Devastation Meets Light

Association of Christian Schools International / ACSI / About ACSI / Stories / Devastation Meets Light
Written by Caitlyn Berman, Public & Media Relations Coordinator
December 16, 2022

In July of 2022, heavy rains swelled the waters of Troublesome Creek in Lost Creek, Kentucky. A record-breaking flood raged through the nearby town, leaving homes and buildings leveled in its wake.

ACSI member Riverside Christian School, a small, K-12 school of 70 students, was hit directly. Seven school staff members lost their homes and several classrooms were destroyed beyond repair. The flooding levels were so high that the water reached the second floor of the school building.

Meg Asher, Principal at Riverside Christian, shared that the school, a rock in the community, has survived destruction from flooding before, but nothing quite like the experience in July.

“Our school and Troublesome Creek have existed in relative peace and harmony for about 116 years,” she said. “Nothing could have prepared us for the flooding we received in 2021 and 2022.”

Riverside is known in the town as a beacon of hope. Nearly 75% of their students receive a discount or scholarships. They even offer a volunteer discount program allowing families who cannot afford tuition a discount in exchange for volunteer hours. 

And while their staff is incredibly faithful, Meg shared that the damage left behind was unbelievable and too great to describe.

Specifically, 39 deaths were reported after the flood. Fifteen school staff members and volunteers had to be rescued by boat from the murky waters.

A team of hardworking staff and volunteers spent two months diligently cleaning and repairing the school buildings so they could open in fall of 2022. But due to the exorbitant costs associated with their area, the school does not have flood insurance.

“We've made a lot of progress over the last few weeks of cleanup but there are some things that will take a lot more time.”

Riverside launched its Rebuild, Restore, Relocate campaign to assist with the expense of not only rebuilding but also of innovatively amplifying the school’s properties.

Leadership hopes to purchase a new, larger facility up the road that is outside of the flood zone and will allow them to grow. They would then use the existing campus as a community center.  

ACSI VP of Development Ben Waterman and generous donors were thrilled to celebrate Riverside Christian’s resilience. On Dec. 15, 2022, the group was able to present school leadership with a check for $25,000 to assist with repair goals.

“We are very excited to be able to present them with this much-needed gift,” he shared. “God is really doing something amazing in and through this school, and I pray this gift will be an incredible way to help kick-start the campaign and that it will motivate others to give.”

Alongside Ben, Dr. Jeff Mattner, ACSI Central Division Sr. Director, was honored to present the school’s leadership with a leadership award.

“We have witnessed the strength, faith and continued innovation of this school and its volunteers,” he said. “We are truly in awe of their tenacity and commitment to providing more children with access to a Christ-centered education.”

Meg was overjoyed upon receiving both the award and the donation. “We are so thankful for the help and support from the donors and for ACSI,” she said. “It’s exciting to see RCS gaining support and traction for this new campaign. Riverside has been a mission that people have poured their hearts and lives into for over one hundred years. It’s an honor to build on the legacy of so many staff that came before me.”

To donate to Riverside Christian School’s relief fund, visit ACSI’s Disaster Reconstruction Fund and designate your gift to go to Riverside Christian.

Interested in sharing the incredible people or programs from your school? Please use the link below to submit your information for consideration!

Submit a Story - Click Here