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Newsletter 10-26-16

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In a disaster, survivors are not the only ones who receive help.  Blessings overflow back into the lives of the volunteers.  Matthew 25:40 states “As you have done it for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you have done it for me.”

Missionary story from July 2016 Bixby UMC mission team, by Ellen Bussert.

“Working on the disaster relief project in Northeast Oklahoma was an unexpected blessing to me. Although I was fully supportive of the mission, originally I had not planned to participate. I got involved when one of my friends was recruited to be a female sponsor, but could not be there one of the days. I volunteered to take her place that day and ended up going every day. This was my first experience seeing the results of a home damaged by a flood.

It was hot on the project site and we worked very hard all week. Our work group ranged from 4-7 volunteers daily. Our skill level ranged from never worked on a building project to 50 plus years in the construction industry. Ages of the volunteers ranged from high school to retired. I loved the intergenerational interaction we had that week. I liked how the more experienced ones taught the new ones what to do.

On the first morning we were introduced to the project manager and given an overview of the job. My heart sank as we walked across the porch to the house and saw bags of kitchen items, personal items and trash. Inside, the house was stripped down to the studs. The front room had a huge pile of dry wall and wood. It was so overwhelming to me, and I did not see how we could make a difference. Our job was to finish stripping the house down so that the family who owned it would only have to pay for the remodeling, not the demolition.

We put on our gloves and got to work. Shortly, things progressed and tasks were checked off of the list of things to do. We were able to clean up the piles in the rooms. Every day, we had a list of things that needed to be done. There was so much to do. I was one of the “unskilled” workers, but always had a job to do. When our portion of the demolition was completed, I was glad that I had been a part of the work. I felt like I was an effective member of the team and was very proud of my contributions.”

  

VOLUNTEERS

YOU are a priceless blessing!

Please join us as we help those in need recover from a disaster.  Luke 6:38 states “Give, and it will be given to you. A good portion—packed down, firmly shaken, and overflowing—will fall into your lap. The portion you give will determine the portion you receive in return.”

Our staff makes volunteering as easy as possible.  We will find your housing location, provide your work details, and supply the site with materials and tools.  Our project managers have experience that can teach you the skills your team needs to be successful.

All that you need is a willingness to love a survivor by being the hands, feet and ears of Christ.

Please call Karen to get started today!

ROI – Return On Investment

In 2015 tornadoes and storms raged March through July then ice storms hit in November and December.  In 2016 tornadoes and storms raged again March through July.  Survivors from all of those dates are still being recovered.  However, we have accomplished much through volunteers in our recovery efforts.

Volunteers are counted with the number of hours they worked and put into a value called man-hours.  That value is then multiplied by the labor value that is assigned through a network of agencies across the country.  For Oklahoma, that volunteer labor value has averaged $21.48 per hour over the time period.  The Oklahoma United Methodist Disaster Response ministry through dedicated volunteers has applied 23,792 man-hours to the recovery efforts of disaster survivors equaling $508,387.00 in volunteer labor value over the last 22 months.

RECOVERY COMPLETE

In the August 2016 Disaster Response newsletter we shared a story about Genevieve.  At that time we had tarped her roof providing her hope that help was here and more was to come.  Through the month of October Mennonite Disaster Services worked to replace the roof on her home, repair areas of flooring and replace damaged sheetrock.  Genevieve’s home has now been fully recovered from the disaster damage it sustained.  On the last day the mission team presented Genevieve with a Bible fully engraved with her name and a blessing of hope.  Soon to be installed is her very own storm shelter that will also give her peace of mind.

Volunteers like you make recovery like this possible.

  

DONATIONS

Disaster Response funding is made up of your generous donations in all forms.  With your donation of monies and resources we are able to meet the needs of the survivors.  Please consider the following two ways you can be a difference maker.

  • Cash  
    • 100% of your donation goes directly to help a survivor.Image result for cash By donating cash we are able to meet the exact need a survivor has. Please consider making a cash donation today and set up a recurring payment to help this ministry continue to serve all those in need.  Visit our website to learn how.
  • Resources  
    • Do you have contacts with suppliers of building materials, home furnishings…  We can stretch the dollars donated through resourcing.  If you have contacts or resources please contact Chad to discuss meeting this need.

RECOGNITION

Thanks to our wonderful disaster volunteers providing survivors with the help they need.

St. Cloud, Minnesota   -  First Presbyterian Missions without Passports

  • Team of 10 volunteers replaced a roof and installed guttering on a survivor’s home.

Hartland, Wisconsin  -  Our Savior’s Lutheran Evangelical Church

  • Team of 11 volunteers hung drywall, textured, painted, laid flooring, installed cabinets and countertops, and replaced roofing at disaster survivor’s homes.

Prosper, Texas  -  Trinity Presbyterian Church

  • Team of 5 volunteers laid flooring, hung and textured drywall in disaster survivor’s homes.

Tulsa, Oklahoma  -  Memorial Drive UMC

  • Team of 10 volunteers repaired drywall and replaced subflooring in a disaster survivors kitchen.

Venton, Iowa  -  NCCC AmeriCorps Maple 5

  • Team of 10 volunteers wrap up their last of a 6 week stay in Oklahoma working on disaster survivors homes this month.  They have done roofing, drywall, insulation, painting, flooring... for disaster survivors in several areas in the state.