Measuring Success: Sheds of Hope in Neon
by Trish Duggan, OPC Disaster Response Communications Coordinator
Eight weeks and more than halfway through the Spring Community Outreach effort in Neon, Kentucky, site coordinators Mike and Sylvia Kelly’s time there has been measurably successful. Sheds have been built, repairs have been made and contacts have been established. Yet this humble couple would never try to quantify their ministry in Neon, Kentucky with a tangible measuring stick of outward accomplishment. They continue to feel privileged to minister to this needy community with the love of Christ and the zeal for spreading the gospel. Their outward ministry is deeply felt in this small community in the appreciation expressed to them by these unassuming residents.
To date, 17 “Sheds of Hope” have been distributed and assembled in this Spring effort to shelter the few possessions that flood victims were able to save. With each shed, Mike and other volunteers are sure to pray and introduce Neon Reformed OPC for future contact before departing. Mike and company have also helped to add shrubs and flowers in town in an effort to bring new life where there was once only inches of sloppy mud. Slowly the town is beginning to look alive again.
With the interior of the Neon Reformed OPC building completed, needed repairs and renovations are being made to the exterior of the building. The roof has been replaced and new masonry is being installed in the hopes that the building might be more inviting. New signage is being developed as well.
The Neon Disaster Oversight Committee continues to meet bi-weekly to update and discuss matters pertaining to the community outreach as well as the building repairs and upgrades. This meeting time allows the session, presbytery and denomination to convene to make decisions and encourage one another in the work—a vital aspect of disaster response.
Neon has had nearly 20 OPC volunteers helping with sheds and other various repair needs in this Spring iteration, some coming to serve for a second and third time! The town of Neon has expressed to the Kellys their thankfulness for the sacrifice of the many volunteers. Art Allen, the building’s site coordinator back in the fall, is planning to revisit to help with repairs to NROPC’s awning. Volunteer coordinator, Jane Robinson continues to work diligently to line up the hands needed. (Feel free to contact her if you are interested: [email protected].)
As with many other disasters, God has used this devastating flood to show His love for working to regenerate the hearts of the lost. Please continue to pray for the Kellys as they look ahead to their final five weeks of service in Neon, and as preliminary plans are being made for a service of thanks to the Lord and celebration for all that has been accomplished. Pray that as a result of this effort Neon Reformed will become known as an inviting haven and a beacon of light for the lost in the community.