Calvary Chapel Relief: Hurricane Sandy

Last week, I was blessed to travel to New Jersey with a group from my church to help with Hurricane Sandy Relief. I remember hearing about Hurricane Sandy and the damage that it left in October and thinking, "I want to go back east and help with this." It never amounted to anything until January when one of our Pastor's who often leads trips to disaster zones made an announcement about an impending trip. I inquired about it, how much it would cost and when it was, after his response, I really wanted to go.

I started praying about it, asking the Lord for confirmation. Did He want me to go on this trip? The Lord answered me specifically with this verse:

"And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, 'Go'". - Exodus 2:8a. 

So, I told the Pastor, I was in. You'd think after hearing from the Lord, I would be certain that this was what He wanted me to do, but I wasn't. I got cold feet almost immediately after I said I would go. However, the Lord knew that would happen and I began to see and hear things about New Jersey everywhere. The Pastor of the church we would be helping came down to visit us in SoCal. My friend, who had no idea what I was praying about, wore a sweatshirt that said "Jersey Shore". Everything kept pointing to New Jersey.

Finally, I talked with another friend on staff at the church and he asked me why I was feeling hesitant. I couldn't give an answer. After that conversation and remembering that verse, I put aside the hesitancy and just said, lets do this.

So off we went for a week. Our team was 18 people, 6 girls and the rest gentlemen. (Calling them gentlemen is not an understatement, every single guy on our trip was respectful and exuded Christ.) Our team was hilarious. More times than I can count, I laughed until my stomach hurt and tears were running down my cheeks.

This trip was one of the best experiences of my year, so far. The Lord had his hand on it, there were no dramatic arguements, no disunity; everything was covered by His Spirit. We worked on a total of 6 houses. Most of them were tearing down walls, ripping up floors, demolishing bathrooms, etc. 2 houses were cleaning up, sweeping, moving things, finishing installing flooring.

One of the most appreciated things, from my perspective, (although there were a lot), was how willing the guys were to include the girls. They showed us how to do things we didn't know how to do and let us get right in there with them, tearing up floors and demolishing things.

The Lord totally provided financially for me to go on this trip, I didn't spend a dime on flights or lodging. On top of that, the ministry, Calvary Chapel Relief, provide free meals for the volunteer relief teams that come. Everything was literally taken care of.

I want to ask you to pray for New Jersey. Parts of the state are still a mess. Home haven't been touched since the hurricane ripped through. There is still a lot of work to do. However, the Lord is moving. We heard countless stories of people coming to the Lord through the relief teams that came out. We saw women cry, totally at a loss to explain why teams would come from all over the country, leaving work and family, to help them - people they had never met before. The Lord is moving in and through this situation.

I am already praying for another opprotunity to go back.

Our Team :)

For more pictures you can look here:


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