The children and staff at Epworth would like to thank each of you for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. Thankfully we were spared from the floods for the most part. We had a total of 14.5 inches of rain and lost water for a time, however things are getting back to normal on our campus. Epworth has been very fortunate to see only minimal damage to some basements and HVAC equipment while many of our neighbors less than a mile away have experienced complete destruction.
We continue to keep those neighbors in our thoughts and prayers as we give thanks that the children at Epworth have not experienced the same level of loss during this flood. In the flood’s aftermath we see that God’s people are being called to mission all around this state, and the same is true on Epworth’s campus. There are plenty of examples, but we would like to lift up three in particular.
We are thankful for so many in the community who came out to Epworth to help provide for our children in those first hours. For nearly a full day we were completely out of water on campus. During that time we were thankful for the support of volunteers from Union UMC, Irmo, who arrived at our dining hall to provide breakfast, lunch and dinner until we could bring the kitchen back to working order. We also accepted hundreds of gallons of bottled water from a group of firemen who traveled from the Charleston area. These are just two of many examples of people giving and offering to help. Since water service returned (though still in a boil water advisory), we have been operating nearly as normal. We are not in current need of any flood-relief supplies.
Keeping the children safe and happy has required lots of energy and long hours by many people. The true heroes at Epworth over the last week have been the dedicated cottage staff who have kept the children safe and comfortable around the clock since the rain began to fall a week ago, and the facility operations staff who made sure campus was prepared (and sometimes repaired!) for the rainfall. I hope that you are as proud as we are of these Epworth heroes who are called to care for the children at Epworth.
Today, on a day when all schools remain closed, the girls in Waddell cottage are heading to Dreher High School. They are not going to study in the library or play a game of basketball in the gym. They are going to help sort and distribute flood relief supplies to victims of the flood. The girls wanted to do something to help those in need. These girls know first-hand the difference a volunteer and supplies can make and are applying that life lesson today.