Still Dealing with the Damage Caused by Hurricane Florence
My adventure with Samaritan’s Purse began with an email from Lois Martin, GFC’s Outreach Director, mentioning an upcoming trip to North Carolina to help those who were still dealing with the damages caused by Hurricane Florence. I felt a burden to go help, and prayed about it. Then when I saw it in the bulletin, I leaned over to my husband and said, “Honey, I think we need to go help those folks”, and he said “Okay!”. But the more I looked into what needed to be done, the less qualified I felt I was, and wondered if I would be more of a burden than a help!
God gave us a wonderful Samaritan’s Purse supervisor named Gary, who put us at ease by telling us two very comforting things. First, we would never be asked to do anything that we did not want to do. Secondly, our main task was to encourage the homeowners, so anything we accomplished would be appreciated. Gary was also very patient and taught us any new skills we desired to learn! The task that God put on my heart to do seemed a little overwhelming, but doable – to go through a huge pile of clothing, crafts, toys, personal items, bedding etc, that had been sitting in bad weather for months, and had gotten moldy, with signs of rodents and snakes and fire ants.
When I saw it, I thought about the family who was forced to discard all their belongs out to that pile. They had been told by another agency that they had only 2 hours to remove everything from the house if they wanted the agency’s help! So I began, a little gingerly at first, but as I went through the old baby clothes, shoes and coats, I would pray for the members of the family. It was something that I wanted to do. I knew that it would be too emotionally hard for that sweet family to go through all the memories that needed to be put in the big dumpster, along with the roof shingles and ruined flooring.
God rewarded me with getting to meet the homeowners and the hugs and thanks from the wife. She was so very appreciative of not having to deal with even looking at that pile, and was dreading having to deal with it. No, I can’t put up sheet rock or pull out old cabinets, but I can pray and sort and encourage a family in the small task I did that week! And by the way, Gary taught me how to measure and cut shingles for the new roof! So now I have another “skill” to use on the next Samaritan’s Purse trip!