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'God smiling down': Rainbow shines over ministry serving NC flood victims

Posted August 21, 2021 10:08 p.m. EDT
Updated August 21, 2021 10:13 p.m. EDT

Rainbow shines over disaster relief tents set up in Bethel, NC. Photo captured by Deanna Bryd.

Hearts with Hands, a disaster relief ministry based in Asheville, had large tents set up in the heart of western North Carolina at Bethel Baptist Church on Saturday to help those affected by floodwaters that destroyed people's lives this week.

The ministry passed out boxed food and hygiene supples for victims of the flooding. Hearts with Hands mission also has a mobile kitchen, and is able to serve hot meals to people where they are.

Disaster Relief at Bethel Baptist Church

Deanna Byrd, who lives in Waynesville, was protected from the flooding, so she decided to help her community. She said she arrived at Bethel Baptist Church at 3 p.m., and left the site at 7 p.m. The whole time she was there, people were lined up to receive supplies.

While she was volunteering, she looked up into the sky. Above the tents was a full rainbow, stretched across the donation site, with dark clouds behind it.

"I thought the rainbow as Gods way of smiling down on this community for coming together as a promise to take care of each other," Byrd said.

Four have died and thousands were displaced from heavy flooding in the state. Drones and K-9s were assisting ground and swift water rescue teams, with a total of 225 rescuers assigned to work.

Hearts and Hands mission is passing out food to those without power

Aside from people in need of immediate rescue, hundreds of families also lost their homes. Officials said some entire neighborhoods were washed away.

"There are areas of the community that don't exist anymore," said Travis Donaldson, emergency services director for Haywood County.

To volunteer with Hearts with Hands mission, the group asks that people pre-register online.

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