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Liberty students start off new year with a heart of service, aid flood victims on West Coast

Liberty’s team works on damage done to a home in northern Washington from November’s flooding.

Last week, from Jan. 2-8, Liberty University’s LU Serve Now program, in partnership with Samaritan’s Purse, sent a team of six students and two group leaders to Whatcom County, Wash., to assist families whose properties had been devastated by flooding in November.

“This was a special group to serve with all week,” LU Serve Director Steven Gillum said. “The students served with joy and passion while doing some really hard work in cold conditions on their Winter Break.  We are proud of each of them and how they represented the Lord Jesus Christ to the homeowners.”

The team visited two towns, Lynden and Sumas, where they worked to remove insulation from the bottom of homes and did mud-outs as part of the requested disaster relief work. The team worked on a total of seven homes and prayed with and presented a Bible to every homeowner that they served. Billy Graham Evangelistic Association chaplains were also present to continue spiritual conversations and offer counseling.

While on their trip, Liberty’s team members also made it a priority to share their personal testimonies and stories with one another.

“I didn’t realize how close I was going to get to every person in our group,” junior English Education major Wiley Kimbrough said. “To grow spiritually, discuss things that we are reading in the Bible, and to pray together (on the trip) meant a lot to me.”

“This trip definitely influenced and opened up the doors for me to look into doing disaster relief type of work full time in the future,” freshman Mechanical Engineering student Amber Lynch said. “This definitely gave me the hands-on experience that I was looking for to see what a trip like this was actually like.”

With a mission to minister to and serve the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of individuals and communities while working alongside world-class organizations and leaders, the LU Serve Now program seeks to build the best culture of preparedness, equip students with the knowledge and skills to capably assist in catastrophic disasters and community development, and create multiple pathways for student engagement.