Newsjournal of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan | May 2023 | Volume 67, Number 5
FLINT WATER DISTRIBUTION: 'GOD HAS NOT FORGOTTEN US'
Tony Lynn - Baptist State Convention of Michigan
FLINT, MI — Sylvia is a grandmother of 4 children in Flint. Talking about the water lead crisis in the city, she said, “I’m frightened for my grandbabies. The older ones understand not to drink the Flint water, but the little ones don’t understand. I don’t want to them to be sick all of their lives because of what happened. I don’t know if that fear will ever go away.”
On this wintery day, the temperature was 21 degrees. The cases of bottled water crinkled in the men’s grip as they loaded car after car outside the pole barn at Westside Baptist Church. More than a dozen men and four teenagers endured the frigid temperatures helping those in need. Pastor Ed Emmerling and his team were tireless and generous. More than half of the twenty pallets of healthy water were provided by the Michigan Disaster Relief Team and director, Win Williams.
Large tears rolled down Sylvia’s cheeks. Releasing the steering wheel to wipe away the tears, she announced to the 4 children in her car, “Babies, this is the only stop we’ll need to make tonight. After we get the water we can go home and make supper.”
Sylvia said, “Every weekday is the same. My daughter and her husband, before they go to work, drop off their 4 children at my house. The children have breakfast with me before the bus comes to pick them up for school. Each evening before my grandchildren arrive, I boil water and let it cool for the children to drink and wash in the next morning.”
Volunteers provide cases of water to citizen's of Flint during water crisis. (Photo by Tony Lynn)
She added, “After the children are dropped off at the end of the day from school, they get into my car and we drive from place to place asking for good water. Everyone else is giving away one package of water. That’s why I was blessed when you said that you gave more water to families. I couldn’t believe it. Now I can go home and start preparing supper for all of us to eat before we start all over again tomorrow.”
Reflecting on the gift of water from Southern Baptists, Sylvia said, “It reminds me and my grandbabies that God hasn’t forgotten us. Others may have let this terrible thing happen to us, but God has not forgotten us. Thank you for what you’ve done. Please, thank everyone for their help.”
In less than two hours, water was donated to more than 69 cars. Here are the reactions of a few more Flint residents.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tony Lynn is the State Director of Missions for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Before coming on staff at the BSCM, Tony served as lead pastor for more than six years at Crosspoint Church in Monroe, Michigan. He and his wife, Jamie, also served with the International Mission Board in Africa and in Europe.