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The Word of the Lord Endures Forever

The devil despises the Word of God being taught rightly and the Sacraments being properly administered. He cannot stand to see faith strengthened and forgiveness delivered to people who are in need. This past week, that wicked, conniving, evil foe tried very hard to keep the Word away, but the Word of the Lord will endure forever.

On June 26th a hard moving front came through Arkansas and blew unexpected winds that caught our roofers by surprise who had just laid down tar paper. Due to the direction of the winds before the storm, it wrecked the tar paper allowing approximately 2 inches of water to seep into the north side of the original part of the building causing massive damage. It is hard to describe how bad it was without documenting our way along.

4-20yd and 5-15yd dumpsters have been filled with debris. Steam-Pro estimates that 30,000 lbs will be removed.

The one good thing was that there were people already here when the storm hit so the damage was known immediately (Pastor still was at Annual Training for the Arkansas National Guard). Steam-Pro, a local company, was called, and in less than 30 minutes was on the ground removing water. It is estimated that over 2000 gallons of water were removed in the first three days, which is no surprise because even today there is still water dripping from a spot and the wood is damp in many places.

(entering into narthex)

The damage is done and thankfully we have insurance, though, as you have all witnessed, premiums and deductibles have increased. Thankfully, Hope has been setting aside money the last couple years for a couple of differed maintenance projects that we know are coming. Another problem is that since water has leaked through things from the roof the category of damage increases to a level 2/3 of storm damage. It requires porous things like cloth, carpet, books and even particle board, like some of the pews, will be required to be thrown away because of mold contamination.

On June 30th we gathered together to be comforted in the hope of the Lord. While we clearly want a space befitting of our gracious, loving king, we are reminded that the Word must continue to be confessed wherever we may set up. Thanks be to God! We have a wonderful fellowship hall that is big enough to more than accommodate our congregation. We also recently purchased new folding chairs for the fellowship hall just two months ago that are now being put to good use. A few men of the congregation stepped up this past week and set up our place of worship. This past Sunday we had a spot where we could have the Word and Sacraments delivered safely.

There is no timeline yet for returning to the Sanctuary. There are still two more tasks to be completed at Hope before a contractor can come in. In the mean time, Hope will be soliciting bids as well as determining what updates we will do while the Sanctuary is torn apart. Catechesis will continue, keeping the Gospel at the center. For in the midst of the chaos and uncertainty, there is one thing that will not be denied at Hope Lutheran Church. The Word of the Lord will endure forever. Christ-crucified remains our sure hope. (Stay tuned for updates.)

Join us for services on Sundays at 10:45am and understand why nothing will keep the Word of God from being delivered to his people, not disease or storms or any such thing!

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