South Carolina Trip 2019

A team of men from Grace Brethren Church traveled to South Carolina the end of March to help rebuild from the devastation that was caused by Hurricane Florence in September 2018.   Here is a recap of how the week went and the people that God placed in their path:
Saturday
The bulk of the team arrived in SC at the Myrtle Beach Christian Retreat Ctr around the 3pm hour.  Lodging, breakfast and bag lunch provisions were supplied there for the week
The Tiptons extended their hospitality the whole week with dinner provisions at their home…walking distance to church.  On Tuesday, they are part of a missions team that invites the homeless in for dinner at church.  We dined with them there that evening.
Sunday
Attended church services with the Tiptons at Ocean Drive Presbyterian Church @ 9am services (Contemporary).  The sermon was delivered by Reverend Kelly Gabrielle, Associate Pastor.  The passage:  Romans 12:1-2  The big idea:  Worship
Monday through Friday
We worked on four (4) homes:
  • House #1 was in Long, SC in a relatively new subdivision.  The homeowner was recently divorced and had just gone to settlement from purchase of the residence 3 -4 weeks when the flood waters from the Waccamaw River flooded the subdivision and his home with 3-4′ of water.  He had become overwhelmed with trying to complete the restoration of his home while he also helped others do the same. He is not a believer but participated in the onsite fellowships with the team as we started every workday with reflection on scripture and collective prayer. The destruction of the flooding destroyed everything in the house from 4′ and below and required our services assisting the homeowner with:
    1. Layout/installation of kitchen cabinets, plumbing rough-ins and prep for counter tops
    2. Installation of trim
    3. Installation of plumbing fixtures in two (2) bathrooms
    4. Installation of two (2) intricate shower doors
    5. Installation of additional electrical circuits for new outlets in the garage
    6. Installation of wall insulation and new gypsum wall board in the garage
    7. Installation of a new garage door opener
    8. Demolition and infill of an existing window opening.
    9. Infill installation of vinyl siding where window used to be.

Upon our departure, he had become receptive to discussion about the Lord.  We left his contact information with the Tipton’s who will be doing a follow-up with him over the next couple of weeks.  Our prayers are that Jim will come to accept the Lord into his life from the fellowship, love and expression the Lord placed on each of our hearts as we served.  He was in awe of the efforts, which we all individually and collectively attributed to God.

 

  • House #2 was next door to House #1.  The homeowner was a retiree who relocated from our home state of Maryland to South Carolina.  While experiencing Hurricane Florence havoc, she lost her husband to a heart attack in the midst of property damage assessment.  She would frequently come out to greet the team and chat with us.  During one of the chats, with Curt Kuntz, she shared that she too had a need….the use of her kitchen sink that she had not been able to find someone to help with….she had been doing her dishes in her bathroom sink and tub.  Plumbing was the small task at hand that just like with Jim, spoke volumes to her.  She expressed interest in finding a church home in South Carolina.  We left her contact information about the Tiptons church.  They will be doing a follow up over the next couple of weeks.

 

  • House #3 was about a half a mile down the road from the subdivision where House #1 & 2 was located.  As a favor to the Southern National Convention, Shane Zoccoli (Spokes of Hope) asked for our help to prep a house for the next team anticipated to arrive in South Carolina.  We helped with:
    1.  Installation of trim around two (2) newly installed patio doors at the rear of the residence
    2. Installation of vinyl siding to finish the exterior of the residence.
    3. Installation of 1/4″ luan sub floor in prep for new flooring that was to be installed by others.
  • House #4 was also in Long, South Carolina off the beaten path from the other homes we saw and visited.  The home site was within fifty feet of tidal water areas which also experienced flooding, but at a magnitude that left virtually nothing of the house but the building shell and the heartfelt memories of the owner’s parents that built the home with their own hands.  Their grave sites were also within fifty feet of the home as well.  Although outwardly the residence appeared to be a candidate for razing, emotions contributed to the ambition of Spokes of Hope and others to save the home by elevating the home 6-8″ to get the building above flood stage.  The GBC team contributed by performing the demolition to prep the home for the house mover to rig in steel cribbing to raise the home
The above mentioned work was done over a period of 2 and a half days.

The balance of our work was done at the base camp facilities @ Spokes of Hope which was literally sitting on the bank of one of the tributaries of the Waccamaw River.  Flood waters here overcame the entire building and five acres of paved area at an elevation of 8-10 feet..  The aftermath left damages inside the building of 3-4 feet of drywall partitions that needed to be replaced (…roughly about 300-400 linear feet of wall board that needed to be hung). In addition, we also assisted with the installation of insulation, electrical wiring rough-ins, framing of new partitions for new offices and the construction of a new stair to what will be a loft for the A/V and sound.
The week also enabled the team to fellowship with one another as we collectively served the Lord by serving others.  I believe we all left being changed by the experiences we encountered and experienced together and individually.  Our evenings often ended with the sharing and reflection of the days activities and of life applications that have drawn us closer together.  The time we spent with the Tiptons, Shane Z and others will be memorable for the rest of our lives. We were able to meet other brothers and sisters in Christ, nurture relationships of the ones we already knew and share our life in Christ with those that we served and those that observed up close and from afar.

Lovingly submitted by Herb Allen