It's simple, just take that first step: Hurricane Sandy
Denton Wesleyan Church (N.C.) has taken mission teams to Brooklyn, N.Y. for the last five years. But after Hurricane Sandy left massive flooding and other destruction in its wake this month, the Denton church pastor, Rev. Charlie Collins, was faced with an enormous challenge and opportunity. This was the weekend (November 9-12) that they were planning to take a team to New York City anyway, but God seemed to say it was time to go the extra mile.
After talking with the host pastor, Dr. Anthony Graham of New Hope Family Worship Center (Wesleyan), in Brooklyn, Pastor Collins more than doubled the team this year. Twenty-three men and women, including a few students, are going from Denton Wesleyan and another seven from Gold Hill Wesleyan Church (Rev. Harold Bumby, pastor). Anthony Graham has a long list of relief projects that the Brooklyn church members are already working on nearby (in the areas that were hit hard), but they need help, and lots of it.
Many of the victims are still without power or running water, and there is heavy snow from a fresh Nor’easter that followed the hurricane and left inches of snow and deep cold. Branches and whole trees are still down in many places, complicating the restoration of power, along with flooded basements, collapsed structures, and debris in many neighborhoods. So the 30 men are bringing with them two large trailers filled with winter coats, bottled water, blankets, and nonperishable food. They are also bringing chain saws and plan to clear several fallen trees.
After Thanksgiving, according to Pastor Collins, they plan to bring yet another large team from Denton back. They want to bring large amounts of bleach to fight mold, lots more supplies, and heavier equipment to clear debris. Pastor Collins stated, “Sharing the love of Christ like this is a tremendous privilege. By our actions and by our words, we hope we can make a difference in people’s lives that will not just be temporary, but maybe even eternal.”
When asked what he would like other Wesleyan churches to hear about this, Pastor Collins expressed that he would be deeply grateful for prayer support, but he also said, “It may sound complicated to set up a trip like this to help out, but it’s really simple. Just take that first step."
The key contact for new teams is Pastor Ed Torres, the point man for the district for all relief teams. They can house the teams, and the area is going to continue to need this kind of help for a few more months.
Further information for Wesleyan churches desiring to assist can be found here.