When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf of Mexico, my heart felt the burdens of so many people who lost their homes and belongings. I watched the news media and saw crowds, wandering by foot, out of the coastland area to find shelter and food. I felt helpless not having a clue of how I could meet the overwhelming needs.
After experiencing Hurricane Katrina from a distance, several New Jersey Rivers flooded four times in four years. My girl friend’s house had extensive damage during each flood experience and she had to rebuild her home each time. My heart continually hurts for the victims of disaster.
My husband suggested that we participate in training for disaster relief. I had no idea why someone might need training. I thought people just showed up after a disaster to help wherever needed.
Together, we signed up for the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief training held in the NJNET Association. As I trained, I sat on the edge of my seat and took in every word, knowing that this was a ministry that I really desired to do.
Our instructors told us that as trained volunteers we might not get a call to use our training for two or three years. Two weeks later, New Jersey flooded again and we responded to the call to serve.
My passion for Disaster Relief grew as we were involved in several feeding kitchens and as we helped homeowners recover after storms. My biggest challenge was working full time as a teacher and not having the freedom to work on jobs when there was a call to help.
After 37 years of teaching, I made a commitment to retire, to pursue my passion, and to do Disaster Relief. My friends and family supported my passion andI fervently followed God’s call.
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” (Isaiah 6:8 ESV)
Four months after my retirement, Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey, putting us in a place to volunteer our time and energy for Southern Baptist Disaster Relief. Serving in this ministry has provided many opportunities to help the people of New Jersey and New York recover physically and spiritually from our recent storms.
“Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.” (Psalm 96:3 NIV)