One Great Hour of Sharing: Love rebuilds lives impacted by flooding

Bethlehem Baptist Church, Spring House, Pa.

Almost a category 5 storm, Hurricane Ida made landfall Aug. 29, 2021, near Port Fourchon, La., bringing with it rainfall, 170 mph winds and storm surge. It triggered tornadoes in six states and severe flooding in the Northeast—the latter of which is being addressed, in part, by Bethlehem Baptist Church, Spring House, Pa., which is helping families in Pennsylvania’s Bucks and Montgomery counties.

In partnership with Family Promise—an organization that serves the homeless in Montgomery County—two families slept in the church right after the flooding. Two other families who are now sleeping in the church express their gratefulness to the church for being light in a time of darkness.

Said the head of one family, “Thank you, Bethlehem Baptist Church, for making us feel very welcomed and comfortable. We appreciate your hospitality.”

If that’s not enough, the 1,200-member suburban church has helped more than 40 families with direct funds, donating a little more than $5,000 total, according to the Rev. Sean Tripline, the church’s assistant pastor. While most families received small gifts, six families with greater needs received $500 each.

While the church began giving assistance from its own funds, a grant of approximately $10,000 from American Baptist Home Mission Societies has allowed the church to continue giving.

“We started a line item in the budget for disaster relief, calling it ‘The Compassionate Fund,’” Tripline says. “It will help our congregation as well as other congregations to give 100 percent in light of disaster relief.”

None of the families being helped attends Bethlehem Baptist Church.

“Some pastors in the area are aware of our active giving,” he says. “We’ve had pastors call up and share the needs of which they’re aware.”

The church is always looking to expand its care for the community, children and the elderly, according to Tripline.

“Our church’s mantra is to ‘Love God and serve people,’” he says. “Responding to the needs of the community is part of our lifeblood—of how we see ourselves doing the work of the church in the world.”

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13). Love rebuilds. When you give to One Great Hour of Sharing, you help to rebuild the lives of those who are impacted by floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural disasters.