On Thursday, Aug. 4, teams from AdventHealth Redmond and AdventHealth Gordon traveled to eastern Kentucky to provide aid and assist with clean up after the summer’s catastrophic floods.
AdventHealth Redmond’s assistant director of EMS Charles “Frankie” Matthews answered the call to serve as well as Jennifer Goodrich and Kody Hill from AdventHealth Redmond EMS. Matthews had been praying and searching for a project or mission to help with and immediately volunteered to spend time in Kentucky when he heard about the devastation to the area. He knew with his experience in disaster response and relief, that he could provide much needed assistance in coordinating crews and logistics.
The group of two teams traveled to AdventHealth Manchester, a hospital in Clay County, Kentucky, that had been a hub for disaster response in the wake of the flooding. Several team members had lost homes and all belongings, and many roads and bridges were wiped out completely. Matthews and his team visited families in need of help and immediately responded to their most pressing needs.
“Clay County is one of the poorest counties in the nation,” said Matthews. “Those folks had nothing, and now, they have even less than that.”
One woman had lost her home but was most concerned with her family’s cemetery at the top of the hill where her husband of fifty years had been buried. Together, the AdventHealth team cleaned up the cemetery, put benches back together and comforted the woman who cried over her insurmountable loss. After she was relieved of her worry about the family cemetery, she was able to focus on rebuilding and cleaning out her home.
Matthews and his team traveled on UTVs to an elderly couple’s farm home. Their livestock area was completely washed away, and their barn was swept 100 feet downstream. The crew used their knowledge of agriculture to clean up the farm equipment and help salvage some of the cattle systems created by the farmer.
While Matthews felt called to this mission to provide aid, he came away with a full heart of gratitude for the local community who hosted his team. He looks forward to living the purpose God puts in his heart to serve.
“Our mission statement is the basis of all we do; to Extend the Healing Ministry of Christ, and healing is not just medical; it’s spiritual. Serving others is our purpose, our calling, and if I can make the process a little bit better on someone’s worst day of their life, that’s why I’m here,” said Matthews.