Andrea Muncy’s life was unraveling. The young mother was carrying years of emotional hurts, addicted to prescription pain medication and in a difficult relationship.
Baptist Courier photo
Andrea Muncy, center, a survivor of South Carolina’s record flooding in October 2015, is finding emotional healing with the help of DR chaplain Jack Dorn and his wife Judy.
Then the flood came.
“That’s what it took for God to get my attention,” Muncy said of the torrential rainfall and flooding in South Carolina in October 2015.
“Had a Christian not found me when that happened, I know I’d be dead.”
The Christian who “found” her was Jack Dorn, a member of Taylors First Baptist Church and a South Carolina Baptist disaster relief chaplain.
Dorn, in his 12th post-hurricane disaster response trip, was assigned to work with flood survivors in Columbia. After the floodwaters receded, he was asked to serve in an American Red Cross shelter at Trinity Baptist Church in Cayce.
“I saw many trained organizations there from nearby states and heard stories of rescues,” Dorn said. “It was overwhelming to see the large numbers of volunteers.”
Dorn also saw flood survivors grappling with personal loss, including the emotional toll of displacement. As part of a team of disaster relief chaplains from South Carolina and Alabama, he ministered to and prayed with people for three days at the shelter. Ten shelter clients made decisions for Christ.
Dorn also met Muncy at the Trinity Baptist shelter.
By her own admission, she had been desperate for God to intervene in her life long before the flood waters swelled. She was a believer, but her lifestyle choices led her to a place of heartbreak.
“When I was alone at the shelter after the flood. I looked up and said, ‘God, it’s me and You now.’ I cried out to Him. Looking back, I see that He positioned me that way,” Muncy said of what she now calls a miracle.
Muncy moved through several shelters in the weeks after the flood, eventually landing at the Trinity shelter. Dorn described her as “distanced” and, at first, uninterested in talking with chaplains or volunteers. But she finally allowed others to help.
A state agency provided her with short-term lodging in a local hotel. Within days, Dorn and his wife presented Muncy with another life-changing opportunity – an application for an inpatient addiction facility in Greenville.
“I began to feel the Holy Spirit moving and knew that whatever help they were offering I was ready for,” she said. “But when I got the application, all I could do was write my name. I felt so ashamed of where I was and knowing someone else would read and know what I had done. I felt like I couldn’t write it on paper.”
In that moment, Muncy made a decision to wade out of the floodwaters that had consumed her life and took steps to begin the process of physical, emotional and spiritual healing. While seeking treatment, she feared being in a new city two hours away from her daughter, but said she felt God was calling her to obey by taking such a step.
Following her 30-day stay at Shepherd’s Gate in Greenville, S.C., Muncy spent three months in their renewal program, which she described as a spiritual boot camp. The next three months were spent at Shalom House in Belton, S.C., where she received biblical and psychological counseling.
“My mind and heart were completely renewed,” she said. “Some deep-seated roots were pulled out, and God poured Himself into the spaces.”
Today, Muncy has a steady job in cosmetology, her former profession. She regularly attends Celebrate Recovery and is working to regain custody of her child. Also, she is temporarily living with Dorn and his wife, which Muncy says is an answer to prayer.
“I can’t tell you what disciples I live with – all they do is pour God’s love into me every day. Now, I ask God to use me daily to help others,” she said.
For his part, Dorn points back to his work in disaster relief for the many ministry opportunities provided in the midst of tragedy. “It helps us show the love of Christ at a very needy time in people’s lives,” he said. “That’s why we serve.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Julia Bell writes for the South Carolina Baptist Convention. This article first appeared in the Baptist Courier, baptistcourier.com, newsjournal of the South Carolina Baptist Convention.)