Message From Jack Minton

November 16, 2012

Hurricane Sandy is one of the most unusual storms Hope Force International has ever responded to. Hurricane response is typically conducted in hot, humid areas where people are accustomed to these annual events. Sandy hit a large swathe of the US eastern seaboard, where sweatshirts and thermal underwear are standard garb. However, in the midst of this cold climate, we?ve encountered people of warmth that have welcomed our responders into their homes?and into their hearts.

Water-soaked carpets, saturated couches and wet walls greet our responders in home after home in Atlantic City. Our primary area of focus is in two areas of the city: the Inlet and Venice Park. These communities are in the lowest lying areas of the city and suffered the greatest damage. The residents, many whom are elderly, have never experienced a hurricane like Sandy, or any significant flooding at all.

Consequently, many are uncertain and somewhat fearful ? not fully comprehending the implications of their plight. HFI team leaders must carefully explain the need to act quickly, while encouraging them with the good news that we?re there to help at no cost to them as homeowners. To do nothing will result in the spread of mold and further damage their property, increasing the cost of recovery.

There is a great need for further assistance in Atlantic City, and Hope Force International will remain involved in the ?mucking out? process with homeowners and provide ongoing emotional and spiritual care through early December, possibly longer. Prayerful consideration is underway to determine our potential engagement in the future rebuilding process.

My wife Cherie and I will be in Atlantic City the week of Thanksgiving with our staff and HFI Reservists from across the country to tangibly convey the love of God. At this time of Thanksgiving as a nation, we?re reminded of just how much we have to be grateful for. Even in the midst of their despair, we frequently hear survivors thanking God in recognition of His goodness and the fact that ?it could have been much worse.? The key to hope is a grateful heart ? and one that acknowledges the kindness of God, even in the midst of life?s greatest challenges.

Thank you to each one of you who has been praying for our teams and for the people of Atlantic City during this difficult time, to those who have given sacrificially, and those who have come from across the country to put your love of God into compassionate action. We are truly grateful.