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By Laura Sikes
“These kids did more work in two days than I could have done in two months. It’s amazing that they would take their spring break to come and help us.”
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Staten
Island resident Dominick Camerade was hard hit by Hurricane Sandy. Five months
after the storm ravaged the area, Camerade and others in the community continue
repairing their lives. Camerade’s home in New Dorp Beach and his small engine
repair shop next door were severely damaged by flooding.
After losing almost
everything he had built over a lifetime, the recent retiree says his cries to
God were answered this week when Southern Baptist Disaster Relief collegiate
volunteers helped him clean up his properties and spent time with him to lift
“These kids did more work in
two days than I could have done in two months,” Camerade said. “It’s amazing
that they would take their spring break to come and help us.”
Students from Resonate
Church in Moscow, Idaho and Pullman, Wash., worked with Camerade for two days
cleaning up and moving hundreds of damaged lawn mowers, weedwackers, snow plows
and other small engines that flood waters ruined. Camerade hopes to sell the
damaged machines as scrap metal.
The group is one of seven
student teams from states across the nation who are taking part in the SBC
Collegiate Spring Break’s recovery response to Staten Island this week. The
project is being coordinated by the North American Mission Board.
Resonate Church student
Jessica McGettigan, 18, on her first mission trip said Camerade’s attitude was
encouraging to her and inspired the whole team.
“He’s lost so much but he
kept his faith,” she said.
Bringing hope to residents
who often feel forgotten after a disaster is what teams such as Resonate and
other collegiate volunteers are doing through the middle of April.
This week students were
working on mud-outs, mold remediation, tear-outs, clean up and yard debris
removal. They are also installing insulation and hanging sheetrock.
Judy Cape, NAMB events/logistics
specialist, said on March 13, 136 students, staff and local student volunteers
were working. The students come from Washington, Idaho, Virginia, Kentucky,
Texas and Ohio.
“The students are willing to
work and to do what needs to be done,” Cape said of the students’ whatever it
Recovery Jobs Coordinator
Marvin Corbin, a SBDR volunteer from Ocala, Fla., agreed as he watched the
students day to day get up at 5:30 a.m. and work a hard, long day on sites sometimes
in the rain.
“It restores your faith in
the youth of today,” he says.
Texas A&M graduate
student Joe Terrell, 22, who helped insulate a home, admits it’s hard work, but
it’s rewarding for him because he likes serving and seeing the progress made on
“You see a house gutted and
walk out and can almost begin to see a home,” he says.
Williams came on her first mission trip with the BCM of University of the
Cumberlands of Williamsbury, Ky. Williams said she felt led to serve and has
seen things she never has experienced. Her team has worked on a mud-out for
three days in a home in Midland Beach.
“The house was just floors,
beams and a roof when we walked in. There was nothing inside,” she said.
The group met the homeowner,
a mother with two teenaged daughters. Williams said it was emotionally hard for
“The woman almost cried before
we lifted a finger.”
The appreciation from the
community has been felt says NAMB Spring Break project coordinator Bruce Poss.
“They didn’t know much about Southern Baptists but now they do.” Poss says that
NAMB plans a two-year presence for the area’s recovery.
Kobie Jones, 21, with
Central Baptist of College Station, Texas, says he wasn’t expecting such
positive feedback from homeowners.
“They were so happy to see
us and it makes all the work worth it.”
Kelsey Dickson, 21, also
from Central Baptist, says though she had seen all the news coverage about the
storm’s destruction it was the first time for her to see such loss.
“To see all of their
possessions in a pile makes me wonder how anyone, especially non-believers, can
go through this and have any hope left,” she said.
“Our job as Christians is to
build up others when they can’t help themselves and to show the love of Christ.
The act itself is to glorify God in the end.”
From its disaster operations center in
Alpharetta, Ga., NAMB coordinates and manages Southern Baptist responses to
major disasters through a partnership between NAMB and the Southern Baptist
Convention’s 42 state conventions, most of which have their own state disaster
SBDR assets include 82,000 trained
volunteers, including chaplains, and some 1,550 mobile units for feeding,
chainsaw, mud-out, command, communication, childcare, shower, laundry, water
purification, repair/rebuild and power generation. SBDR is one of the three
largest mobilizers of trained disaster relief volunteers in the United States,
along with the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army.
Southern Baptists and others who want
to donate to the disaster relief operations can contact their state conventions
or contribute to NAMB’s disaster relief fund via namb.net/disaster-relief-donations. Other ways to donate are to call 1-866-407-NAMB
(6262) or mail checks to NAMB, P.O. Box 116543, Atlanta, GA 30368-6543.
Designate checks for “Disaster Relief.”
Laura Sikes writes for the North American Mission
Date Created: 3/14/2013 4:27:47 PM
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering®© Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC