, 2009

Atlanta Flood - September 21, 2009

Atlanta Flood - September 21, 2009. Neighborhood next to mine in west Cobb County.

Anyone who has seen the news this week knows about the historic floods in the Atlanta area. In fact they are calling it a 500 year flood. I know that doesn’t literally mean there hasn’t been a flood like this in Atlanta in the last 500 years, but the probability of a flood like is one chance out of 500 in any year, which means if probability holds true it will only happen once every 500 years. 500 years ago was the year 1509, a mere 17 years after Columbus sailed the ocean blue. A flood 500 years ago like this in Atlanta may not even have been witnessed by anyone except a few native American tribes. Flash forward to today, and there are 5.1 million people in metro Atlanta, and thousands and thousands of lives impacted, cars, homes, and businesses lost, and at least 10 deaths attributed to these massive floods.

This event was not as big and destructive as Katrina and the flooding in New Orleans, but for those who live in the Atlanta area like me, this is a big deal and hit close to home. Plus it is estimated that less than 10% of those impacted had flood insurance because they weren’t considered to be in a flood plain! To get a sense of what happened just go to YouTube and search for “Atlanta Flood”. The news report below is just one of hundreds of incredible videos and images of this event.

But I don’t want to dwell on the flood itself because I want to use this post to highlight some heroes who have helped in the aftermath. Churches often get a bad rap in the media, and lately the media seems to think the only solution to any problem is some government program. I know I will be leaving out dozens of other churches and thousands of individuals who helped out, but I know of some specific people and churches that I am proud to highlight here. It was uplifting to see these churches mobilize their people and resources to “be the church” and help those in need and I want to give them special recognition.

Shaun King, the lead pastor at Courageous Church in Atlanta immediately jumped in to help the hardest hit people in Austell is southern Cobb County, and even created this website to raise help. Simultaneously Brian Bloye, the lead pastor at West Ridge Church, a large church in western Cobb County is helping to be a clearinghouse for disaster relief with groups like Samaritan’s Purse to get relief and resources directly to the people in need. And now through the social network Twitter, Shaun and Brian have been able to come together and coordinate their efforts, and provide even more help to those struggling through this crisis.

What is your church doing to help those in need in your community? What are you doing as an individual (and I’m asking myself this question as much as I’m asking you)? You may never have the opportunity to help with a major flood or some other big disaster, but everyday there are people in need (hungry, homeless, hopeless, etc.) in every community in this country and around the world. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 25:34-40…whatever you did to help those in need you did for Him.

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