- Phone: (803) 359-1556
- Mailing Address: 1001 Highway 378 West Lexington, SC 29072
This past weekend saw record setting rains and flooding in the Midlands and Low Country region. Our hearts have been grieved at seeing the devastation that has swept across where we and our families and friends live and call home. It is in moments like these that the Church has its greatest opportunity to shine the light of Christ and to season our community with the salt of the gospel. How can we respond?
1. Pray First we praise God for His protection over us, our families, and the families that make up Lake Murray Baptist Church. God has been merciful to us by sparing us from the disaster. It is nothing other than His mercy that has protected us and so we should be humbled and grateful that our lives and our homes are intact.
We pray for the victims. John 9:2 is a question from the disciples to Jesus asking, “Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus responded that the man was blind neither because he or his parents sinned, but instead “that the works of God might be displayed in him.” We know that the communities that are suffering because of the flood are not worse humans than we are. Yet, this flood is an opportunity for the works of God to be displayed through the Church. Pray that these men, women, and children would be comforted, see God’s hands and feet through churches, and be restored. Pray that the Holy Spirit would be moving through the hearts of the victims showing them how perishable material goods are and how eternally valuable Christ is.
2. Give Because Christ has lavished us with the riches of His grace (Eph 1:7-8), we should be marked by generosity. Please see the email we sent earlier about ways to give. LMBC is glad to partner with LICS and we have made a donation to them today. They are taking material donations along with Harvest Hope Food Bank. We highly recommend that if you would like to donate that you would use this link to the South Carolina Baptist Disaster Relief because 100% of those donations are guaranteed to go to disaster relief. We are taking donations of cases of water bottles. We are going to a relief site in Columbia tomorrow morning at 9am. If you can purchase and drop off water bottles in front of the adult education building (just stack them and place them there) between now and 9am, tomorrow, Wednesday morning, we will be delivering them to disaster relief teams partnering with a Southern Baptist church in Columbia.
3. Engage Your Neighbors If you have never known how to start a conversation with a neighbor or a co-worker, use the events of this past week. Ask others about their families and friends safety. Offer them help or to pray for them if they report they have loved ones in difficult circumstances. Paul makes one of the strongest statements in the Bible in Galatians 5:14 when he declares that the whole law is fulfilled in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” We cannot do this if we do not first know them and speak to them. Use this disaster as an opportunity to show them that they matter to you. Show them that you love them and are concerned for their well-being as well as their family and friends. You may not share the gospel in this first conversation, but it may be the first step that opens that door as you begin to build a relationship with them.
4. Be the Church You have the Spirit of the living God dwelling in you (1 Cor 3:16; Rom 8:11). If you know of someone in need, go and meet that need if you can. By all means, let the church staff, Sunday school classes, and discipleship groups know ways that we can serve others. However, it is not a prerequisite that LMBC as a whole be mobilized to simply reach out and show tangible love to a member or neighbor in need. We are eager to do all we can as a church, but you are the church and may serve our community in whatever ways you are able.
5. Cooperate and Serve As Southern Baptist, we are cooperative by conviction. We believe in uniting with other like-minded congregations because we believe with unity we can do more together than we can as a silo (1 Cor 1:10-17; Ephesians 4). To that end, we have contacted churches in the Midlands as well as the Columbia Metro Baptist Association to make ourselves available to help in any way. Today is the first day with no rain in almost two weeks. First responders are on the ground assessing how we can best serve and have said that we will be most useful later on in the week.
We ask that if you are trained in disaster relief and your FEMA credentials are current, please email the church at if you are available to serve towards the end of the week. As the needs are made known to us, we will let you know when and where we need you.
Finally, the events of the past few days should lead us to praise God for how much we have. Not only are we in the most gospel-saturated part of the country in the most gospel-saturated country which is also the wealthiest country, but we rarely deal with deadly calamities and disasters. There are billions who not only have no access to the gospel, but simple illnesses for us are life and death for them. They live on dirt floors and walk miles for fresh water. Torrential rains, arid droughts, earthquakes and volcanoes constantly assault them. As this disaster has hit closer to home, let us praise God for His abundant love and provision and protection for us. And let us repent of our apathy towards the hardships, spiritual and physical, of the nations.
12“Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood.13 Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. 14 For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. 15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name” (Heb 13:12- 15).
Let us now go outside our comfort zone for the sake of our neighbors while prayerfully seeking how we can sacrificially use the abundance of God’s gifts to bless the nations who are constantly under attack by spiritual forces and earthly disasters with hearts full of joy and lips that praise His name.