Hamburg UMC receives $30,000 from Iowa Disaster Ministries

Hamburg UMC receives $30,000 from Iowa Disaster Ministries
In November 2019, floodwaters continue to cover farmland surrounding Hamburg, Iowa.

November 08, 2019

Prayer for Continued Recovery in Hamburg, Iowa from Iowa Annual Conference on Vimeo.

Prayers, hard work, and donations have poured into Hamburg, Iowa since the spring floods, and United Methodists were able to give church members some extra encouragement this week. Through giving across the connection, $30,000 from the Iowa Disaster Ministries Advance Special #223 was gifted to the church community for recovery.
“We came to support you, to love you, to care for you,” said Pastor Catie Newman, Iowa Conference Disaster Response Coordinator, during the check presentation.
Pastor Luke Fillmore and several church members gathered in the sanctuary of Hamburg First United Methodist Church to receive the gift from Newman, Assistant to the Bishop, Harlan Gillespie, and Southwest District Superintendent Terra Amundson.

“I felt strongly that we needed to make a big deal (of this gift) so that people understand the connection and our care,” said Newman.
That connection goes far beyond Iowa. Support for flood relief and recovery has poured in from communities from all over the country, and not all of them United Methodist.
Jim Nahkunst talked about shipments of bottled water and hay bales for livestock that the community arranged by a Farm Service Agency (FSA) office in Central Ohio. “We keep asking them ‘how can we repay you?’ and they answer ‘pass it on’, so we will.”
Church members also reminisced about when they made several hundred flood buckets for another community in Iowa during a previous flood, and what it was like to have received them back.
“On behalf of all the church family members, thank you so much,” said Judy Holliman when church members accepted the check from the conference.
You can still donate to Iowa Disaster Ministries Advance Special #223 to help flood recovery by mailing a check to the Iowa Conference Office, 2301 Rittenhouse Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50321 with Advance #223 in the memo, or by giving online here.

Catching up with church members
Last April, Iowa Conference Communicators were able to speak with several church and community members. Read the original news report with their video stories here. This November, we caught up with a few of them to hear how they were doing.
  • Jim Nahkunst replied “short” when asked how the harvest was going this fall. He was able to get crops planted in all but about 500 acres, roughly one-fourth of the land he cares for. He’s hopeful for next season and thankful to everyone who has helped care for the farmers and the community.
  • Gary Barrett was working away in The Center, a community gathering place in downtown Hamburg, with another church member. He is thankful for the churches and other groups that came in to tear out and put in new drywall. “I think we have a paint crew in next week,” he said with a smile.
  • Virginia Lynn is still traveling and living with family in Oklahoma and Virginia. Church members told us that the low-rent apartments where she was living at the time of the flooding haven’t seen much progress yet. She still wants to come back to live in Hamburg as soon as she can.