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Monroe First Church and team responds – Panama City FL 2018
Response to Hurricane Michael in Panama City FL
from Rick Duff, Associate Pastor Monroe First Church of God OH
This 4 min slide show is a review of our mission to Panama City, FL and thank you to those who contributed. It was in response to the devastation from Hurricane Michael. Within 3 weeks, our Monroe First Church and team responded with donations of finances ($3500 of materials and donations), loaned equipment (generators, chain saws, yard cleaning, and home cleaning), some engineered items (water cart that fills 250 gal in 7 min with pump and generator), 10-computer pod with a wifi hotspot and generator (for beginning FEMA and insurance claims and church leaders), 25 pumpkins from a local farm (delivered to LHUMC trunk or treat on Oct 31), and acquired multiple places for housing us. We arrived on Oct 29 and worked through Nov 9 (11 days).
We organized and sent 4 from Monroe First Church of God, together with 2 from Community Harvest Church, and Mark Wells of Hands2Hope. 7 total. We worked logistics together with several members of the Lynn Haven United Methodist Church in Florida. The Methodist church had become a major hub for all materials being for Panama City. We maintained communication and logistics with leaders from LHUMC (having tried to contact Panama City FCG) As the priorities shift following a natural disaster, our supplies grew to match the demands.
Our primary tasks included major tree work, getting large trees away from homes, and clearing paths for future contractors to come through. We intentionally sought out those who were not going to have resources or insurance to even begin their restoration process. We met families and many displaced and prayed together, provided support, listened to stories, and encouraged folks. We met and worked together with area church and city leaders in Callaway, meeting the needs of their congregation. We also engaged with Eight Days of Hope, assisting them with some challenging tree removal ahead of their teams of ground crews.
There is a unifying Holy Spirit that is omnipresent able to leave all people in awe. Christians and those we hope will become, working together for common good allowed for thousands of conversations about God’s Love and restoration.