Story by Elizabeth Grams and Chris Meehan. Photos courtesy of Elizabeth Adams, Frank Bassett, Maria Elliott and Bill Sjoberg.
After the massive snowstorm dubbed “Snowzilla” hit the east coast of the United States this weekend, brothers and sisters in the northern Virginia branch are still standing . . . in up to three feet of snow.
“So far everyone seems to be okay,” says Principal Branch Coordinator Bob Magill. “We’re ready to look out for each other. It’ll take us a couple days to dig out.”
The storm also brought heavy winds, thunder and lightning to the D.C. area on Friday and Saturday, leaving many people looking at two or more feet of snow outside their windows by Sunday morning. While children got busy building snow forts and sledding, men in the branch took on driveways and sidewalks with their shovels and the occasional snowblower, even as another round of snow fell Sunday afternoon.
In the branch’s south area, coordinator Rick Ridenour enlisted men’s groups to look after the needs of those less able. John Elliott, Dave Baldwin and Lee Smith worked from about 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, removing snow for single women and elderly members of the area as well as for other neighbors. As they travelled from neighborhood to neighborhood with John’s snowblower and some shovels, more men from the area joined them in each spot.
“First they had to clear part of the street just to get to my house,” said Barbara Moore, a branch member who lives alone. “The men labored so hard and so long yesterday. I’m grateful to them and to the People of Praise.”
Bill Sjoberg, a meteorologist who works for a government weather agency, started a branch email chain that, well, snowballed over the course of the weekend. He told everyone the proper way to measure the snow in their yards, and reports came in steadily from different parts of the branch.
While power outages and flooding have affected other parts of the East coast, and at least 21 deaths associated with the storm have been reported, life in the D.C. area has simply come to a halt. Branch offices and Trinity School at Meadow View, along with public schools and government offices, will remain closed at least through Tuesday. Flooding and water damage are a risk for the area when the snow melts.
For the moment, branch members are taking the snow day to spend time with one another in their homes, gathering for meals and games, and traveling mostly by foot. “It’s been a time for family and fellowship,” says Bill.
Locksley Robinson says:
January 25th, 2016 at 5:07 PM
In all things we can praise the Lord. So happy to hear of the ways that the brothers are helping those in need and of the ways that we're taking advantage of simply 'being community'.
John Carnick says:
January 25th, 2016 at 5:26 PM
Cool! Thank you, Lord for an unexpected break in our busy lives!
tom caneff says:
January 25th, 2016 at 5:49 PM
God bless you all! We in Minnesota miss that snow. Well, some of us do.........
Terry Bomkamp says:
January 25th, 2016 at 5:51 PM
I love the snow, but this looks serious, God Bless our brothers/sisters
Anne Brewer says:
January 25th, 2016 at 7:15 PM
Praying for all of you as things get back into gear. Don't overdo it!
RUTH JORGENSON - SERVANT BRANCH says:
January 25th, 2016 at 9:35 PM
WOW! THATS A LOT OF SNOW EVEN FOR MINNESOTA!! ITS BEEN YEARS
SINCE WE'VE GOTTEN THAT MUCH SNOW IN ONE STORM.
AND WE HAVE THE EQUIPMENT ETC TO DEAL WITH IT. I AM GLAD EVEYONE IS SAFE. ALWAYS GREAT TO READ HOW WE CARE FOR ONE ANOTHER!
January 25th, 2016 at 11:47 PM
WISH I was there but alas I am in HAWAII !!!!! much aloha to our bros and sisters in NOVA.
Sharon Jones (South Bend) says:
January 27th, 2016 at 2:54 PM
Whoa....to the men who helped move all that snow...impressive to say the least. May the Lord find some surprising ways to bless you this year!!!.
Hebrews 13:16 “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”
Nancy Grams says:
January 27th, 2016 at 5:08 PM
Those snow days of years back in Servant Branch build wonderful memories of deepening relationships with family and branch members. Besides the service of shoveling people's sidewalks and driveways, we took advantage of the down time by playing games, baking cookies and celebrating with impromptu neighborhood meals together!
Enjoy the moment!
Mary Duddy says:
January 28th, 2016 at 8:48 PM
Thanks to Rick and the team of men who helped those in need shoveling snow. Blessed by your service!
John VBogel says:
January 30th, 2016 at 12:06 PM
I agree with Ruth Jorgenson. It is great to read how we care for each other. I am so grateful that we want to act as the Lord in being generous.
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