When Hurricane Irene made landfall at the end of August on the coast of New Jersey, members of Northside Community Christian Reformed Church in Paterson knew there could be water damage, but they were not prepared for the amount of water that flooded the city.
Northside Community sits on the north side of Paterson, which is not a recognized flood zone. Yet its building filled with 13 feet of water, flooding the entire basement and 3 feet of the main level of the church.
Everything from two levels of Northside Community CRC had to be thrown out following Hurricane Irene.
Sewers backed up and mixed with river water, which meant that everything the water touched was contaminated and had to be thrown out. The rooms flooded included the fellowship hall, kitchen, boiler room, and computer lab. The church lost all its tables and chairs, Bibles, room dividers, appliances, and computers.
Outreach programs have been delayed while the church rebuilds. Of immediate concern is the loss of the church’s two boilers, with cold weather setting in.
Church members are stripping paint from the floors and walls and are seeking to replace equipment and furniture.
“We thank God for the donations that have come in, but much more is needed. We ask that you please keep our church in your prayers, as this is a trying time for us,” said Rev. Sheila Holmes, pastor of Northside Community. “We have a small congregation, and although we are all pitching in, this is a hard situation to recover from. We know that God is able, and with him by our side we will make it through this disaster a stronger church.”
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