We have helped to fund one of our members to work as a case worker for three months on Staten Island helping churches there assess and meet needs in the rebuilding effort. Please pray for the continued work here in the winter/spring of 2013.
The following is a small highlight of service efforts after Sandy including a community meal in cooperation with other churches in North Brunswick and various teams sent in to serve.
On Saturday November 10th, 2012 friends from Jacob's Well went out together to serve in the recovery efforts of our region. We are grateful for all who donated time, talents and treasure to serve others in Jesus name. All glory to God - the following is but a brief report for those praying for the work in NJ/NY.
Unloading truck loads of supplies (Clothing, food, toys, toiletries, etc) Packing trailers of donated supplies to be used in the coming days. Organization of supplies brought in to distribution center that will be given to families in need. Helped many exhausted Union Beach residents who had been volunteering for the last 12 days.
Partnered with a group from Great Bay Gospel Fellowship to build a structure behind their building that will be able to house a few displaced families. Wall framing, exterior sheathing, floor joist replacement, demo, and a side of trash hauling. Also were able to help a family who got into what is left of their home for the first time today since the hurricane hit. House had three feet of water throughout.
Helped clear debris and with clean up of houses hit hard by Sandy belonging to families connected with Remedy church. Also delivered $2,000 worth of diapers to a crisis pregnancy center which was out of supplies and 64 brand new winter coats for children who lost all winter clothing in the storm.
Helped clean out houses and cleared debris from houses that will be demolished due to flood and foundational damage from the storm surge. Helping people salvage what they could of their belongings while removing everything else that could not be salvaged. Filled multiple garbage trucks of debris. Also delivered $2,500 worth of men’s and women’s underwear to displaced people who have lost everything.
Information regarding our four teams serving together on Saturday November 10th is available online on The City Plaza. We have teams going to help with Remedy Church, Great Bay Gospel Fellowship, Friends/Family on Staten Island and distribution centers in shore townships.
As most of you are aware an historic convergence of storms hit the east coast this week causing unprecedented damage and power outages in New Jersey. Shore towns have suffered massive devastation and millions were left without power throughout the garden state. Over the last two days we have been in communication with our church and other churches in the Acts 29 NJ network to ascertain their situations and see where help is needed.
Obviously, first responders, local and state governments and power companies are doing their good work to repair damages and help people out of the early stages of this disaster. We thank God for their good work. Secondly, we want to help the churches in our network and help to to serve and minister to those in their areas. As of 10/31/2012, we are taking the following course of action.
Little Egg Harbor - Great Bay Gospel Fellowship.
Pastor Kevin Platt and his folks have severe property issues and some displacement but they are serving one another well. I will say that Kevin's area is blue collar and not a wealthy shore town. They have many homes with 3 feet of water in them on the first floor. We want to be available to serve Kevin and their community with supplies, funds and work teams for the long haul. To purchase and send supplies directly to great bay gospel, please use their Amazon.com wish list here.
Remedy Church - Brick Township and surrounding shore towns - Devestation in the resort areas and shore front with flooding still many, many blocks deep. Some of the folks have lost shore homes or are generally well off which is "good" in one sense. Pastor Eric Loyer has identified a family whose house is in dire straights and they are focusing helping here. Much rebuilding and work to be done here in multiple townships. Many in these towns earn their living from tourism in areas that have been wiped out.
BOTH shore locations - These areas have people who are blue collar, can live month to month depending on available work and are going to be impacted by lost wages, needs for basic necessities. Insurance will help with property and government agencies will help as well, but in the short term there are going to be major financial needs for people. We want both churches to be well funded with benevolence cash to serve people with groceries, hotel rooms when needed, basic necessities, various items and simple comforts. Recovery will be long and slow on people on the shore as this is a once and a lifetime type disaster. We want to help equip our friends on the shore to serve well over the long term. Much of the shore is still closed off and they are still waiting for FEMA to get in and assess property. We expect the need for volunteers to be greater in a few weeks and now it is best to send funding to churches that are in place to help.
Jacob's Well - Central NJ Our area was pretty much a black out on power and many are still out. We had families in our church that had power and their houses were effectively used as ministry places for other fams, those with babies, etc. It isn't freezing but it was in the 50s in houses without power. We still have members without power and the temperatures will be falling through the weekend. We continue to see gas shortages that we expect to be alleviated as power comes back on throughout the state. We have friends and family members from Staten Island that need significant help and we hope to focus our efforts there and down the shore with the brothers above.
Hopefully power will progressively come back on throughout NJ as the crews do their good work here. Pray for communities to serve one another during the time as the days move ahead. More than anything pray for the churches, a29 and otherwise, to display gospel fruit through good works and share the hope of the gospel to people in need.
Thanks, please pray for our church as well as we pray and try to organize service efforts in our area. The Acts 29 network in NJ is young but growing with all our churches here around the 3 year old mark and under.
Thanks so much for your prayers and support as NJ gets back on its feet. More than anything pray for the great gospel need in our state. May Jesus be praised, worshiped, followed and proclaimed as the great hope and savior in the garden state.