Teens Flood Chehalis With Grace and Service

Chehalis resident Roberta was making a snack when authorities told her she had 20 minutes to leave before flood waters engulfed her house. Leaving behind 80 years of memories and memorabilia, Roberta lost nearly everything this past winter.

Several months later, she’s still piecing together her life. When Adventist volunteers met her recently, Roberta’s birthday was just two days away. After singing “Happy Birthday,” the teenage volunteers helped Roberta clean her house.

Adventist volunteers continue to help and serve the community after last winter’s flood in the Centralia-Chehalis area.

“Not too many organizations and volunteers stick by for that long, and the community is impressed,” says Colette Newer, a volunteer from Bothell, who has volunteered in the Chehalis area several times. “We made an impression in the community because we’ve been there meeting people in their moment of need.”

Sixty adult and teenage volunteers, including Pathfinders and youth groups from across Western Washington, were involved in a weekend mission trip in Chehalis called “Flooded with Grace” in July.

The teenage volunteers and adult sponsors were able to share and show their faith by cleaning up debris and giving out free gifts of water bottles, flowers, popcorn, Vacation Bible School invitations and colorful balloons.

“A lot of groups came down at the beginning,” says Doylene Cook, Lewis County Adventist School teacher and trip coordinator, “but Adventists have kept coming. Our presence has made an impression.”

September 01, 2008 / Washington Conference