“And my God shall supply all your needs according to
His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
October 29, 2015: "God's Grace"
This past week we led our second team of early responders to Andrews, SC. The flood waters of the Black River had finally subsided enough to gain access to the homes that were most drastically affected. Our jobs included delivering school kits to Andrews High School, removing and scraping floor coverings from three homes, tearing down the exterior basement walls of a large home and a major muck-out.
Ms. Cathy Blease, a widow, had to wade through waist deep rising water to escape from her two story home with her two dogs and little else. During her seventeen years of ownership the water had never come close to entering the home. Within the next week she would come back by boat and sob as she realized the water was five feet inside the main living area on the second floor. It would be ten days before she could return to her soggy home.
Rev. Ken Phelps, the early response coordinator for the area, had assigned the top floor to a team from Murfreesboro, TN and the bottom floor which contained the muck, mire and mud to us. My first question to Ken was “what did we do to deserve this?” The TN team had brought two small front end loaders which apparently earned them the right to the “clean” floor duty. The loaders were great as they kept us from having to walk the 300 yards uphill in the mud to dispose of the contents of the house.
Before starting work, our devotion consisted of Cathy, the homeowner, explaining to us that she and her husband had named their beautiful home on the river “God’s Grace”. She was certain that it was God’s grace that had allowed them to live there and that He would help her rebuild. She thanked us for being the first true evidence of that fact and that everything was going to be ok. With full hearts our team of twelve intrepid souls waded into the dark recesses of the first floor.
One of the interesting aspects of this muck out was the space between the ceiling and second floor had been fully insulated. As you may know, it seems like insulation holds 500 times its weight in water. This was being held in by 4’ x 8’ sheets of OSB (wood). As Nick Tesone, among others, found out when pulling the OSB down one was treated to a shower of stale river water along with whatever seeped in from upstairs. In spite of it all, no one complained. God’s Grace indeed.We will be going back the week before Thanksgiving. We plan to travel on Monday and return Thursday.
Please help us by doing one of the following:
1. Pray for the victims as well as the early responders.
2. Click Here if you would like to join us.
3. MAKE A DONATION if you are unable to go but would like to make a donation that will be used 100% to help the flood victims. Thank you.
October 15, 2015:
We led a team of early responders to Andrews, SC. There we conducted over a dozen damage assessments, mucked out two homes and tarped the roof of Asbury UMC. Believe it or not, the Black river is still at flood stage so access to the most devastated areas was limited. However, we were able to access Ms. Emma Johnson’s home that had two feet of water and Ms. Eva Julious’ home that had six feet of water.
Imagine waking up in the morning and stepping out of bed into a foot of water. Imagine your panic as you wake up your daughter and one year old grand baby to escape with only the clothes on your back. Finally, imagine your horror as you return to your home of more than thirty years after having over six feet of river water and sewage running through it for a week. How hopeless and helpless would you feel? The sense of loss is devastating. Then a team of complete strangers shows up with a fancy SC ERT trailer and proceeds to rip, tear and haul all your water logged possessions to the street. In a day and a half your home is demolished down to the studs and slab floor. You pull aside anything that might be salvageable as you wipe away the tears. That is what happened to Ms. Eva Julious.
There are hundreds of stories just like this over the midlands and low country of South Carolina. Some were not so “lucky” as their homes are total losses. At least Ms. Julious may move back in some day.
It is heartbreaking, backbreaking, smelly, nasty but hope-building work. We will be going back next week.
Operation Haley: Mission Accomplished
Gerald and Vickie Atkinson are disabled and have a pregnant 14 year old daughter, Haley. Gerald has issues with his knees and hip and has learning disabilities that keep him from being able to read or deal with numbers. Vickie has COPD, is diabetic, has congestive heart failure and neuropathy. She is on oxygen.
The home and property are in a significant state of disrepair. The most concerning is electrical wiring. The breaker box is above the kitchen counter and has no cover. Also, none of the switches or receptacles have covers. There are small grandchildren running around so this poses a significant risk of shock or electrocution. The saving grace is that most of the receptacles don’t work. They heat with space heaters and have no insulation. Consequently, their electric bills have been $500 - $600/mo. These are operated off extension cords from the few outlets that work, a major fire danger. They have no smoke detectors.Click Here or on the picture above to learn more.