In New York City, it's another story. Power is still out all over New Jersey, NYC and Long Island. Literally thousands have lost homes. I've spent quite a bit of time checking in on older folks who are stuck at home without power, people in a local shelter, delivering meals and arranging for some emergency response volunteers to help with cleaning up messes and repairing a roof or two (including my church's). Many of our ministry partners have cleaned up their messes and the damage was minimal. They are all very busy, however, assessing needs and recruiting resources.
Even though Hurricane Sandy hit less than two weeks ago, there have already been some amazing people stepping up to help. One group that served with CSM on the East Coast sent a check to help kids victimized by the storm get new backpacks for school. They were concerned about students getting back to normal. Another youth pastor who served in Denver asked what they could do and immediately took the challenge to take a group to Hoboken, NJ and they "mucked out" a church basement. Here in Brooklyn, four men took a day off from work and came from Massachusetts to repair our roof before the second storm hit.
Just as we felt like we were starting to get our feet under us, "round two" hit. A Nor'easter (a storm that comes from the North and hooks back into the coast) brought big wind, heavy rain, strong storm surges and four inches of snow. The storm surge breached already eroded barriers and the weight of the snow brought down trees that survived Sandy.
The CSM team and I will continue assessing the needs and meeting them with all of the resources and networks we have. Pray for our city directors and ministry partners as they begin to rebuild and as they try to make plans to best use volunteers. Pray for the stress and fatigue that comes from constant responses to crises.
It is because your support, in both prayer and finances, that I am able to respond to the needs of this devastated city. Everyday, I feel the strength of your prayers. Thank you so very much! I'll keep you updated. If you wish to give through CSM, please do so on our website.