Disaster Relief Coordinator Tim Brown traveled to West Virginia to help flood victims in 2016, and the memories still impact him today. Survivors lived in tents for months while waiting for their homes to be rebuilt.
But if volunteers have the right tools, people can be back in their homes in a few weeks, thanks to a process called “rapid rebuild.” After removing residual mud and tearing out damaged materials, volunteers let the home dry, then reconstruct everything from the ground up.
“It gives another level of hope,” Brown says. “Just imagine the relief on the stress factor.”
That’s why Disaster Relief New England wants to outfit a trailer for rapid rebuild operations. The twenty-foot trailer is ready and waiting, thanks to a grant from the North American Mission Board. But funds are needed to purchase tools and materials.
To start, Brown hopes to use the trailer for light work like painting, repairing and installing items. With a basic set-up, volunteers can begin helping with construction at local churches.
“We eventually want to be able to work all the trades out of the trailer … so that we could actually pull that trailer into a disaster area and start helping homeowners rebuild some of their housing,” Brown says.
By providing for needs during the worst of circumstances, Disaster Relief volunteers are fulfilling Jesus’ command to care for the least of these, while opening the door for spiritual conversations.
“Just the act [of serving] alone, will sometimes provoke that type of conversation, but the other aspect of this is the believer themselves. They are actually doing what the Great Commission commands,” Brown says.
A portion of your gifts to the New England Mission Emphasis will help purchase tools volunteers can use to meet physical needs and point disaster victims to Christ, who can meet their spiritual needs.