This past week, some 20 volunteers from the California-Pacific Annual Conference led by Team Leader Jennifer Demaree went to Long Beach, New York to be in the ministry of presence with those who are still dealing with damage from Hurricane Sandy one year ago.
At the invitation of the New York Annual Conference, the California-Pacific Annual Conference Disaster Response Team and others mostly from the South District were part of a “rebuild” of two homes on the beach. The rebuild consisted of building insulation, dry wall, and ceiling boards among other things. In between, the volunteers were able to squeeze in a bible study and split off into another team that distributed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches near Penn Station in Manhattan.
Shelter was graciously provided by Hicksville United Methodist Church including towels, sheets, sleeping bags, cots, and showers. The church even let some of the volunteers rehearse with their hand bell choir for an hour and a half.
When it was time to leave, there were lots of hugs and tears. The real ministry of the Disaster Response Team is in its interacting with families on the ground who are directly affected by natural disasters. For days, the volunteers experienced the graciousness as well as the gratefulness of the home owners. In fact, one of the owners mentioned to the team, “As soon as my house is rebuilt, I am going to do the same for others because of the way you loved me this week.”
(Source: Doug and Judy Lewis)