Friday, November 10, 2017

Hurricane Relief

Lorraine (age 14) just returned from a trip to Florida with her grandparents and Samaritan’s Purse to help with Hurricane relief efforts. She was gone for almost two weeks (counting travel time) and was able to do her high school work on the road. She returned full of stories, thankfulness, and mementos from the beach.  Recently, I sat down with her for an interview.


I know you didn’t really know what to expect when you went, but was there anything that  surprised you?
How friendly everyone was (the volunteers and the leaders.)  I will never forget the people on my team!


Did it seem weird being the youngest there?
Most people were retirement age. There were three 17-yr-olds and one 14-yr-old. It wasn’t weird though. People don’t talk to me like I’m a kid (probably because I don’t talk like a kid.)


What was it like? Tell me about some of your experiences.
At one house we thought it was going to be a simple mud-out (throwing everything away that got water damage/mold) but when we got there we also had to take the whole kitchen out- we had to gut the whole thing. Even the cabinets were moldy. They had thought it would be a half hour job but it took us all day.
In one of the rooms an entire wall had blown out and they put blue tarp over it. We took everything out of that room (TV set, everything in the closet, etc) When we took the tarp down to help take down the wall we discovered it was ALL termites. I couldn’t believe the wall was still standing because it was paper thin. In another room we had to take down all the walls and insulation and even the ceiling!  Sometimes they had to let the insulation just hang form the ceiling for a while so that all the water would pour out onto the floor!  We also had to fix the roof- there were tons of holes and it just kept leaking into the house.
They were so thankful they ordered us pizza. They had to drag us away from the work to make us sit and eat with them.
Another house we went to was like a hoarder’s house. They had a bunch of pieces of metal just laying around their yard, and you could barely walk through the house. The girls cleaned up a patio.  Bump (grandpa) had to put on tyvek suit (it made him look like a sausage!) and wear a mask to deal with all the moldy insulation.

What was the hardest thing for you?
The work wasn’t bad because we were with everyone else while we worked and having fun kind of. It was hard to leave the people’s house when we could have talked a lot more.  Also, another team went out to work one day and discovered a suicide. I’m glad that wasn’t us.

How did you see God at work?
 


Sometimes people were quite rude at first but they usually softened up after we worked for awhile. I think it helped them to see us work hard but still be laughing and having fun too.  At the end of every job we would pray with the people and give them a  Bible at the end (that everyone in the group signed).Some people started crying when we prayed for them or when we gave them a Bible.


Well Lorraine, your family prayed for you the whole time you were gone. It is a lovely thing to see you going off into the world and using the gifts God has given you to bless others. What a joy it is to see you growing into a young woman with a heart for God and His people!  May He keep up his good work in you!  


What other questions do you have for Lorraine?

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