By Brianna Stephens
More than a year after the July 2022 floods displaced their family, the Caudills moved back into their home. Christian Appalachian Project’s (CAP) Home Repair program hosted a housewarming for the family to celebrate the momentous occasion with a cake and gifts.
“We are honored to have had the opportunity to work on this home. The close relationship we have made with this family is something we will never forget,” said Ron Morrow, CAP’s Home Repair manager in Johnson, Martin, and Northern Magoffin Counties. “It is overwhelming to see the joy and the smile on their faces as they are finally able to start getting back to normal.”
Immediately following the floods, Michael Caudill began making repairs to not only his family’s home, but his mother’s home across the street, which also flooded. The repairs needed were extensive, but Caudill worked diligently to do what he could around his full-time job and taking care of his family.
“Coming back home after the flood was a nightmare to see that much mud inside the house. It is a site to see all your belongings have to be thrown away. Mold started growing withing a few days and we knew it was bad,” Caudill said. “There is no way we would be where we are today without CAP.”
At the beginning of 2023, CAP’s Home Repair program reached out to Caudill and offered hands-on help to repair his home. Throughout the year, teams of volunteers from across the country came to help build back the gutted home.
“Without the groups, this would have been a two-to-three-year project,” said James Akers, a CAP crew leader who oversaw the work being done on the Caudill home. “We are grateful for the people who were willing to help and to learn the needed skills to help get families like the Caudills back in their homes as quick as possible.”
After being displaced by the flood, the family lived in a camper. But, with such a small space for the family of five, the Caudill children would occasionally stay with their grandmother.
“We were out of our home for 15 months and seven days,” Caudill said. “The night we moved back in, the feeling of being able to have all the babies under the same roof with us was a wonderful feeling.”
During the housewarming, CAP employees gifted the family household decorations and a new family Bible.
“I hope after all that this family has been through, they see that God has a purpose in all things,” Morrow said. “God sent us all here for an appointed time, each with our own talents and our own abilities. I hope through that, this family sees and continues to put their trust in the Lord through all things.”