As the cleanup continues from last month's derecho, three Lutheran churches in eastern Iowa came together Sunday to lend a helping hand at the Edgewood Forest Mobile Home park in Cedar Rapids.
“It helps people see there’s a little progress,” she said. “We get by with a little help from our friends and our neighbors, as the song goes," Pastor Jayne Thompson of Holy Redeemer in Cedar Rapids tells KCRG-TV 9.
Volunteers from Gloria Dei in Cedar Rapids and Shepherd of the Cross in Muscatine also helped cut trees, pick up debris from the Aug. 10 storm and haul it away from outside people’s homes.
“We have two trucks with trailers and another four, five trucks, pickup trucks, with just the empty beds, and then a lot of extra helping hands,” Pastor Trish Decker of Gloria Dei tells KCRG-TV 9.
Holy Redeemer also recently became the temporary home for Gloria Dei’s congregation after the storm. “We are livestreaming from one of their rooms in their church at the same time they livestream from their sanctuary,” Decker says.
Both churches opting for virtual services because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The derecho ripped off part of Gloria Dei’s roof, making it unable to host even a virtual service.
Decker says they won’t know until later this week the full scope of the church’s damage and how extensive any necessary repairs and restoration work will be.
With her neighbors unable to worship in their own church, Thompson opened hers.
“You have one place that’s a little bit more peaceful and less damaged, it can be like an oasis,” she said. “Your oasis of just, ‘This is a place I can just rest a little bit,’ amidst the backdrop of chainsaws.”
(Photo from KCRG-TV 9)