Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"I need more hands"

That was what Curtis, the deputy fire chief at Stumpy Point said to me yesterday as we were nailing tarps on the roof of a church in that little village.

Most of the homes in Stumpy Point were flooded. Some lost their roofs. All have suffered damage. Many of the residents evacuated and are just now returning to find all they own destroyed by water. Curtis and his dad, who is the fire chief, are doing their best to help out. As I looked at Curtis and listened to him tell the stories all I could see and hear was his own exhaustion and sense of being the Dutch boy with his finger in the dike.

Little communities on the Outer Banks like this have no real local government infrastructure. They're rural communities, who are communities in the real sense. Stumpy Point is our most "isolated" community here in Dare County, separated by miles from the rest of us and surrounded by water. On a normal day it is a most beautiful spot. After a hurricane, it more resembles something from the Apocalypse.

Roads have just been opened. Cell service is pretty much non-existent. Mosquitoes, snakes and turtles are abundant. And so is the need. These are proud watermen, the kind of people who have been self-sufficient for centuries. Hard working and resilient they are. But now they are in something they never imagined and the likes of which no one can remember.

County-wide the needs are overwhelming. Great resources are being put to work to restore power, water, food, ice, and especially roads down on Hatteras Island. Ferries loaded with necessities are going throughout the day to supply them, and I'm glad for it. But right before the ferry dock is a little village that seems to be neglected and has enormous needs as well.

If your church or group is looking for somewhere to go, please consider Stumpy Point. You'll meet some wonderful, God-fearing people who have lost all their material possessions but not their spirit.

And I'm with you, Curtis. I could use a few more hands this week myself.


marcia said...

Rick, coming from West Michigan, an area with many Reformed Church in Amercia and Christian Reformed churches (Calvinist groups virtually unknown in some areas of the country), I am very familiar with the work done by the CRWRC (Chr Ref World Relief Committee). On local radio I have heard that they had advance teams headed your way several days ago. Not sure where they will be headquarted, but they have a huge amount of experience assessing disaster situations and coordinating groups of volunteers that come for three-week works sessions. They come in waves, one after the other, until it is determined that work that they can do is completed in a area. Here is a link to their website. Perhaps you would want to contact someone there, with details of specific areas that you have seen, and see if they might be able to send teams there. Worth a try! Meanwhile, praying for God to enhance the work of your hands, and all those already there, to be able to accomplish phenomenal amounts of work!

marcia said...
More detail that you may have already found in their website, if this is helpful to you in some way.

Rick Lawrenson said...

Thanks Marcia.