While many Floridians still are cleaning up after Hurricane Irma battered the Gulf Coast in October, Concord United Methodist Church recently sent a work team to repair damage from an even earlier catastrophe.
Six Concord UMC members and two from Church Street United Methodist Church traveled to Daytona Beach the week after Thanksgiving to roof a home severely damaged by Hurricane Matthew in October 2016.
Team members were Pamela Arnett, Robert Bedwell, Jane Currin, Laurie Roberge, David Speth and Dave Stinton from Concord UMC, and William Barkley and Patricia Rule from Church Street UMC.
“Our team had put in an application with the Florida Conference [of the United Methodist Church to help with disaster relief] and at first thought we would be sent to Jacksonville [in the wake of Irma],” said Currin, who serves as CUMC director of missions.
“But they told us they had applicants from Hurricane Matthew that needed help, and had needed it for some time,” she added.
The roof damage was so bad the owners constantly had to vacuum leaking water from the floors, and even had to leave work nearly every day rain fell to switch out buckets and tubs throughout the house.
“They had really lost hope,” Currin said. “They didn’t have a full day of work or a full night’s sleep because of the water.”
The home had been in the family since 1957, but they didn’t have hurricane insurance. “[The premiums] went up so high that they just couldn’t afford it,” she said.
“Poverty is part of the issue.”
The team worked solidly for several days to roof the 3,000-square-foot home.
Currin said the team saw a gradual transformation of the homeowners. “You could just see them getting their hope back,” she said. “They had gotten so beat down and just felt like nobody cared about them.”
The CUMC team also was able to do some roof repair on a smaller home, too. “The blessings I get are fare more than what I give,” Currin said. “To be able to bring some hope back when people are so far down, it is better than Christmas.”
This is not the first time CUMC has sent mission teams out of state.
“[After Hurricane] Katrina hit, we sent a team every three months,” Currin said, adding she herself went 12 times to offer assistance.
The church plans to send more volunteer teams in the near future.
For more information, or to volunteer, call Currin at 865-966-6728.