Our “Storm Trooper” Team 2 has arrived back from their excursion to The Rockaways and Coney Island in New York. We were only able to spend the day there as the weather forced us to change our plans. But, by the grace of the Lord, we were able to minister in His name while we were there.
This effort is largely a local church-to-local church effort. Churches from all around the country, and even outside of the country, are coming together for the sake of sending relief to those hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy. I am amazed to see donations from places like Montana, California, Virginia, Maryland and Mexico. And these donations come mainly from a group of local churches–people who believe that God’s plan for ministry to the world is His Church. It is the local church in places like Staten Island, Coney Island, Far Rockaway, Breezy Point in New York and Brick, NJ that is taking the lead and bearing the weight of the relief work. Of course, we’re thankful for the larger organizations (like Operation Blessing) that have come and are coming in and helping in many ways, but even those organizations are empowered by the local church.
Our team included nearly two dozen young men and ladies of Jr. High and High School age, as well as 10 adult men and women. We worked in various venues.
One group worked with Operation Blessing in Coney Island to distribute food and relief supplies. They sought to relate to the residents that they served with the love of Christ. Thousands were served that day and throughout the week. The young ladies in the group especially wanted to stay in NYC to continue to effort. We received good reports of their servant-hearted attitude and diligent work.
Another group went to Rockaway Point and Breeze Point where we assisted residents who are still very much in the thick of the devastation. Flooded homes, vehicles, backed up sewage, and mangled wreckage still litter the small streets. We worked to pump and clean basements, gut homes, and to try to provide some semblance of hope and normalcy to the grateful people. I was humbled to hear the words of thanks and gestures of gratitude from these folks as they tried to sort through the ruin. The lingering effects of the storm will be felt for months if not years. Homes are still flooding as ground water tables remain high. Even after pumping out the sludge and stagnant water we were surprised to see homes quickly filling with water again.
Teams will continue to travel to NYC to assist. Another team led by Misiker Kebede of Spread of Grace Ministries will leave on Friday morning, and again on Monday morning of the coming week. Please remember to support these efforts.
Our greatest need at this moment is monetary donations in order to keep the teams on the ground and well-supplied. We are no longer accepting donations other than monetary gifts. Please consider making your online donation here or send your donation to SGM, 125 Calvary Church Road, Wrightsville, PA 17368.