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Archaeologists of Our Own Lives

Glenn Moots

Our home had always been headquarters for education, vocation, fellowship, hospitality, and service.  We homeschooled, established our businesses, (including e-commerce, computer repair, academic consulting, and equestrian jewelry), organized holiday service projects for elderly friends, and hosted parties for church friends and others who enjoyed the lake without having to go on vacation. Independence Day and "Welcome Summer" parties at our home became a tradition. Our lakefront home was a place of recreation, reading, writing, and praise and worship with family and friends. 

All of that changed on May 19, 2020. We returned the morning after two local dams failed to discover Sanford lake fading away and the remaining water draining out. Where the lake once was, forest stumps were revealed along with debris including docks, hoists, decks, boats, golf carts, and household items. A river now ran through an eroded lake bed that hid dangerous patches of quicksand.

Six to eight feet of water in both our house and garage had destroyed almost everything. Our property was covered with mud and silt, inside and out--including the silverware drawer! Almost every bookshelf had collapsed, spilling books into the mud. Closets were forced to empty, while appliances and furniture overturned, sometimes moved to other areas of the house. A six-foot slider was thrust into the kitchen, ushering our dining room contents (a solid oak dining room set, boxes of books, and a tool chest) into the lake, never to be found. Our piano was destroyed and put into the dumpster.

The flood obliged us to become archaeologists of our own lives, digging what we could out of the mud, drying or washing to save whatever possible. Outside the house, the deck was completely torn away. The shed was dragged toward the lake-only held back by a tree. The garage was in complete disarray and covered with mud.

We called friends and began the process of mucking out and saving what we could. Photos and mementos were restored by a small team of friends offsite while onsite we scooped all of our material blessings into wheelbarrows to go to the dump. Thousands of books became bricks to be shoveled out of windows. Items had to be quickly sorted and removed so that all wet building materials could be torn out. We boarded up broken windows and doors as looting became our focus with our now vulnerable home open to even further violation.

We left our home that day after an emotionally and physically exhausting race against mold and destruction, able to get just two or three hours of sleep in a hotel. This was just the beginning.

OPC Disaster Response has connected not just to our local body, but to the larger church body. We have people coming from Illinois, Pennsylvania, and of course here in Michigan. It's remarkable to see the diaconal ministry. This is caring for the bodily needs of the body of Christ, and it has just impressed upon us how important the church is and how important ministry is to one another. The people who are serving us have inspired us to go and serve others. It's really a remarkable thing. We're incredibly blessed by your generosity and we thank you for your continued prayers and support.

Editor's note: Glenn and his wife, Michelle, have lived in their house in Midland for over 20 years. They have two children, Rebekah and Andrew. Their daughter recently graduated from Northwood University and their son is studying engineering at the University of Michigan.

OPC Disaster Response has had the privilege to come alongside the Moots and another family in their church, the Kennedys, in this time of need. The process of rebuilding will be a long one, and we need your help. Please join the volunteers in Michigan by registering on our website: opcdisasterresponse.org/volunteer-registry. Donations for this effort can be made by going to give.opc.org or by mailing a check to: The Orthodox Presbyterian Church, 607 N. Easton Road, Bldg. E, Willow Grove, PA 19090. Please designate your giving by noting “Midland Flood Fund” on the memo line.

For more information about OPC Disaster Response, go to our website: opcdisasterresponse.org.

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