Witnessing the Power of Community Care

The Lord has blessed us with friends and neighbors to strengthen us when the floods of life—literal or metaphorical—threaten to overwhelm us.

I’d never truly understood the destructive power of water until I witnessed it submerge my hometown under seven feet of water.

"We belong as a united community - whether confronting pandemics, storms, droughts, or quietly meeting daily needs." --Gerrit W. Gong

Image by Alex Lvrs

In 2017, Hurricane Harvey overtook many homes and buildings in my town, and the drainage systems didn’t recover properly. Consequently, we relived this nightmare a couple of years later. On a random day in May 2019, heavy rain once again wreaked havoc on normal life, and I suddenly found myself wading through waist-high water to get to a neighbor’s house down the street.

Reflecting on this experience, I think of a comment from Elder Gerrit W. Gong’s talk “Room in the Inn.” He says, “We belong as a united community—whether confronting pandemics, storms, wildfires, droughts, or quietly meeting daily needs.” I would venture to add “floods” to Elder Gong’s list of situations that require community care.

While the effects of both the 2017 and 2019 flooding were undoubtedly devastating, the collective action of our united community in the aftermath was inspiring to behold. Many of us went to work, spending hours ripping out carpets and demolishing affected areas of homes to prepare them for future repair. Others offered up laundry rooms for washing piles of soaked clothes or spare bedrooms for accommodating displaced families. Prayers were said frequently, help was offered generously, and no one was left to face the challenge alone.

Through this time of crisis, I witnessed the true power of community care through the Christlike service and discipleship that permeated my hometown. But times of crisis are not the only opportunities to create a united community of support. Elder Gong reminds us we belong together to help and strengthen one another in all seasons of life—whether during great storms and floods or during the quiet moments when someone simply needs a shoulder to lean on.

For more inspiring insight from Elder Gong about the power of community, read his full talk “Room in the Inn.”

Source: General Conference

—Emma Rostrom, Latter-day Saint Insights


Find more insights

Read Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson’s talk “The Needs Before Us” to learn more about how we can best care for our friends and neighbors.

Check out Ashlyn Pells’s Latter-day Saint Insights article “Stormy Days and Mountain Waves: Finding Strength” for insight about seeking the Lord’s help during times of individual struggle.

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