Hurricane Matthew left a path of destruction and heartbreak along the southeast coast of the United States last weekend. The huge, slow-moving storm caused massive flooding that killed 21 people, forced hundreds of thousands of residents to evacuate, and left countless homes in ruin.
Coastal communities in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina were hardest hit. Search and rescue teams have been working tirelessly to find missing and stranded residents, and are providing emergency food, water, and shelter to those who need immediate assistance after the storm.
“When a hurricane of Matthew’s size travels north on the Eastern Seaboard, there is likely to be a huge amount of damage,” said World Renew DRS Director Bob Laarman.
“World Renew Disaster Response Services (DRS) is committed helping people in North America recover from disasters, especially people who are elderly, disabled, low income or otherwise without adequate insurance. This kind of commitment takes time, and DRS is in it for the long haul. We want to make sure that people who are at risk don’t fall through the cracks.”
World Renew DRS is currently connecting with local and national disaster response partners to coordinate recovery efforts. DRS early response coordinators will next meet with communities to set the stage for the World Renew’s long-term response. This includes clean-up services, unmet needs assessments, home reconstruction, and other recovery services.
“In North Carolina, the flood water hasn’t crested yet,” the Wiersmas said. “Once it recedes and the search and rescue work draws to a close, DRS can send in volunteers to get a better idea of how, when, and where we can help.”
YOU CAN HELP
To volunteer to help with clean-up efforts in the next several weeks, please contact Art Opperwall or call 800-848-5818.
“Unfortunately, this past year has been an incredibly bad year for disasters in the U.S., and we are so thankful for the churches, individuals, and businesses that have already donated to help those who were affected. We are asking yet again for your prayerful reflection about giving to support people affected by Hurricane Matthew in the U.S,” Laarman said.
Learn more about the work of World Renew DRS at worldrenew.net/drs.
Please pray for those affected as well as those who are responding. Pray for safety, grace, and mercy. Pray that the Lord will be glorified in these circumstances, and that those who are suffering loss will experience God’s comfort and peace.
or send your check marked "Hurricane Matthew - North America" to...
World Renew Canada
Burlington, ON L7R 3Y8
World Renew US
1700 28th Street S.E.
Grand Rapids, MI 49508
PHOTO TOP: North Carolina emergency services evacuate residents of a neighborhood that fell victim to the flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew in Fayetteville, North Carolina, U.S. on October 8, 2016. Picture taken on October 8, 2016. Courtesy Jonathan Shaw/U.S. Army National Guard/Handout via REUTERS