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By NAMB Staff
FREEPORT, N.Y. – Seeing
your home virtually washed away is difficult on the heart. For the Quiles,
owners of a small home in Freeport, N.Y., Hurricane Sandy crippled their home
and their hearts.
The family was forced to leave when the
storm hit in October, not knowing when they would return. Seeing Sandy’s
massive destruction was discouraging. But the Quiles didn’t stop praying and
hoping that they would eventually be reunited with their home.
On a Saturday morning in early January,
God answered their cry for help. Their tears switched from sadness to joy when military
and civilian volunteers arrived to help. They came from all over the country,
mobilized by a faith-based relief network, including Southern Baptist Disaster
The host family, a U.S. Navy volunteer
team from Naval Base Kitsap, U.S. Navy retirees from Rhode Island, Filipino-Americans
of Newport County and members of the Brooklyn Evangelical Church went to work
on a cold Saturday morning. They removed molded materials destroyed by
floodwaters and applied anti-mold liquid.
Though much work remained, the family
was thankful to receive initial assistance—and to know others cared for them.
By the end, Angela, mother of three, and the rest of the Quiles were amazed by
the progress. Alex Quiles, 6, received a teddy bear after volunteers completed
One member of the team, Navy Chaplain
Don Biadog Jr., was rendering aid in New York for the first time since the aftermath
of September 11, 2001. Biadog leads chaplains in diverse and challenging
settings, including teams counseling families after the loss of a loved one in
“Of course 9/11 was a tragic, mind-boggling
man-made disaster,” said Biadog, a North American Mission Board endorsed
chaplain. “This time we were helping the victims of a natural disaster, Super Storm
Sandy. I led a team of volunteers at the Quiles’ home and oversaw operations of
several command centers in New Jersey and New York over a two-week period overlapping
New Year’s Day.”
Biadog was joined by volunteers from Florida,
Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New England, North Carolina, Ohio,
Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and West
Virginia. All of them shared his desire to help those in need.
“What we did was about being the hands
and feet of Jesus,” said Biadog. “A lot of people might have asked, ‘Where is
God?’ after the storm. I feel that we were showing God’s love by going to those
Biadog said the work was not easy task.
Much effort is still being focused on mud out, but also helping survivors return
to a sense of normal life.
“Volunteers helped tearing down
sheetrock or drywall of flood-damaged houses in Staten Island and Long Island,”
said Biadog. “They removed and cleared debris; cut down trees; and provided food.
I was able to pray with many of those affected. It was great to be able pray
Date Created: 3/28/2013 3:29:49 PM
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering®© Copyright 2014 North American Mission Board, SBC