In October of last year, Hurricane Sandy ripped through parts of the Northeast United States. Sandy was a category 3 storm at its peak with winds spanning 1,100 miles. Estimated damage at nearly $75 billion, which made it the second costliest Atlantic hurricane behind only Hurricane Katrina. At least 285 people were killed along the path of the storm in seven different countries.
The devastation after a natural disaster cannot be counted just in dollar signs or statistics. Lives are lost, people are robbed of all their earthly possessions, and deep scars are cut into the very fiber of a human soul. It can take years, possibly an entire lifetime to recover from such a tragedy. It’s in situations such as these that God sends One7 to help in any way we can. We partnered up with Pastor Ed Cole and his church of believers in Staten Island. (Visit Salem Church website) We sent two teams at different times to join forces with the group from Salem and help a hurting community try and recover from the storm.
It’s heartbreaking to see piles of what can only be described as people’s lives outside of each house. All of their belongings ruined and pushed to the curb to be picked up and dumped into the garbage. And it’s not just wet pictures, broken furniture, or rotten sheet rock. It’s a lifetime of stories, memories, and whispers of a past that they can never revisit. Our teams met, and had the opportunity to share Christ with, some amazing people. Men and women who had just lost everything, but still clung to the hope that God had not completely abandoned them.
With tears in their eyes, they repeatedly thanked One7 for sending people to help them. One man said he tried several times to get some of his very own family members to help with cleanup, but they never replied. He was surprised, and profusely grateful, that a team of strangers from Charlotte NC would drive 15 hours to help people they didn’t even know.
Our teams made a huge impact on many lives during the two trips. Check out the pictures below. They speak louder than any blog post full of words.