FLINT, MI – “On April 25, 2014, a group of smiling officials in Flint, Mich., stood in front of television cameras, held their glasses aloft and toasted the switch to the city’s new water source, the Flint River. “Here’s to Flint!” Dayne Walling, the then mayor, said, taking a gulp of river water.
The Flint water crisis was born that day. Almost immediately, Flint residents began telling their elected officials that there was something wrong with the water, which smelled terrible, tasted like metal and seemed to give them skin rashes. They confronted elected officials outside City Hall, hoisting bottles full of rust-colored water from their taps, only to be told, again and again, that the water was fine.
The water was not fine.
In Flint, the water crisis is by no means in the past.
“It’s a community that’s still dealing with the trauma and the aftermath of having been poisoned at the hands of the government,” said Karen Weaver, mayor of Flint. Ms. Weaver continues to tell residents to drink only bottled or filtered water.” (Mitch Smith, 2019) The Michigan African American Fellowship joined forces with the National Women’s Mission Union of the Southern Baptist Convention to serve our brothers and sisters in need in Flint, Michigan. During the last month over four tons of water has been distributed to the residents of Flint. Sally Thomas stated, “The water was just in time.” She had been looking to buy water, but did not have the funds due to her limited income. Stan Parker adds, “She also asked why we were doing this since we are not from Flint. We were able to let her know, first, God loves everyone, and we are an extension of his love. Second, as Christians we are to be His witnesses not just in our community, but where ever we can be.” She responded by saying she was so glad we love God and people. Parker says, “This water drive is another way in which we as Christians can “Love Out Loud”.”
Plans are underway for another water drive and distribution for our brothers and sisters in Flint. We are very thankful to the church family of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church for agreeing to be a host site for the distribution of water. If anyone is interested in joining future water drives or desires to donate to this cause, you can contact Dr. Stan Parker, President of the Michigan African American Fellowship at 517-853-9897 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stan Parker is senior pastor of Faith Fellowship Baptist Church in Lansing, MI and a regular contributor to the Baptist Beacon.
Mitch Smith, J. B. (2019, April 26). Flint’s Water Crisis Started 5 Years Ago. It’s Not Over. The New York Times, p. A13.