Day 1
The interesting thing about working locally (well sort of locally) is that everybody shows up at different times so some people have already worked a full day while others are just arriving. It provides flexibility for people’s schedule and allows some people to participate in mission who otherwise might not be able to participate. People just arriving are already hearing interesting stories from those who have been working and interacting with the local church and folks impacted by the storm.

We worked on First United Methodist in Belmar, NJ today. Because of this storm the church is closed and they are not meeting. This, of course, is a very sad thing so we are very motivated to help them get back on their feet. This church was 1/4 mile off the water and received a 5-foot surge of water.

In the sanctuary of the church we moved the altar, the pulpit and a large organ and we tore out all the flooring and joists. The whole church stage will need to be redone. We will probably finish the demolition project midday tomorrow and then it will be on to the next challenging job…what, we don’t know, but we are sure there will be many heartfelt stories and much challenging work ahead of us.

Thanks and we continue to look forward to your prayers and thoughts for the work that we do here.

Day 2
Today we finished up demolition in the sanctuary of First United Methodist Church in Belmar, NJ. We are hopeful that they can begin the work of rebuilding the altar area, put pews back in, and begin worshiping again very soon. We then went next door to work on the parsonage. It’s a beautiful old house that survived the storm surge okay, but didn’t survive the water that got in the basement and backed up through the radiator system and sprayed throughout the first floor of the house.

In one of the rooms we found this inspiration that God is at work in our lives and that His power to heal and restore is always there for us if we want it. We all feel humbled and honored to be able to help the United Methodist Church and the people of New Jersey get back into their churches and homes. They certainly believe they can.

Another team worked on a woman’s home that needs a lot of work. They rebuilt the joists under the bathroom floor and put new flooring in the bathroom. It is now structurally the best room in the house and she will soon have the ability to take showers again in her own home for the first time in 7 months.

We continue to be amazed by the resilience and amazing dedication of the church that is hosting us (Lacey UMC) and their wonderful people. They are doing everything they can to help the community around them.


-John Tozzi, Steve Dripps, Dan Ambrose, Donna Buffington, Bill Waite, David Waite, Will Waite, Becca Edwards, Emily Sherrill and Dave Edwards

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