Come… Come Along to the DRS Disaster Response Site in Aurora, North Carolina — Week 4

It’s the last week of work and some neat things are happening. The church of one of our volunteers makes quilts to be given to the homeowners when their home is finished. We actually had two quilts to give away and the receiving homeowners were just thrilled. In the corner of the quilts is a small note sewn that reads: “Lovingly created by (name…… church) to share with you God’s love and peace”.
Then came Saturday morning – and all those who had worked with us for three weeks left for home. There were hugs, good words and lots of promises to stay in contact because after three weeks of working, eating and playing together, a deep friendship had developed. We shared LIFE, our struggles and pain but also God’s faithfulness and goodness to us all. A lot of that sharing happened during morning and evening devotions. Amazing how God works in and through us in so many different ways.
And so, by 9 a.m. that Saturday morning, everyone had left. John and I – having been “left behind”- just didn’t know what to do with this quiet Saturday and thus we went to check out a “new” house on our list. Then, in the afternoon, slowly but surely – the new group of volunteers dropped in. Nineteen people from Indiana, Michigan, Ontario, Alberta, Washington State and Minnesota. Nineteen new names to learn, nineteen new characters to work with and yet…. we know that after three weeks they too will have become our friends.
After church on Sunday we took the whole group to the various work sites to have them mentally prepare for the projects they would find on Monday morning. Nineteen people eager to give of themselves and their skills to continue the work that was started over the past three weeks.
And sure enough, when Monday morning rolls around, all are ready to start work at three different homes. There are lots of questions before they take off: do I have the right tools and enough materials, is there water on site, is there a toilet? But in the end, all teams leave for the house each will be working on.
First team went to Isaiah and Mary where they have to finish a small bathroom and then that house will have been completed. The next home that team will be working on is another mobile home. The lady who owns it was given a trailer by FEMA to use while her house is being restored. She has been in the trailer now for well over a year and needs to move out by March 14. That means that our team really needs to get her place ready before that day.
Another team went to Mike’s place – where it is starting to smell a lot better as the mold and stains are disappearing. We have two women snapping together laminate flooring – wow, they show they have done this job before. Another one is painting, and the guys work on bathrooms and roof leaks.
The third team went back the Lawrence and Laurie to build small decks for the front door and back door while some are also laying laminate throughout the trailer.
A new group of volunteers, a new challenge but the same spirit of wanting to help and be God’s hands and feet to those who have been affected by this horrible hurricane Florence. We see God at work in the volunteers, the clients and the community as they are watching what we are doing.
Please continue to pray for our volunteers and for the homeowners. We heard that Larry came through the heart surgery and is now recovering at home. Kathy sent a message thanking all who have been praying for him.
Next week our story continues – will you come along?
John and Marguerite Ridder

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