Well this past week I was blessed with one of the greatest blessings I think we can possibly receive while being a follower of Christ. I was blessed with the opportunity to practice John 3:30 and make Him become greater and I become less through serving with a organization known as Trinity West Crisis Dispatch (TWCD) in New York, New York. As most know the north east coast of America was hit pretty hard by hurricane Sandy very recently causing immense damage to a lot of the northeastern coast. My roommate, his girlfriend, and I were all blessed to go help serve and help out with some clean up around the northeastern coastline. We go to serve in different areas for about 5 days as we had the chance to humble ourselves and become servants to others as we served our Lord. During the 5 days we partnered with many different disaster relief organizations along side with TWCD some including Samaritan’s Purse and New York Cares. One of my favorite parts of the whole trip was when we helped with Samaritan’s Purse on Long Island. We got to help begin the rebuilding process of a home for a family who would not have been able to fix without help. In this we were taking down wet drywall and insulation to eventually put in new materials to avoid mold. In the middle of working the wife of the home stopped me for a second and looked me in the eye with a slight tear of joy and thanked me personally for making a difference and helping her. At that moment the Lord really revealed to me that no matter how little we are able to get done that we have still made a tremendous difference in the life of this family. It was so heart warming to just see how truly grateful this woman was to have us help. I knew that the Lord was beginning to do a work in and through us to this family even for just the short time we got to serve them. We did get the blessing to sign a bible that would be presented to the family when the house was finished. Just seeing her gratefulness changed my whole view on the trip and helped me realize no matter how small the amount of service we got to do it made an impact for the community and for the Kingdom of the Lord. The majority of the rest of the trip we spent chopping down trees for the community of Staten Island where the winds ripped through the island taking many down. I had never been on any sort of mission trip so being able to do this with Trinity West Crisis Dispatch was such a tremendous blessing for me in my walk with the Lord. I would say this was the best service week that I have ever been able to attend. I thank TWCD for having me on this wonderful adventure and service trip and I thank Link year for allowing me to have this opportunity to help. The trip was phenomenal!
Imagine yourself for a second right smack dab in the middle of a Hurricane. You gaze out of the kitchen window in the house that you have lived in for 25 years and see the gigantic oak tree, over 100-200 years old swaying back and forth contemplating on which way it should bend and break...this tree that you could have sworn wouldn't budge if a US army tank shot round after round at it, but you now realize how strong wind and mother-nature can actually be. As if that isn't enough, in your confusion and worry you take step after step towards your garage, hearing the floor underneath your feet make noises and sounds you've never heard before and as you slowly open the garage door you look down and feel a rush of 30 degree water run across your toes and start making its way inside your kitchen. You realize that the 5 feet of water mixed with the crushing wind outside is your call to evacuate the place you call home and the city that you have built your life around...just knowing that when you get the chance to return, everything you have ever owned or considered yours is now unrecognizable and...well...gone. Well this past week, 3 of us got the opportunity to help out and serve a man whose situation was exactly what I just described. Now just to give you a little bit of background, I have never been to New York so once the opportunity arose that I was able to be a part of this trip, the only thing going through my mind was "Time Square" and "New York Food!" Needless to say I did get to see and be a part of both of those, but the devastation and turmoil this Hurricane brought New York was way more than I had envisioned. Pulling up to Pablo's house (the gentleman whom I described previous) and seeing this huge tree laying flat between his house and garage was enough for my eyes to notice how dangerous this really was. That mixed with the debree and mess that encircled his house just opened my eyes up to what these people went through in this Big City and what we watching on TV everywhere else could only see a portion of. Needless to say, my heart was opened on this trip in ways I could only imagine. In the midst of us taking hours to get a chainsaw through only half of this tree, Pablo comes out of his house, takes a hatchet and begins hacking away and carrying limb after limb to our dump pile. I stop for a second and just watch him. His breath getting short due to age and his hacks at the tree very short due to tiredness was really proving to me that he was thinking about something more than what this hurricane did to his life...I could tell that he was so thankful for the fact that we drove all the way from MO to NYC just just spend 4 hours to help a man we had never met. After a few minutes of that he looked at me and said "Ill be right back", and not more than 10 minutes later he came out with a tray filled with coffee and tea for the 5 of us to partake in. We took a break and had a moment with Pablo as he expressed how this act of service towards him will effect his life tremendously...and as goosebumps ran down my arms I finally understood why this trip to New York was far more than the typical tourist attractions. It was a way for me to see just how much working for the Lord can bless other people, and in turn, just how people take it and how it can impact their lives forever.