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Letter From Mike Abbott

by Mike Abbott

Most of our church member’s homes flooded as did ours.  Denham Spring and surrounding communities have suffered what many are calling a one in a 1000 year flood. At my home, we had around three feet of water which came up in unless than 5 hours.  Early last Saturday morning, my wife Sherry, my son Wesley, and I tried to get to the church which is two miles from our home.  We wanted to get to the church to put up high whatever we could since we were told that the high school, which is between us and the church, would see some water.  The school staff had asked for volunteer to come to the school to do the same. We drove in as far as we could but was cut off by high water in the streets near the church.  We were looking to wade in when I got a call from one of our elders saying his house was already flooding fast and that we needed to get home to begin putting things up high.  His house is one subdivision closer to the river then ours, but neither houses had ever flooded.  When we got back to the house, we went into panic mode. Where’s all our important papers and pictures?  What do we take with us and what do we put up in the attic?  We did this for about an hour and by that time our street has beginning to rise to the point if we waited any longer, our Ford Escape would not make it out.  Wesley drives a Honda Civic, and at that point his car would not make it out, so he left with us.

Our hope was to get to our oldest son and his wife’s home in Baton Rouge, which mean we would have to across the river on I-12.  We had to head away from the river to get to an on ramp which was open.  Our daughter, Brittany had to go to work earlier that morning, which was a God sent since she would already be on the same side of the river as my son and daughter-in-law.  I had been concerned about her driving to work by her self after all the rain we had on Friday.  I had helped rescue a young mom and her two kids on Friday due to waist high water in her neighborhood and knew there would be some more flooding on Saturday.  So she got to their house but we did not.  The three of us had to lead to Hammond which is east bound and thirty minutes away.  We had church members there that we could stay with, but we got cut off by flood waters on I-12.  We had gotten about 15 miles, going through water at every bridge them came to. At that point traffic stopped due to higher water coming over the roadway in front of us.  We were boxed in, hoping we were on high enough ground.  Most of Louisiana is flat so that was questionable and which made it scary.  We were stuck there with hundreds of other vehicles – all afternoon and into the night.  The west bound lanes had also been cut off.  Hundreds of people caught with little or no food or water (we had two half bottles of water and a 1/3 container of peanuts that Wesley shared with us), and no bathrooms.

But the Lord got us through the night.  I was thinking about how differently my day had turned out than what I had planned.  It was a Sundaymorning.  I was suppose to be with my church family worshiping and praising the Lord.  Instead I was worrying for them and the folks I was with – including the elder who had called me earlier that day to warn me about the rising water.  He had been at work when his wife called to tell him about the flooding at their home.  He was in his work truck trying to get back to his car, when he got caught on I-12.  On that Sundaymorning we prayed and encouraged those around us.  I thought of my text for the sermon I never got to preach.  It is Psalm 139 which says,”O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise;you perceive my thoughts from afar.  You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.  Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord. You hem me in — behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,too lofty for me to attain.”  I was caught between waters, but more importantly I was in the Lord thoughts – before and behind.  His hand was upon me.  I worshiped thatSunday on I-12 knowing that me Lord was thinking of me, my family, and my church family.

Those of us in and around Denham Springs have been overwhelmed in the last several days, but not overcome.  I have seen the goodness of God in people in the many rescues, relief efforts, and physical help.  Sister congregations have helped our church by working to clean up our church building, giving our own church members the time they need to clean up their homes.  Others have or plan on sending supplies and money.  If you would like to help by donating to the flood relief, send your checks made out to Denham Springs Church of Christ to the address of our church treasurer and elder: Allan Bundy, 11475 Mollylea Dr. Baton Rouge, LA 70815.  Please earmark it – flood relief.  The elders of the church will oversee how the money is used in connection with the flood.

Thank You,
Mike Abbott, minister of Denham Springs C/C

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That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:10