Share your stories and prayers about Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath
Often in the days following a disaster, there are numerous accounts of the care and concern of families, neighbors, and even strangers offering help and hope. We know God is at work even in the aftermath of disasters.
We invite those who have seen the hand of God at work around you during these trying days following the impact of Hurricane Sandy to share your story with PDA and others by using the comments section below.
Please consider confidentiality, and do not use names unless you have been permitted to do so. We look forward to hearing about the many blessings you have seen evident in wake of this storm.
If you prefer, share your stories on the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Facebook page instead.
PDA National Response Team member Sue Renault is at work in New Jersey this week, in response to Hurricane Sandy. She has shared the following reflections portraying some of the feelings and needs survivors face:
“Met a woman today who got completely washed out ... She told us, ‘Being a Sandy victim is HUMBLING. I've always been the one to offer help or assist someone else. Being on the receiving end is terrible. Something as simple as thinking you'd enjoy an egg and not being able to open your own refrigerator, access your own groceries, pull out your own pan, and cook in your own kitchen. Losing everything puts a new light on what is really important in life. That is true. But don't let anyone fool you: LOSING EVERYTHING IS HUMBLING.’"
“Another woman talked about waiting on the phone and getting the run-around as she sought information about insurance. ‘If I -- a person with resources, some savings, a good education, a reasonable ability to assert myself -- If I find this process so devastating, frustrating, exhausting and helpless, imagine what elderly folks, hard of hearing folks, people who don't speak English, and people unaccustomed to prevailing over disaster are going through. The very thought makes me heartsick.’"
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance plans to walk with survivors not only in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane, but also on the long road to recovery. Please continue to pray for individuals and families affected by the superstorm – that the hope of Christ will be evident, and that God’s peace will prevail.
A Warm Church
This story was sent to PDA by Sue Renault, National Response Team member serving in the Presbytery of Monmouth and the Presbytery of New Brunswick as part of the Hurricane Sandy response.
Louanne Christie, 78, is an elder at First Presbyterian Church at Tower Hill in Red Banks, NJ. She is also, in her own words, "a survivor," having outlived her daughter and three husbands. She lives alone in a senior condo complex and often checks on "the older folks there." She also stays active in her church. This week, though, -- day 10 of Hurricane Sandy and no power -- she has spent most of every day at the church. "It is cold, dark, and lonely at home," she says. "The church has electricity and has offered members and neighbors a warm place to spend the day, a kitchen and hot coffee, even a shower or laundry for people who need it. Today she has brought her bank statements and calculator and has settled in to reconcile her check records. She'll go home late in the afternoon and go to bed soon after dark. Others at the church, we're told, bring food to cook in the kitchen and have enjoyed impromptu suppers before heading home to chilly homes. Soon after I speak with Louanne, three other guests arrive to power up their computers.
Hebrews 10:19-25: Hebrews reminds us to hold fast to our faith in God, even through the toughest of times in our live. God has promised to be with us always (He sent his Son Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit to be with us always). That gives us hope.
Our family and community are ALL praying for you every day. We are sending our support practically too thru PDA. We will not forget you. Be well. Be Strong. Pray often.
May God bless and strengthen you in these difficult times. Sometimes the darkest times turn into the brightest ones when we see them through God’s eyes. Let Him guide you.
We pray daily for you and the workers trying to help rebuild.
May you be given strength for the tasks that lie ahead.