Isaiah 6:8 “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here I am. Send me!”
The last three years have delivered a tremendous blow to our state, our counties, our churches, and our neighbors. With the onset of Hurricanes Matthew in 2016, Florence in 2018, and just recently Dorian in 2019, we seem to have become a magnet for tropical and sub-tropical storm development and landfall. We are also witnessing unprecedented strengthening (categories 3-4-5-5+) within these storms as they are delivering higher sustained winds, rain, and flooding amounts in record levels.
NCCUMC Disaster Ministries, with the help of UMCOR, NC Emergency Management, and many other groups, has been at the forefront of recovery and rebuilding efforts across the state. Our organization has been in an active response since October 2016, and that response continues with the addition of a Disaster Ministries Center on Ocracoke Island and a Satellite Housing Center in Jones County.
The addition of these two new locations brings us to 9 Disaster Ministries Centers: Fayetteville, Lumberton, Newport, Ocracoke, Swansboro, Washington, Whiteville, and Wilmington. We also have 6 Satellite Housing Centers in Aurora, Burgaw, Swan Quarter, Southport, Trenton, and White Lake.
Even as all this growth is occurring because of the immense need to help others, we are working as fast as we can to complete as many homes as possible within the time frames of our grants. There will be a day when our grant partners will not have the necessary funds to help us and we will have to adjust our operations accordingly, in some cases closing centers and reducing our footprint.
Therein lies our problem. We need your help in getting the word out that our response is still needed. Our Pastors need to help lead by getting the message out to their members and community neighbors. Our congregations need to help by responding with volunteer teams, providing relief supplies as needed or raising additional funds when possible for these efforts. Our members need to respond by becoming involved as team members on a response team, as prayer warriors for those affected and those helping, or as coordinators helping direct others in this effort.
All of us can do something to help those in need. The NCCUMC Disaster Ministries team is here to help in any way as we work together to follow God’s call to help those in need.
We hope you will join us on HIS team in these efforts.
Al Miller, III
Director of NCCUMC Disaster Ministries