When disasters happen around the world, Great Plains is invited to help, and we respond! It is what our ministry is all about – serving with compassion and care as we are the hands and feet of Christ. It is our calling, not just something we do. The Florida Conference Disaster Response Coordinator extended an invitation to us soon after Hurricane Ian had left much destruction in the State of Florida. A group of eight ERTs (Early Response Team) joined together from all over the conference to make the trip to North Fort Myers, Florida. Once there, our team was joined by three from the Mississippi Conference and one from the Alabama West Florida Conference for a week of hard work.
Their task was not an easy one. Blown debris and belongings of the homeowners had to be removed before the home could be muck (gutted) out. The home received 40 inches of water during the hurricane and days of rain. Once the belongings were out, then the team could begin the task of removing drywall and flooring. You can see the process through the pictures.
The bonding of individuals on this trip, and any other ERT trip, is what presents as a true blessing. New friends are made. New individuals become a part of our family.
If you are not already an ERT, we invite you to become a part of our ministry. Disasters strike without warning, and often there is an immediate need and continued needs in the months following the event. We have a training coming up in January for new ERTs and a recertification training Nov. 20 for those who are already an ERT, yet whose credentials have expired. You can find information on these: www.greatplainsumc.org/register.
A heartfelt thank you to Tom and Susan Manning, Dave Mize, Larry Beeson, Susan Poling (team leader), Jenny Claborn, Kristen Ellis and Brian Farber for a job well done in Florida!