I feel so alone.

These are the kinds of things that we hear all the time in the areas that were hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy.  This past weekend we met Maria and this is exactly what she said.

When we visited her home we found that she had just now gotten back (after one month). She couldn’t get a ride and when we found her she was walking to get to her home.  Pastor Walter picked her up and immediately a relationship began.  Her home was nearly destroyed.  Thankfully, other volunteers pitched in to begin the work of gutting her home.  Hers is one of thousands that were severely damaged or completely destroyed.  It is not habitable and won’t be for months to come.

Maria’s husband died years ago and she works in the city of New York.  Her two daughters are both not working currently.  Through her thick Italian accent, we heard her words of despair.  This is what we’ve come to understand as the “storm after the storm”.  We were surprised a few weeks ago that the flooding in homes was continuing.  Now that this has subsided the storm effects have turned much more inward.  The emotional anguish is nearly overwhelming for many.  For Maria the storm, the destruction of her home, having no idea where to begin, and the shooting in Connecticut all piled up on her.  She broke down when she opened her Christmas Care Package and found a hand made card from a little girl at our church.

Maria opens her Christmas Gift package.

Maria opens her Christmas Gift package.

We sat there on a bench with a whirl of activity around us.  Pastor Walter intently explained the gospel from the book of John to her.  She followed along in her new Bible (from the Christmas Care Package) as she enjoyed some of the fresh baked cookies (she even shared some with a passerby).  Though she did not immediately respond to the gospel, we were able to pray with her and promised to be there for her as she tried to rebuild.

The relief work continues.  As the Lord provides, we hope to plant a church in the Breezy Point Area of New York.  We will work with residents to help rebuild their homes.  Would you join us?  You can sign up to be a volunteer here.  Our greatest need is to be able to fund the relief and rebuilding efforts.  We are looking for 1,000 donors to give $10 each between now and year end.  You can give here.  Your online (Paypal) donation is tax deductible and will be put to use right away.  After you give, would you consider telling others about the work?  Help us get to 1,000 donors in the next two weeks!

We just received word from LifeWay Christian Stores that we’ll be receiving quality study  bibles to distribute soon.  We plan on handing out these bibles in our Care Package with the hopes of beginning bible studies in the area soon.

Thanks for continuing to pray for and support this PERSON 2 PERSON relief work!