(OSLO, NORWAY) The heaviest rainfall in recent memory led to devastating floods across Western Europe last week. The flooding badly affected regions of Germany, Belgium, Austria, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland.
The damage in Germany and Belgium is greater than in the other areas. More than 180 people lost their lives, and among those losses, at least 150 were in Germany, including four firefighters. The water levels are now stable, but many remain missing, and massive recovery works will be required.
Public Relations Officer of Union of Evangelical Free Churches (Baptists) in Germany, Julia Grundmann, said, “Two of our church buildings were damaged. The Baptist Church in Hagen was completely flooded. Boxes and chairs float in brown water, the newly renovated organ, the piano, microphones and other furniture are also in 1.20 meters of deep water. The pastor said to us that he is deeply saddened when he thinks of the neighbourhood, as entire livelihoods have been destroyed there. A firefighter was killed during rescue operations. From the Baptist Church in Remagen (Credogemeinde) we heard that two, possibly three, church members were swept away by the water in front of their house and have not yet been found. Some houses had their entire interior destroyed and cars were washed away.”
Belgium Union’s General Secretary, Samuel Verhaeghe, said that one of the Baptist churches in Belgium was affected by the heavy rain but had no significant losses.
Fortunately, there were no further reports on the flood from other regions.
The German Union has begun to respond to the relief works and set up a donation link on their website. Grundmann said, “Our churches from all over the country is helping the affected churches. They just come and give a hand to clean up the mud and water. We are very thankful for all the compassion and solidarity from all over the world. We received emails from Spain, India, Peru, Croatia, Ukraine, Greece and more. We also mourn with all the people who suffer in the Netherlands, Austria and Belgium.”
If you wish to make a donation to the relief effort, please use the online giving form or make a donation to the following bank account:
Bund Evangelisch-Freikirchlicher Gemeinden in Deutschland K.d.ö.R. IBAN: DE14 5009 2100 0000 0333 08 BIC: GENODE51BH2 Spar- und Kreditbank Bad Homburg v.d.H. Purpose: Flutkatastrophe Deutschland 2021 Projektnummer 45021
Photo: France24 (Rhein-Erft-Kreis, AP)
Tim SolWoong Kim, EBF Communications Director - July 20, 2021