The communities of Arnold and Yarrow, in BC’s Fraser Valley, experienced devastating flooding and loss on Nov 14-15, 2021. As community members and the church surveyed the damage to their properties and community, they also looked at each other and reached out to help carry each other’s burdens. Neighbours helped each other, newcomers to the community were introduced, people made new friends and connections. People prayed. People volunteered. People gave. People served. These communities were challenged and will experience continued challenges, but they also grew stronger and grew together.
In both Arnold and Yarrow the church/churches became an emergency community resource centres to the local and wider community. Volunteers from within the church and community used their skill, ability and resources to coordinate an extraordinary effort, including:
We are comforted that we are not alone. Brothers and sisters from the Mennonite World Conference have been lifting our communities up in prayer.
We urgently need volunteers to help clean out flooded houses in Abbotsford and Merritt and prepare them for repair. Volunteer shifts begin Tuesday, Nov. 30 in Abbotsford and Wednesday, Dec. 1 in Merritt. Overnight accomodations are only available in Abbotsford.
MCC BC continues to respond to last week’s floods across southern BC to address the needs not being met by other agencies.
More specifically, MCC is supporting efforts organized by Mennonite Disaster Services (MDS) and local churches in the affected areas. And MCC will also support MDS through the recovery and rebuilding phase which is to follow.
In Princeton, MDS is organizing clean-up efforts where over 300 homes have been flooded. Please contact Kelsey Friesen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-866-261-1274 to learn more or to register as a volunteer.
The City of Abbotsford has invited Samaritan’s Purse to take the lead role with emergency response as well as coordinating efforts to clean out homes that are affected by flooding.
In Abbotsford and Princeton, MDS will be responding to the recovery and rebuilding phase, which MCC is supporting, with a priority on families whose homes are uninsured or underinsured and don’t have sufficient access to other resources.
MCC is also collaborating with churches in Yarrow and Arnold to support their efforts. If your church needs assistance with flood response or would like to assist others, please contact Shelley Dueck at email@example.com or 604-850-6639 at MCC BC.