An Expression of The United Methodist Church
GIVE NOW
TO THIS SPECIAL
SUNDAY
Your Impact > UMCOR Sunday
'Long road' for recovery from Hurricane Michael
Photo courtesy of the South Georgia Conference.

An early response team from Pierce Chapel United Methodist Church in Midland, Ga., pauses from their work in cleaning up storm debris left by Hurricane Michael at Cooks Union United Methodist Church in Colquitt, Ga. 

Share:
Your gifts on UMCOR Sunday helps provide on the ground support for victims of devastations.

United Methodist congregations in the Southeastern U.S. are beginning a massive rebuilding job after being damaged by Hurricane Michael, buoyed by their work ethic and the support of neighboring conferences.

“All the help is an emotional lift as well as the labor people need,” said Bishop R. Lawson Bryan of the South Georgia Episcopal Area. “It’s telling them that ‘You are not alone.’”

Damage from the Oct. 11 hurricane was worst in the panhandle of Florida, Georgia and Alabama. Many areas were not quite ready for volunteers to arrive, though they hope the help will still be available after conditions improve a bit. Getting power and water back are the biggest priorities right now.

 “All of the main affected areas have been able to send in teams for assessments,” said Greg Ellis, program manager for U.S. Disaster Response at the United Methodist Committee on Relief. “We’re not quite ready yet for volunteers to help. We will put out the information about that when ready.”

A utility pole destroyed by Hurricane Michael is left in the shape of a cross in front of Colquitt (Ga.) United Methodist Church. Photo courtesy of Colquitt United Methodist Church.

Your gifts on UMCOR Sunday helps support lay the foundation for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to share God’s love with communities everywhere.

Most congregants were well-prepared for the disaster, said Bryan, who credited years of Bible studies, sermons and support for missionary works around the world.

“They were spiritually more ready than we realized,” he said. “All that mission work really builds up compassion and strength over time.”

Up to 75 percent of the damage was to agricultural land, which means that many lost their livelihood for at least a year.

“We’re talking huge areas of pecan trees and cotton destroyed,” Bryan said. “But these are hard-working people. When faced with a catastrophe, they rise to the occasion.”

Friendship United Methodist Church is located in the town that was “ground zero” for Hurricane Michael in Georgia, said the Rev. Nate Lehman, pastor. Miraculously, the Friendship church building was unharmed; a tree did fall in its playground.

“It’s almost like God put a protective dome over our church,” he said. “Compared to the damage around us, it’s very little.”

Some tangled telephone lines and posts formed in the shape of a cross near the church.

But the general area will take years to rebound, Lehman said.

“This is a rural farming community with low income levels,” he said. “Lots of the other jobs are minimum wage and those people are unable to work because things are closed down.”

Currently, relief teams in southern Georgia are concentrating on chainsaw work and putting tarp over damaged property, said Scott Parish, missions specialist for the North Georgia Conference. 

The United Methodist Committee on Relief already has distributed two $10,000 emergency grants to the Alabama-West Florida and Florida conferences.

Jim Patterson, Nashville-based reporter, UMNS

One of six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings of The United Methodist Church, UMCOR Sunday calls United Methodists to share the goodness of life with those who hurt. Your gifts to UMCOR Sunday lay the foundation for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to share God’s love with communities everywhere. The special offering underwrites UMCOR’s “costs of doing business.” This helps UMCOR to keep the promise that 100 percent of any gift to a specific UMCOR project will go toward that project, not administrative costs.

When you give generously on UMCOR Sunday, you make a difference in the lives of people who hurt. Give now.

Share:
PASTORS & CHURCH LEADERS
Preaching
Questions
Resources
Mission Moments
Give
Contact
Orders: 1-888-346-3862 or
email: csc@umcom.org
Webmaster: lcarey@umcom.org
810 12th Avenue South,
Nashville, TN
Site Map
United Methodist Church Giving is about people working together to accomplish something bigger than themselves. In so doing, we effect change around the world, all in the name of Jesus Christ.
 
© 2019 United Methodist Communications.
 
Download your Human Relations Day Sunday Resources NOW!
Together, We Do More Pastor and Leaders Kit