According to a communication from the Grace Brethren Church of Richmond, Virginia (Dave Kennedy, pastor), four individuals from the Richmond church family – Kimberly Yednock, Kerri Misiano, Lonn Butler, and Michael Bowling – have volunteered to join a Hurricane Disaster Relief Team that will be helping people in Gulfport, Mississippi. The team is being led by Pastor Peter Smith of Hope Valley Community Church in Red Hill, Pennsylvania.
Gulfport, which is on the coast, took the brunt of the hurricane and had more than 50 percent of its homes destroyed. The group will be helping families whose homes were damaged but can be fixed up enough to be lived in again.
The team, which will have a maximum of 20 people, will leave this Saturday, September 24, and will return Monday, October 3. They will be camping in tents on the grounds of the First Baptist Church of Gulfport and going out each day to the surrounding community to repair homes and bring hope to those devastated people.
According to the Richmond church, the National Guard has put the entire shore area – the mile between I-10 and the ocean – off-limits due to the volume of debris. The team will be working just north of that.
The area has running water, but it is not safe to drink. Buildings that can still receive electricity are just starting to have it again. A few restaurants are starting to open up but are overwhelmed with people and there is some gas available but the lines are long.
The team is required to be a completely self-contained team, providing all of its equipment, supplies, food and transportation. This will cost approximately $7,500, and anyone who wishes to help with a financial contribution is encouraged to contact the Richmond church at 2240 Cranbeck Road, Richmond, VA 23235 or call (804) 272-9000.
In the event the church receives more than the total expenses, the surplus will be given to the Gulfport church for the use of rebuilding the Gulfport community. Their needs will be enormous.
The teams from Virginia and Pennsylvania greatly covet your prayers. To see photos from the affected areas visit http://www.sunherald.com/mld/sunherald/news/photos/