As our neighbors in North and South Carolina deal with continued massive flooding and begin to assess the damages left by Hurricane Florence, we at LSG are praying for their safety and for a full recovery from the devastation we’ve seen in photos and videos.
Last week marked the one year anniversary of Hurricane Irma’s landfall in Coastal Georgia. Irma arrived just 10 month after Hurricane Matthew hit the coast, and many homeowners on Tybee Island and the surrounding area were still dealing with damages from Matthew. When Irma brought more flooding and destruction, residents were overwhelmed and disheartened to begin the long recovery process all over. In the weeks following Irma, LSG began meeting with homeowners and assessing property damages. Though Coastal Georgia was spared the worst of the storm, it was clear that the need for our help was still great. Since then, LSG has been working with families in Coastal Georgia to help restore their lives following the 2017 storm.
Volunteers Make Our Work Possible
We couldn’t do it without the help of volunteers teams from around the state who assist on these recovery projects. In August, a team of volunteers from Acworth United Methodist Church in Acworth, Georgia travelled to Coastal Georgia to assist in repairing a home damaged by Hurricane Irma. The home belongs to Ms. Ruth*, an elderly woman who lives in downtown Brunswick. A tree fell through Ruth’s home during Hurricane Irma, allowing in rain and causing extensive damage to the interior of the home and ruining much of her belongings. Ruth* had been living with a tarped roof and water damage and mold since the storm hit last September. Thankfully, the roof was repaired in early August, and these volunteers came to help with the interior repairs.
Edward Bridges, member of Acworth UMC and part of the team of volunteers shares about the volunteer experience:
“As you know, Jesus taught his disciples to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and otherwise serve those in physical need. When natural disasters devastate communities, people with few resources are unable to recover on their own. So we started forming a disaster response team roughly a year ago at Acworth United Methodist Church to help meet this need. We spent the last year organizing, training, and planning; our trip to Brunswick was our first chance to actually serve hands-on.
Our team removed ruined ceilings, insulation, walls, cabinets, kitchen fixtures, and carpet, replaced some rotted structural wood, and treated the studs to prevent/eliminate mold. We also helped Miss Ruth sort through belongings to clear rooms for demolition & construction work. It was exhausting work, but we found it deeply rewarding to help a person in such dire straits. Seeing the condition of Miss Ruth’s home also raised our awareness of how richly we are all blessed. We will continue to pray for Miss Ruth and hope to return to Brunswick soon to continue work on her home.
We were also very grateful for the support we received from Lutheran Services of Georgia and Lord of Life Lutheran Church, our hosts for the week. The local coordinator from LSG helped us make arrangements and provided expertise on the work project. Lord of Life church provided facilities that we used for showering, eating, and sleeping, as well as giving us prayer support, encouragement, and a wonderful meal every evening we were in Brunswick. The fresh local seafood was delightful at the end of a hard day’s work. The church members were genuine partners in our team’s work.”
LSG thanks the team from Acworth UMC for their hard work on Ms. Ruth’s home and their continued prayers! LSG will have opportunities for groups to volunteer with home repairs throughout 2019. For more information, please contact Lauren Cruickshank at firstname.lastname@example.org.