Superstorm Sandy – It is Still A Challenging Situation

It is interesting how soon the world “forgets” about major disasters once they are out the news headlines. Yet, here we are, some two and a half years later, and there are still thousands of families in the Greater New York Area that need assistance recovering from Superstorm Sandy. At this point, some are desperate. Others have given up hope. And still others await our help.

Our April 2015 mission trip was to Staten Island, New York to give of our time towards the much needed recovery. Working for the New York Conference of the United Methodist Church, we were assigned several pressing needs to address. We tackled two major drywall projects. We finished off a couple of lingering electrical repairs and a few finish work needs, like installing doors.

When you work on missions like this one, it is a special blessing to provide encouragement to the people we serve. One of the homes, which needed to be totally re-built, is owned by a young family with a new baby. They had just finished remodeling their modest bungalow a few days before the storm hit. Another couple, George and Pat, have shared a relationship for several decades. Both of their homes, a few blocks apart, were severely damaged. George has totally focused on her home, doing as much work as he could, by himself. Now a mission team was installing siding with the interior rebuild to follow. Who knows when his home will get any attention. And so it goes.

We often wonder what keeps people going in the face of such challenges – disrupted lives for years on end. It takes patience, conviction that help will eventually come and much courage. The human spirit is a remarkable thing. It makes it easy for us to want to help.

The hardest part of us is that at the end of the week, we know we helped, but the work is still not finished when we leave. We just pray that the next team will come soon and pick-up where we left off.

A message we would like to leave with those of you who read this article is to consider joining us sometime. All skills are welcome. There is something for everyone to do. Besides the satisfaction of helping others in need, we enjoy the team comradery, sharing the details of our lives and the opportunity to see a new part of the world. Besides serving our deserving clients, this trip included staying at a historic Moravian Church, a very moving tour of the 9/11 Memorial Museum and a chance to see the interesting ethnic neighborhoods of Staten Island.

When it is all said and done, a mission trip like this is a multilayered opportunity to be the “hands and feet of Jesus” as a gift of our time and talent to our world.

Sincerely,

Steve Elliott, Roger Everett, Dick Crawford, Ruth Coffing, John Van Scyoc, Bob Hoffman, Doug and Mary Ellen Huey and Larry Suter.

Installing Dry Wall

Installing Dry Wall

Part of the team

Part of the team

Devotion Time

Devotion Time

Church we stayed at

Church we stayed at

Dinner time

Dinner time

John at work

John at work

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