Furniture, ruined treasures, and keepsakes once piled as high as the houses they lay in front of are no more. The cleanup has concluded, for the most part, but the rebuild is far from over. Deacon Ray Rosencrantz still goes back to the Midland area to help with everything—from putting a door back on its hinges to replacing a floor. In May, 2020, floods from broken dams wreaked havoc on Midland, Sanford, and the surrounding area and, for all but a few, insurance isn’t covering the cleanup or the rebuild.
Deacon Rosencrantz serves at St. Mark, Brooklyn. Before becoming a Deacon he was a contractor, which is part of the reason he heads back up north to lend a hand. The other reason is that lived in the Midland/Sanford area for many years and feels compelled to help his old hometown. He gets emotional when telling stories of the people in this community. “To whom much is given, much is required,” says Rosencrantz about pitching in for the rebuild.
At Messiah, Midland, volunteer coordinator Jackie Maxwell is still looking for help from volunteers. There is a lot of drywall that needs to be done and, while skilled labor is an important need, Maxwell says anyone who can use a hammer is a godsend.
“There are houses that are still just subfloors and studs,” said Maxwell. “We’ll get the supplies; we’ll take care of all that. We’ll make sure it’s ready to go, but [we need] some extra manpower and woman power.”
Paul Seidel is a member at Messiah. He goes out weekly to the homes in the area to help lend a hand or hammer. He feels blessed that he gets to talk to the people he’s helping. “There are many people who are still hurting and struggling to get their houses back in operation,” said Seidel.
If volunteers in the Michigan District, LCMS are looking to help, they can contact Maxwell by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 989.631.5200.
Deacon Rosencrantz makes a strong plea to help his hometown: “I would encourage anyone who has the opportunity to please go. Go help. They need it.”
Photo and video by Jeff Heisner/Michigan District, LCMS