North Carolina has experienced three devastating natural disasters within the past four years. Just as recovery began for one hurricane, another hurricane made landfall along the coast. Thousands of homes and lives were uprooted, leaving many people in need of assistance.
Local communities began to unite in response, along with organizations from across the nation. North Carolina Conference Disaster Ministries initiated Early Response Teams after Hurricanes Matthew, Florence, and Dorian to help make the homes sanitary and safe. Long Term Recovery centers were established across the east coast to help with repairs and rebuilds.
Disaster Ministries has established relationships with many organizations and volunteer teams, who serve as “hands and feet” during times of need. Churches, organizations, and individuals from across the nation have selflessly donated their time to help North Carolinians rebuild their homes and lives. World Renew Disaster Response Services is one of our long term volunteer groups, who has volunteered in North Carolina for extended periods of time.
Listen to Episode 9 of The Stormcast to learn more about our partnership with World Renew!
World Renew volunteer teams work with our Tarboro Disaster Recovery Center to help Hurricane Matthew survivors repair their homes. World Renew volunteer facilitators help lead teams during week-long mission trips, in coordination with our team in Tarboro.
A team from Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church in Michigan recently volunteered in Tarboro. Although this was the teams first time in North Carolina, this was not their first disaster mission trip. Many of the volunteers have served in Florida, South Carolina, and Mississippi.
Eastern Avenue CRC first connected with World Renew following Hurricane Katrina. A church member established a disaster missions team after leading a group of college students in Mississippi. Eastern Avenue CRC felt the urge to help others in need and have continued to volunteer across the country.
One of the volunteers, Del, has volunteered almost every year since Eastern CRC’s first mission trip after Hurricane Katrina. Del said he enjoys creating relationships with the people he works with and providing hope to those in need. All of the volunteers stated they are blessed by the people they work for and hope to be a blessing to others.
After a sixteen-hour journey from Michigan, the team was eager to begin working. Two World Renew facilitators, Stan and Arlis, led the team during the week on a variety of projects. The team installed new floors, finished sheetrock, installed kitchen countertops, and painted cabinets and walls.
Facilitators, Stan and Arlis have worked with World Renew for three years in Iowa, Florida, and South Carolina. Arlis stated that Stan “always knew he wanted to participate in mission projects.” After a year working in Iowa following a flood, Stan and Arlis began to travel across the country to lead volunteers with World Renew.
Stan and Arlis have worked with a variety of volunteers throughout their time with World Renew. They previously worked with the Eastern Avenue CRC team twice in Manning, South Carolina. Arlis says the volunteers become extended family and “everyone comes with a heart to serve.”
Disaster Ministries is very grateful for Stan, Arlis, Eastern Avenue CRC, and all of the World Renew volunteers and coordinators who have helped North Carolinians return home.