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Lutheran Flood Relief Group Coming From North Carolina

September 28, 2009

CHARLESTON, W.V. - An ecumenical flood relief effort is getting started this week in West Virginia. A small Lutheran disaster relief group from North Carolina will be in the Mingo County area this week, rebuilding houses hit by recent flooding. The Lutheran Builders of Western North Carolina will actually be bunking at a full gospel church near Gilbert, and doing projects organized though the local Catholic and United Methodist social service agencies.

Reverend Al Mullen of the Lutheran Builders says they only have a few days, so they have to get help from other churches lining up what they're going to do.

"We can do a deck and steps and a porch, do some underpinning of houses where that was destroyed, and replace floors in houses where it was damaged. In four days you can't do everything, but helping a little bit has its own reward."

Unlike some church groups, Mullen says, they have a lot of skilled craft people; painters, plumbers and electricians, among others.

"There are three retired contractors, or one's an active contractor. We try to have at least one really skilled person with every four or five other people who are helpers."

Mullen says it's hard work, but he expects it will be satisfying for the twenty or so group members making the trip. The group has gone to areas hit by Hurricane Katrina ten times, and usually takes two trips a year. Community Lutheran Partners is sponsoring the group's work in West Virginia through a Lutheran Disaster Relief grant.

Dan Heyman, Public News Service - WV