Impact Disaster Response has been blessed in the last few months to support a long-term response to communities affected by Hurricane Ian last summer. We began a partnership with Grace Church in Cape Coral and Fort Myers that has seen dozens of homes cleaned out and repaired, hundreds of volunteers serving, and a new Dinner Church that is meeting regularly and now offering English classes in the neighborhood. This response has seen volunteers who have little to no experience learn how to make a real difference in the lives of people at their most vulnerable and share Christ’s love through their word and their actions. While typical disaster response volunteers are retired church members who have more freedom to travel, over winter break, a team came from the BCM (Baptist Collegiate Ministry) at James Madison University. The group had little experience but received training and support so they were able to meet the needs they saw. Scott Anderson, the BCM Campus Director, said “not only were we meeting a tangible need, we were seeing a church be the church. They cared deeply about their community and many people gave sacrificially of their time and resources to help people. This was a big deal for my students to witness.” That has been the real gift in this response – a local church invested in reaching its community receiving volunteers and resources from Impact Disaster response to be able to meet the needs that community has as a result of the disaster.
Your church can be part of the ongoing response in Florida – the rebuild is expected to last a year or more, and the new community ministries that are forming have no end date. To connect to Grace Church and send a team, you can get more information and register here.