Flood volunteers come back to visit - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Flood volunteers come back to visit

March 8, 2003

Dougherty County- The Flint River is calm now, but almost nine years ago the waters ravaged thousands of homes included one on Radium Spring Road that brought a group of Mennonites to Southwest Georgia.

Gilmer Ratzalaff and his wife watched over a group of young men who volunteered to help clean up and restore houses for others. Something they say is a part of their Mennonite faith. Luella Ratzalaff says the five months she spent in Dougherty County were rewarding, and the best period in her life.

Many of the young men are now married and have families of they're own, but in 1994 they were only around 20 years old. Even at such a young age the men understood the importance of helping others in need. Bryce Koehn says it just seemed like the right thing to do.

This weekend the group is back in Southwest Georgia visiting some of the people they helped years ago. Sue and Mike Johnson now live in one house the Mennonites restored. Though they didn't know the group during the flood, they say their door is always open.

This weekend was not only a time for the Johnson's to meet the Mennonite group, but it was also a reunion for the young men who haven't been together since the flood.

Posted at 6:55 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com