Archive for November, 2012

Greetings from NJ 11.5.12
November 5, 2012

Continued Posting from Doug Macdonald, a member of Liberty Hill Presbyterian Church and PDA first responder deployed to New Jersey in the wake of Hurricane Sandy

Subject: Greetings from NJ 11.5.12

Sue is making things painless for me as she writes for our report appropriate things to pass on to you.  This is our church visit yesterday.  David and Mark went to churches south of us.

 

This morning First Pres, Manasquan had one 11 am service instead of its usual three. The sanctuary was filled with jacket-clad, scarf wrapped worshippers, all snuggling against their neighbors to ward off the chill. No power, no lights, no water (thus, no flushing). The “mucking team” was introduced and stood for a round of appreciative applause. These folks have been out helping neighbors tackle the initial dig out of sand and muck. They are a pretty sizable group. We learn that FPM also has — with some other churches — a well-established food bank. They distribute to about 500 people a month. During prayer/praise time we learned that schools are closed “indefinitely.” A former school teacher volunteered to help create a caring place for the kids to gather…that one woman’s neighbor needs help. A volunteer spoke up to take on the assignment. Clearly this is a can-do church committed to praising God and serving their neighbors.

After church the deacons met to divide the list of names of folks in the congregation who probably need visits and assistance. Then they left to check on the flock.

A group appears to be forming, as well, which will start meeting each morning at 9 to review lists of folks in the community in need. Then at 10 am volunteers will arrive and receive their assignments to go help as they are able.

IN ADDITION, the active youth group (The Liquid Church) gathered with their pastor for work assignments. They were anxious to hit the road and do stuff!

This is an engaged and energetic church, one which could probably be developed for Longterm work if that need becomes apparent down the road.

 

Just an aside about the sanctuary. As the pastor stands at the pulpit, he faces the back wall which is a beautiful stained glass mural, Jesus the centerpiece. In the dimness of the unlit church, Pastor Morrison urged us all to turn to the back. What did we see. The outside sun was pouring through the window, lighting the fact and robes of Jesus. Did anyone need any other reminder of our hope and our light?

 

We will move to the Best Western Motel today.  David and Mark will join us from their hotel in Philidelphia.  It will be good to have the team together.  I believe I will miss the comfort of Wendy and Dwayne Bailey’s home.  They are magnificent hosts.

 

We will begin the week meeting with more churches and pastors an quickly move toward getting the presbytery organized.

 

Things are progressing.  As of midnight Saturday/Sunday there were still 1,000,000+ locations with out power and 5000+ in shelters.

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Doug

Douglas P. Macdonald
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
National Response Team
2559 Kingston Drive
Florence, SC 29505-6424

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Greetings from New Jersey!
November 5, 2012

Doug Macdonald, a member of our Liberty Hill Presbyterian Church is a PDA First Responder.  He has been deployed to help with Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey and is offering us updates on the conditions there.

Subject: Re: Doug Macdonald – Greetings from New Jersey Hurricane Sandy

On Sat, Nov 3, 2012 at 9:01 AM, Doug Macdonald <dpmacdonald@yahoo.com> wrote:

 

Greetings from New Jersey.

 

I am deployed for Hurricane Sandy leading a team covering essentially the Jersey Shore north of Atlantic City. There are other teams covering Atlantic City south, the northern part of the state and the New York area.

 

I have never before done emails for a first deployment following a disaster but this one needs your prayers. So therefore I email you. I will not promise to maintain the consistency of communications I have done from the villages as the work load is much more intense for this type of deployment.

 

I arrived in the Trenton area with teammate Sue on Thursday with hotel reservations only to find out that we had no reservations and there are no rooms to be found. Sue and I are staying with the Presbytery Executive and her husband. David and Mark flew into Philadelphia Thursday evening and we were able to get a hotel for them there. They are electing to commute the 45 minutes. Sue and I each have a bedroom and share a bathroom and our hosts are wonderful.

 

Power outages are a problem around Trenton and to the east. We are blessed to have power. Flooding along the coast has made many homes inhabitable. The barrier islands are not accessible and I believe there will be significant total destruction of homes.

 

The reports I am getting from FEMA and National VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster) and my personal observations are that this event is on the order of magnitude of Katrina. It is different in that there is not the obvious total destruction but the flooding damage seems to go on forever.

 

Yesterday, Sue, Executive Windy and I visited north to south along the Shore. David, Mark and a Presbytery member visited south to north. We will pick up our visits again today. We saw the flood damage, lots of tired and surprisingly upbeat people and tired pastors.

 

Pray for the pastors. The hurt of each member of their congregations seem to pile on them. Pray for the survivors. They are tired now and recovery will be slow.

 

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Doug

Douglas P. Macdonald
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
National Response Team
2559 Kingston Drive
Florence, SC 29505-6424