The effects of Hurricanes Matthew and Florence were not directly felt by our Canadian neighbors to the north. Two families in Fayetteville felt the presence of a Canadian volunteer team from Maranatha Christian Reformed Church in Cambridge, Ontario during the week of July 4th. Forsaking the cooler temperatures and making a 15-hour drive, the team of 13 youth and their 5 adult leaders arrived in Fayetteville and immediately got to work.
At one house, part of the team worked to replace flooring, paint, and hang new doors all throughout the house. At the second house, the remainder of the team hung drywall and prepared the house to be painted by the next team to come through.
Maranatha CRC made the connection to North Carolina through World Renew Disaster Relief Services, a service agency of the Christian Reformed Church. Dina Zomer, team leader, stated “World Renew Disaster Relief Services works alongside different agencies to spread God’s love . . . We work through DRS because it’s important for the kids to see that their denomination can work with other denominations focused on God’s love for others.”
The reach of a trip like this goes beyond measuring completed repair work. When asked what people need to know about this kind of mission and service work, Holly, one of the youth members of the team, commented “Just the impact it has on the people’s lives, how we’re helping them, and that it’s a lot of fun coming on something like this.” Ben, another one of the team leaders, echoed this sentiment: “It’s so rewarding, especially when you meet the people that you’re helping. They’re so thankful. It may seem like a small thing, like painting or mudding, something we do every day as construction guys, but for them, it’s life-changing.”