I received a phone call from Brother Charles from DIRT Ministries, asking me if I was planning on
responding to Daytona Beach for the flooding. I asked him what flooding? I, like most of the rest of
Florida and the world, had no idea that there was any flooding going on. Before I could get off the phone
with him, Brother Frank from Whosoever Ministries was calling me asking the same question. Charles lives
in NC and was thinking about coming down, but Frank lives in Daytona Beach and needed some help!
I told them that we'd pray about responding, and honestly, I wasn't sure what was going on. As soon as I
got home I got busy on the computer trying to find out all I could about the flood. Volusia County had
already received over twenty inches of rain which had produced flash flooding, and they were expecting a
lot more before the storm was over. Some areas ended up with thirty inches of rain by the time a few
days had passed and the sun came out.
The flooding didn't last long, but it had done its damage. Over one thousand homes had been damaged,
over seven hundred of them severely. We decided that the Lord wanted us to respond for Memorial Day
weekend and quickly put a team together from our church. Frank had secured the United Brethren In
Christ Church in Holly Hill (UBIC) for our headquarters. This church used to have an assisted-living
facility, so we stayed in nice, hotel-type rooms, each with its own bathroom! There was a small kitchen in
the living area and a large commercial kitchen next to it. The church told us whatever we needed, it was
ours! Pastor Chuck and his church were awesome servants, full of hospitality! What an enormous blessing
Three of us left on Saturday as the rains didn't stop until Friday evening. When we got in we took a tour
of the area and figured out where we would start the next morning. Two more from our church drove up
the next day to join us and we immediately got busy. A couple of locals joined in the efforts and we had a
good crew. Monday, we had more work orders and more locals to help us. We did what we could in the
time we had and were able to help do some small things for three different homes and begin major debris
removal and muck-outs in two others.
Our son was graduating from high school and my mom was coming into town, so we had to head home, but
promised to return if they needed us the following week. The week came and went and meanwhile,
Samaritan's Purse (SP) headed into the area. We decided to back off and see how much help they were
going to bring in and when so as not to duplicate the efforts.
I was also monitoring the state and local conference calls and keeping tabs on what all was going on. By
the Tuesday after Nick's graduation, VIND, Volusia Interfaiths/Agencies Networking in Disaster, the local
ESF-15 that handles the disaster relief response in the area, had contacted us about coming up again while
SP was gearing up. We agreed to come up for another weekend and quickly put together another team.
Ten of us left on Friday night, seven headed back Saturday night and two more joined us on Sunday. We
were also joined by a family of four from Michigan who attend a sister church of UBIC, and two more
local ladies as well as one of the guys who worked with us the last time we were in town.
SP was great. They fed us and gave us some supplies, t-shirts and hats. We participated in the devos and
share time. UBIC, as we experienced last time, continued to shower us with Christ-like hospitality!! Thanks
We worked on three different houses that weekend. One job was to tarp an entire roof, another was
removing all of the household goods to the street, and the other was a complete muck out. We managed to
finish all three jobs!
It was a great team and everyone worked hard and together. As our devo on Sunday morning was about
grumbling and complaining, there was none!
We were able to share the Gospel with a Hispanic couple, and the Billy Graham Chaplains were able to lead
one lady to the Lord. Everyone was a great witness of the Love of Jesus in all they did and said. God
continues to amaze me as He leads us in different areas, doing different things, with and for different
people and groups!