Neighbors helping neighbors

Farmville Enterprise September 26, 2018

Seven months after we moved to Farmville my husband’s fraternal grandmother died. Some kids have a grandparent who thinks they can do no wrong. She was that grandparent for Rocky. I never will forget the jolt of surprise I got upon seeing a group from Farmville at her graveside. It did not cross my mind that these new friends would travel two hours for Baba’s service.

That and the notably warm welcome we got upon our arrival from neighbors and church members were my first inklings that small-town living would be quite a new experience. In September 1999, immediately after the waters of Hurricane Floyd receded from homes on or in the vicinity of North Contentnea, Allen and North Waverly Streets and Dale Drive, an army of volunteers jumped in to pull out drywall, remove soaked insulation, clean up debris and cook food.

Some of you remember the almost endless energy of Farmville United Methodist’s Pastor Randy Maynard and the way he mobilized the troops to help. Jarrett Banks, new to town at the time, had just started his pastorate at First Baptist Church. The North Main Street home that he and his wife Lori bought got flooded. Liza and Steven Hardy-Braz had twin babies and also dealt with a flooded home. FEMA became a much more commonly used term for many of their neighbors.

Two weeks ago Farmville homes and businesses were spared, for the most part. Hurricane Florence left us with a few flooded roads, some downed power lines and a bunch of branches and yard debris. Once again, however, our citizens are stepping up to help those in surrounding areas severely affected by the storm. To see friends pitch in to provide food, supplies, skills and expertise to out-of-town folks is overwhelming.

There is a special sense of community in small towns but we have seen that those in bigger towns or cities are just as likely to lend a helping hand in the aftermath of a disaster. In the worst of times most of us want to provide assistance or relief. We see the best in people. As Christians we can be the hands and feet of Jesus.

“So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:10)


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