Two months ago I wrote this post about volunteering for Samaritan's Purse. I won't repeat what I already said but want to say this experience was one of my highlights for 2011. I've done volunteer work over the years for various organizations but SP is top notch. I would recommend them highly if you ever have an opportunity to work for their organization.
About a month after my work down there, they sent me a thank you card with Franklin Graham's biography Rebel With A Cause . Today I received a Christmas card with a card to return to receive a commemortive shirt because 2011 has been the busiest year ever for disaster relief teams at SP. I don't volunteer to be patted on the back or get gifts or to be thanked over and over. But it sure is nice that SP really cares about their volunteers. I will be ready when the need arises again or I have the resources to travel across the country or overseas to lend a hand.
Saturday morning I headed to Johnson City and Vestal NY to work with our church team in the flood clean up. This flood made national news over a month ago when a local river flash flooded. We worked with Samaritan's Purse.
Clean now but only for a few minutes. We were headed to our first house. SP takes care of the smallest of details by using colors of the t-shirts that represent a local sports team. Ours was Syracuse Orange. Someone was there from Alabama with a maroon shirt for The Crimson Tide.
This house had been gutted needing all the hardwood, linoleum, ceramic tile, all removed down to the original flooring. Prayer for safety was offered by the SP chaplains as hammers, crow bars, power tools, shovels and brooms were hard at work. No prayers of the prayer circle...I was praying!
As SP finishes a job and moves on, they leave a new Bible signed by all the workers for the homeowner. She has on a white scarf. We all circled around with her to pray before we left. SP prays alot! We were onto the next house where we would need these...
This house had sat in water for 8 days with the local sewer system not working. I won't go into detail about the mess...and smells we found here.
Almost EVERYTHING this family owned ended up in this pile for the city to haul away. We hauled buckets and buckets full of kitchen stuff, kids clothes and toys. Everything had to go. Even with the smell my only emotion was sadness over what this family lost.
We were still smiling as we took one more picture before we ripped our suits off to throw on the pile. It was a long day but a good one, thankful we were able to help two families. One more team is headed down next weekend to pick up where we left off.
As the Apostle Paul said, "For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake" (2 Corinthians 4:5,)