It was a cold sunny day on Tuesday, January 21, when we left our home in Guelph to drive to Aurora, NC for a World Renew Disaster Response assignment. Roads were clear all the way and after one overnight stay at a hotel we arrived safely at the “home base” in Aurora on Wednesday evening.
The DRS team that had been working there for three weeks already, gave us an update on the projects and on Thursday John and I drove around to all the homes to see exactly what needed to be done and what had been done already. On Saturday that team left, and OUR team arrived – wow, 25 eager volunteers ready to tackle anything in the next three weeks.
As is custom, on that first Sunday we went to church together to a small Methodist church in town with 15-20 regular attenders. Our team of 25 more than doubled that congregation. They were so delighted to have us join them and the pastor had tears in his eyes when he heard the singing of “so many”. He had a wonderful message of Jesus calling his first disciples – ordinary fishermen – and telling them to leave their nets and follow him (Matthew 4:18ff). He then said that we all need to leave the “nets” that entangle us and follow Him. What a joy it was to connect with this beautiful small church, heart to heart, as we realized we are ONE in the Lord.
Then came Monday morning and everyone was ready and eager to tackle whatever needed to be done. The pick-up trucks were being filled with tools and materials and off they went to four different homes.
There is the home of Isaiah and Mary, an elderly couple, who had their mobile home damaged by the storm, and then again as rain came in and caused a lot of damage. Another home is that of Howard, an elderly man with diabetes who is presently in the hospital. We are trying to “fix” his home to the point that it is safe and sanitary to live there, as it has been damaged by termites and subsequently the rain and wind. The third home is that of Janet, an elderly woman with debilitating arthritis, who lives right by the lake, she too has wind and water damage and was scammed by a so-called “contractor.” We are finishing what he left undone and fixing up what he destroyed. The last home is that of JoAnn who had a huge tree fall on her house and then the rain and wind did damage to her mobile home. She will stay on one side of the house as we repair the other side.
And so, the stories of people and their need for help begin to unfold and the working hands of our volunteers bring hope and thankfulness. God is at work – not only in those who need help but also in all of us as volunteers as He touches lives through willing hands and feet. We truly experience His goodness, love and care.
To be continued next week — will you come along?
Please pray for safety for our team and for the people we work for: Isaiah and Mary; Howard; Janet and JoAnn.