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How You Can Help Kentucky Flood Victims

In this conversation, Jacob Dickerson shares some of what they are seeing, how Destination Community Church is serving the local community, and how you can help

Kentucky Floods
Over the last week or ten days, we have been shocked by the news of the terrible flooding in eastern Kentucky.
A year ago, Chemistry worked with Destination Community Church in Prestonsburg to find their new pastor, Jacob Dickerson. In this conversation, Jacob shares some of what they are seeing, how Destination is serving the local community, and how you can help.
Three practical ways that you can help a church that is needing help serving their community:
  • Pray. Pray for the community, for the church, and for the efforts of the relief workers that are helping people pick up the pieces of their lives that were suddenly turned upside down.
  • Give. Destination is doing great work and has trusted partners on the ground working to care for those impacted by the flooding. This link will take you to Destination's online giving page. They will ensure that the funds are distributed and go towards flood relief.
  • Get Involved. The biggest current needs are for box fans and air mattresses. Soon, there will be a significant need for drywall and teams to help rebuild. If you are interested in being more involved, this form will get your basic information. Please share with us what you are looking to do... whether it is bringing a tractor-trailer full of box fans or sheetrock OR if you are looking to bring a mission team into the area. Please note... this is a very fluid situation and it may take a little time before you get a response. Please be gracious on response times. 

Watch the conversation or read the transcript





Most-Needed items: 
  • Washcloths
  • Towels
  • Sheets
  • Small Appliances
  • Dishes
  • Cookware
  • In the next week or so, they will need furniture items 
  • Food (as they still have concerns with food insecurity) 
They do NOT need water, cleaning supplies, mops, etc.,


As always, we are here for you, and we're praying for churches and teams all over the United States! 




Read the Transcript


Matt Steen: Hey everybody, it’s Matt Steen, Co-Founder of Chemistry Staffing. Today, different conversation. Joining me is Jacob Dickerson. Jacob is the Senior Pastor at Destination Community Church in Prestonsburg, Kentucky. If the name Prestonsburg is sticking in the back of your head, it’s because they are pretty much in the epicenter of a lot of the flooding that we’ve heard about in Kentucky and in Appalachia. What I was hoping to do if our internet holds out, because Jacob’s told me it’s a little spotty - but if the internet holds out, have a little conversation with Jacob to learn a little bit about what’s going on there and then maybe talk a little bit about how churches across the country can help be a part of the efforts of flood relief. So Jacob, thanks for taking some time to talk, man. I know you’re crazy busy right now.


Jacob Dickerson: Thankful to connect, Matt, even if the internet is a little spotty.


Matt Steen: It’s a little spotty today. We’ll bear with it. So Jacob, tell me a little bit about what you guys are seeing right now. It’s been, what, ten days give or take? Maybe two weeks? Since all the flooding started.


Jacob Dickerson: Yeah. So last Thursday, it started to rain in eastern Kentucky, and the rain continued for several days. We’re seeing and saw flooding like we have never seen before. Catastrophe is a very accurate word. There are people in cities all around who have lost everything. 35+ have been confirmed killed as a result of these storms. It’s just a very tough situation we’re dealing with.


Matt Steen: Man, that’s hard. You’ve been at Destination for just over a year now, right? So you relocated from hurricane country figuring that you were coming into a safer place. And here you are in your first year pastoring this church, and you’re all of the sudden in the midst of a pretty significant disaster. Tell me a little bit about how you guys have been serving the community.


Jacob Dickerson: Yeah, so a couple of things we’ve been able to do as a result of this. We were able to get our church together last weekend and create flood buckets. Part of this is once the water recedes, people need to get in and they need to clean up their homes and they need to salvage what they can. So these buckets provide tools and resources they absolutely need to do that. So bleach, cleaning supplies, sponges, everything they’re going to need to get in there. Our church was able to create 60 of those buckets and drop them off. You know, it’s interesting. When I dropped those off, Salvation Army had actually donated 500 buckets. They had just run out that day. So to drop off 60 was just a special tangible way for us to serve the community. We are also able to donate $5000 worth of Walmart gift cards to the Martin Community Center. They are kind of home base for FEMA disaster relief and all the organizations that are there. People have lost everything. If that can help ease a burden to say, hey, here’s a $100 Walmart gift card. If you can just go get clothes for the day, the week, then that’s things that we wanted to do. And then lastly, honesty Matt, we’re just meeting needs as we hear about them. So I’ve had families come up and said the only clothes they had were the clothes on their back. So we’re taking them to Walmart and getting clothes. We have people saying they don’t have food. We’re trying to provide for that. In fact, last Saturday, there’s 125 people at the Jenny Wiley lodge. It’s a state park right in our back door. They’re displaced, and that’s where they’re staying. We as a church were able to come alongside of them. Those are just some of the ways. Obviously, this is a marathon, not a sprint. So we have taken some steps, and we will be taking some steps to love on our community.


Matt Steen: That’s awesome, man. You guys, just so we’re clear, you’re not a megachurch by any stretch of the imagination. You’re running what typically on a Sunday morning?


Jacob Dickerson: We’re about 190 on a Sunday morning.


Matt Steen: Yeah. So good on you guys for stepping up and owning this. In the midst of everybody else, I’m sure your congregation is still kind of struggling with wrapping their heads around a lot of this as well. Well done. Well done and thank you for that. As I’m here, and I think we’ve had a conversation where I’m hearing that some of the needs that the area has is box fans, things that we never think of, but box fans to help dry out houses and deal with the heat of this time of year. You were telling me that there is a need for air mattresses. Of course, meals and flood clean up buckets, that kind of stuff. And ultimately, there is going to be a need for dry wall. I think you said as people start to rebuild, that’s going to be down the road. As we in different parts of the country that aren’t experiencing this have no comprehension of what you guys are experiencing, what are some ways that we can be, one, practically serving you, but two, how can we be praying for your congregation but also for the area?


Jacob Dickerson: Yeah. Those are great questions. Prayer-wise, just pray for peace and pray for comfort. People are hurting right now, and they’re looking for a source of hope and peace in their lives. I would encourage people to pray that way for those who have been affected. Pray that followers of Jesus would not just stop at prayer. I think of 1 John, let us not love in word or talk. Those things are great, but he says let’s love in deed and in truth. I think that’s a great thing to pray. God, help followers of Jesus in eastern Kentucky and DCC to step up, step out, and to serve and meet needs in our community right now. Ultimately, we’re praying that even in the midst of tragedy that the message of Jesus can be really, really clear. That the way we love, that the way we’re available, the way we serve can point to the fact that, hey, there’s a God who loves us and there’s a God who is with us in the midst of the storm. And he has called us as his followers to help you and to lead you to be his follower as well. Those would be some things to pray, just for peace and comfort, for followers of Jesus to step up and to serve, and that the message of Jesus would just be really, really clear in a season like this. 


Matt Steen: That’s awesome, man. We can definitely be praying for that. For so many of us, I’m in Orlando. I’ve got no comprehension of what’s going on there. I know that one of the real practical needs that you guys have is just being able to fund some of the relief efforts. If you guys are making breakfast out your back door, eggs cost money. And with inflation what it is, eggs cost more money than they did two weeks ago. So my hope and my prayer in this is that some of our crowd, some of our churches that are going to be watching this and church leaders may be able to step in and help you guys as you do that work. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to link off to y’all’s website so that people can find your giving page. But also, we’ll have a form down below this that if you’ve got resources that you can give or if you’re looking to be able to come and bring some manpower potentially, or if you just happen to have somebody in your congregation looking to get rid of a truckload of sheetrock, just to be able to make that connection. What I know about Destination, we helped Jacob become the Senior Pastor at Destination, and we’re helping him find a Next Generation Pastor - so if anybody is interested, let me know. What I know is that the work that you guys are doing in that area, even before this tragedy, this disaster has been solid, gospel work. And you guys have done just amazing things to bring Jesus to your neighborhood, so we’d love to be able to help continue to do that. We’ll make available the contact information down below and a way to get in touch with Destination to help them as they spread not just hope in a time of tragedy but also the gospel through this. Jacob, one last thing. What should we know as the capital “c” Church in this country about not just your congregation but also the area that you’re in in the midst of this tragedy? What final words would you give us as we try to process what all is going on there?


Jacob Dickerson: Yeah, absolutely. So honestly this is unprecedented. This is catastrophic. This is a very, very difficult situation. Part of why Molly and I even moved to eastern Kentucky and felt called by God to be at Destination was 90% of our county does not go to church or have a relationship with Jesus. [INAUDIBLE] So there is a tremendous opportunity not to just meet physical needs in people’s lives but also spiritual needs in people’s lives. I think if the capital “c” Church can just have that on their radar in this situation and other situations - hey, we can serve and meet physical needs and that can lead to conversations about meeting spiritual needs. Especially in our context, that’s going to go a long way in fulfilling the calling that Jesus has given us.


Matt Steen: That’s a good word. Well Jacob, know that we are for you. Know that we are praying hard for you and for your community and we will continue to pray for you, even on the other side of this. Thank you for the good work that you are doing. Thank you for sharing the gospel through tough situations. Man, God speed as you guys continue to serve well. 


Jacob Dickerson: Absolutely, Matt. Thank you, guys. It’s a privilege to be able to partner together.


Matt Steen

Matt Steen

Matt has served the local church for over two decades as a youth pastor, church planter, and executive pastor. Originally from Baltimore, Matt currently lives in Orlando, with his wife Theresa, and has a B.S. in Youth Ministry from Nyack College and an M.Div. and MBA from Baylor University. Certified as an Urban Church Planter Coach by Redeemer City to City and as a StratOp facilitator by the Paterson Center, Matt has made a career of helping churches thrive through intentionality, clarity, and creating healthy cultures. He is convinced that a healthy church is led by a healthy team with great chemistry, and loves partnering with Chemistry’s churches to do great things for the Kingdom.

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