A Summer Like No Other
by Trish Duggan
Communications Coordinator, OPC Disaster Response
How can we fully describe Summer like the one we've just experienced? And why in the world would we choose a photo of Glenn and Michelle Moots smiling? Their home was destroyed by floods, after all! The summer was good. Yes, it was good.
The summer for OPC Short Term Missions and Disaster Response was different for sure! It brought with it a pandemic with many restrictions; floodwaters which swelled Sanford Lake in Michigan causing flooding in two OPC members' homes; OPC Short-Term Missions having to make the excruciatingly hard decision to cancel all but one summer team (Boardwalk Chapel); Tropical Storm Isaias traveling up the eastern seaboard flooding the home of one OPC member; wildfires tearing up the west coast destroying two OPC families' homes—so far; Hurricane Laura and Tropical Storm Marco hitting the south back-to-back; Tropical Storm Sally arrived, beating up Florida and Alabama last week and oh yes, a few earthquakes that hit Puerto Rico were intermingled.
So why the enthusiasm? The answer is obvious, but not always initial. God is in control, knows our needs, is our Strength, and walks with us through it all. Throughout this disaster-ridden summer we, as a Church and as a Body of Christ, have been strengthened and encouraged by these challenges. That sounds counter-intuitive, but God, using his children as volunteers, prayer warriors, and generous donors, strengthened us. God not only got us through this Summer's challenges but far-surpassed our sinfully-limited expectations.
The Moots' home has passed rough-in inspections and are well on their way to drywall installation. The Kennedys are just "paint-on-the-walls" away from finishing their basement walkout, destroyed by floodwater just four months ago. David Bowles and his mother have a dedicated committee oversight, elders, and a site coordinator who are fully committed to seeing his flood-damaged home restored.
God has raised up amazing people right here in the OPC (along with brothers and sisters in Christ outside the denomination). They don't serve just to "check a box", but are committed to seeing a job well done. They empathize with the ones who hurt and walk with them along a difficult road.
The families for whom they are ministering are blessed, humbled and lifted in a way that can not be fully measured. Tom Kennedy recently wrote to us about the teams that served at his flooded home a few weeks ago. "It is with sincere pleasure and thanks that I tell you how appreciative Linda and I are for the professional and personal help we received from our new OPC New Jersey and Maryland friends. The five volunteers who came to our home were incredible. Linda and I were exhausted!! At 83 years young, we can only accomplish a limited amount of work each day. It was ninety days after the flood when the men arrived. They all just seemed to understand what needed to be done. Every day we marveled at their accomplishments. Perhaps, more important than the physical accomplishments, was their Christian companionship and reassurance that our ordeal with the flood could, and would, be resolved.
When Linda saw the bathroom counter and bowls back in place, the lights hanging on the wall, and the doors working like new, it actually brought her to tears.
God bless each and every one of you and the many volunteers who have helped us in this flood disaster."
Glenn Moots conveyed in an email, "We are so thankful for how the Body of Christ has cared for us through prayer, donations, and volunteer work. Without such sacrificial love and dedication, we'd never come home."
Our usual Summer summary issue of the STORM Report may appear different than in years past, but in some ways, it is the same. The challenges that were presented were distinctly different, but the joyful service to one another as the Body of Christ is the same. Read more about all of these projects by going to our website. Get inspired to find your place in OPC Short-Term Missions and Disaster Response.