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Flooded Church Gets Help from the Neighbors

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When record flooding caused an estimated $50,000 of damage at Ideal Park Christian Reformed Church in Wyoming, Mich., World Renew and neighboring churches stepped in to help.

Ideal Park CRC sustained $50,000 in damage from the 18 inches of floodwater in its basement.

The church’s basement was flooded with 18 inches of water; insurance covers only $10,000 of the damage.

“Everything is torn apart,” said Junior Flier, a member at the church. “We lost our boiler, the hot water heater, and all the plugs in basement because the water got that deep.”

Flier said the water destroyed the drywall and carpet, as well as all the toys in the nursery. The church wasn’t able to worship in the building for two weeks after the flooding but is now back in the sanctuary.

In response, World Renew, the Christian Reformed Church’s disaster relief organization, sent a team of volunteers to help evaluate the damage and provide volunteer labor.

“As far as churches that have been damaged by disasters, I can’t remember a time in recent history where there has been significant damage the way Ideal Park experienced,” said Art Opperwall of World Renew.

“There was a three-inch pump gushing water out for hours and hours,” he continued.

Other churches in the area were also encouraged to take an offering to help cover the damage at Ideal Park.

“When we heard that Ideal Park CRC had been flooded and needed help, we found that our congregation was very concerned and were eager to give what they could to help,” said Kathy Doezema, a deacon at Community CRC, also in Wyoming, Mich.

The area around Wyoming received more than 10 inches of rain in April, breaking a 104-year-old record. The rain prompted the highest ever recorded flooding in the Grand River and the city’s first state of emergency since 1998.

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