For those of you who are interested in supporting or learning about a hands-on ministry that truly made a difference for our little congregation and for our broader community, visit this site:
Allen King headed up the work in our area. He and his crews donated skills and time that made it possible for us to return to the Chapel without debt. We can’t say thanks enough to them or to God for them!
Obviously, I haven’t updated this blog for a while. It served as a way to let people know the situation back when it was happening and, after all our people were accounted for and adjustments were made, we just went on with our lives and work.
However, we are now back at the Chapel! The inside was gutted to get to any mold and, on the basis of $19,000,00 of scrubbing and testing, we are mold free. Only after that was established could we begin to rebuild.
Here is a portion of my Christmas ministry letter:
“We have learned that it isn’t wrong to make plans and set goals, but that our plans must be submitted to Jesus. He is the Head of the church and the Head of our family. As we follow Him, we will find His protection and His provision. As we trust Him, we will find Him to be trustworthy and faithful. No one knows what the future will bring—no one but Jesus.
Obviously, we have seen strong evidence of this over the past 15 months. When the flood came and the Chapel sat in the water, none of us knew God’s plan. So many in our community had lost so much and the only thing we knew was that it would take a long time and a lot of work, besides a lot of money, to get things back in order.
But God knew just what was needed. He provided a place, through the kindness of Allnutt Funeral Chapel, for us to gather ourselves each week. For fourteen months they allowed us to use their facility at no charge, and we were greatly blessed. God lifted up Bob Fiscus to lead in organizing the rebuilding of the Chapel, and Bob gave more hours of labor and planning than you and I could imagine. Bob and Sylvia, Harry and Liz, and so many others pitched in to tear out drywall and flooring and carry out trash and get things ready so the inside could be restored. For those who didn’t see what was needed, it is also hard to imagine. The interior of the building has been rebuilt from the studs in the walls and the concrete floors. What wasn’t destroyed by the water was infected by the mold. Even the wiring had to be replaced.
Then, at just the right time, God brought in Allan King and his work crews. They spent hundreds of hours sanding, cleaning, painting, and finishing all the woodwork and walls. They did more than we would have ever expected—again at no charge to us. Allan represents a Mennonite ministry and has helped many who were affected by the flood. We give praise to God for Allan, his family, and his work crews.
Financially, the Lord has provided in so many ways. Many from the Chapel family have been generous to the point of sacrifice. We have received gifts from folks outside the Chapel as well, and organizations such as Mountain View Presbyterian Church in Loveland. Several of our contractors have donated hours and fixtures to help us get back together.
Some of our folks from the canyon suffered serious loss. Some have rebuilt and others have had to find new living situations. But all were protected by the hand of God. It is amazing to think that the loss of life in this flood was so much less than in the 1976 flood, even though this flood was so much more powerful. While we grieve with those who lost loved ones and with those who lost their homes, we are thankful to the Lord for His protecting hand.
And now we are back! The community looks different and there is much work yet to be done. The Chapel looks different inside and it is obvious that a great deal of work has been done. There are still a few things to do, bugs to work out, but we are moving forward again. God has truly been good to us. He has been our Protector and our Provider.”
Haven’t updated for a while. Highway 34 is open, ahead of schedule. It is still considered a temporary road, but we can get to Drake from Loveland on paved two-lane surface. The folks on Storm Mountain are moving home. But we may never say that things are back to normal in the canyon.
Everyone who goes up remarks on the changes and the damage that can still be seen. The road crews have done so much, but there is still so much to do. We have limited access to the Chapel, a single lane road with no parking. The issue is what’s left from the flood. Boulders sit everywhere, I am told, and many of them are large. A primary issue for returning to the Chapel will be parking.
The interior has been torn out, thanks to our two couples who have worked so hard. A crew from Americorp, based in Estes Park, came down to help on a couple of days. With their help, the rugs and walls were torn out and mud removed. Lots of hard work was accomplished. Now we have to get the electric system inspected and repaired in order to get lights and we will have someone check the furnace. Still much to do.
The expenses of the Chapel will be significant, one adjuster (who told us he couldn’t help us) said at least $50,000 to return to what we had. Obviously, that number is yet to be calculated, but it does not include any parking lot work. Since we had no flood insurance coverage, being ineligible, and no government funds are available for the church, we are simply trusting that the Lord will provide when the funds are needed. So far, we haven’t spent much to get things torn out.
We mourn the passing of our friend Jim. He struggled toward the end and Carol had the double burden of being evacuated and being with him through the difficulties. But God is faithful and provided a place to stay and the stamina to handle things. We will miss Jim, with his kind words and smile and handshake. Praise the Lord for the hope we have as believers!
We are getting ready for our annual Christmas dinner at Golden Corral on December 15th. These things are important for keeping our folks together. We hope that some who are living in Denver or other places where they can’t normally gather with us on Sunday, will be able to be here for that special time.
We appreciate the prayers of those who read here. We continue to enjoy our stay with the folks at Allnutt. They have been so gracious and generous. We have been given Bibles by the Gideons and hymnals from a church in Nebraska. Our attendance has been smaller, but steady and we are blessed. God is good . . . all the time!
Well, we have had a report on the damage at the Chapel building in Drake. Two of our men went up there and found that water did get into the building, both from the river and, apparently, from the hillside behind the Chapel. Mold is already growing and the building smells. The pews were pushed into a heap at the back of the church. Cushions, books, and paneling have all been water-soaked and most are not recoverable. One estimate was that two feet of water was in the building. Now, of course, there is mud and mold.
Those who went up were able to bring a few things back (files, some hymnals, some artwork, etc.) but not much. Nor were they able to do any cleaning or repairs. These things will have to wait until more time and access is allowed. At this point only those who have identification that verifies they live in the area are able to go in and then only for short periods. Even then, the roads are such that four-wheel-drive and high clearance are necessary. No cars can get to the Chapel building, so anything brought out has to be carried across the river on the makeshift bridge.
There is no road by the Chapel, nor do we have any parking left. It will be several months before access will become easy again. We are trying to determine our best course of action until that time. At this point we still have to simply wait.
PERSPECTIVE: It is important to remember that no one lives at the Chapel. Some have lost their homes completely and others will have a great deal of work to do when they have access again. The Chapel building is just a building. The Chapel family can build again or meet in another facility, even if the current building cannot be restored. Our concern now is for the people who grieve the loss of their homes and community.
At this point we have accounted for everyone in the Chapel fellowship. All are safe and in good spirits, in spite of their loss. Those who are able are gathering at the Allnutt facility in Loveland for worship and fellowship on Sunday mornings. We continue to meet for breakfast at Perkins on Thursday mornings. We are very much aware that God has blessed all of us.
So many have expressed their concerns. Thanks for your prayers and for your financial contributions. We have a special flood relief fund set up and donations can be made through this website or can be sent to our PO box (Chapel of the Interlude, PO Box 2882, Loveland, CO 80539).
Please tell others about this website. We will try to keep it up to date as we learn more. I hope to have some recent pictures of the Chapel property soon.
Last Sunday was our first worship time together since the flood. You can listen to the message here:
Join us this Sunday at the Allnutt Funeral Chapel (2100 North Lincoln in Loveland). As things begin to return to normal, we will resume our study of David as a wonderful illustration of God’s grace.