SHDR Testimonies


 

Redemption in the Wake of a Hurricane

Members of All Saints and members of the Anglican Disaster Preparedness & Relief (Servant’s Heart)Team partnered to help many members of the church and their neighbors.

Dave+ Linka, rector of All Saints Anglican Church in Newport, North Carolina, calls the night Hurricane Florence hit at full force “without doubt the scariest evening in my life.” While the church building was thankfully spared from major damage, the tornadoes that touched down in the surrounding areas left many neighborhoods looking “like a bomb went off.” In total, the storm caused $45 billion in property damage throughout the southeastern United States and claimed the lives of several dozen people.

But even greater than the impact of the storm has been the evidence of God’s faithfulness in the midst of it. “It has been phenomenal,” Dave+ says. “The Lord is redeeming this is in showing us how the body of Christ can actually work together here and how folks who’ve experienced damage themselves can be turned by the Holy Spirit to go out and give in spite of their lacking.”

Immediately following the storm, All Saints encouraged its members to assist those around them. “As soon as folks could get out, it seemed like anybody with a chainsaw was getting out and helping their neighbor.” The larger churches in the area had assembled work crews in advance and sprang into action. A work crew arrived from the Anglican Disaster Preparedness and Relief Team of St. Augustine, Florida to help the church meet the needs of people in the congregation and their neighbors.

The cleanup continues today, and Dave+ expects it will be quite some time before the task is completed. But the lessons learned in the aftermath of the storm will impact the church’s outlook on reaching out to members and the community long after the repairs have been finished.

Kent Keller from the Anglican Disaster Preparedness and Relief Team finishes repairing the siding of Linda Werthwein’s home. Linda shares, “The recovery has been exhausting, but the encouragement of generous assistance has been overwhelming! Thank you Lord, thank you crew!”

In the wake of the hurricane, the leaders of All Saints realized they needed a different approach to funding and outreach. “Pastoral care and outreach need to go hand in hand,” Dave+ explains. In addition to the more obvious needs that present themselves in the church and community, “if we dig a little deeper, there are often really important needs that can be addressed with a helping hand or a visit.”

The storm brought an understanding that helping the community needs to be part of the church’s DNA. “We realized it’s all hands on deck. It’s not just a committee anymore. … It’s got to be the culture of our church that we’re going to help our parishioners; we’re going to help our neighbors instead of just writing a check.”

In interest of being able to help its members and neighbors well in the future, All Saints has determined it needs to have a basic readiness plan in place. “The next time something big happens, we’re going to be a little bit more prepared to do some heavier lifting,” Dave+ explains. This includes having items such as working chainsaws and tarps ready to go and surveying people in the church to learn who is willing and able to assist with cleanup efforts.

Although Dave+ anticipates that those who reach out after a storm will spend most of their time on tasks such as changing lightsbulbs and clearing fallen trees, he’s seen how acts of service like these—and the storms that necessitate them—can open doors for people to experience Christ. “The most important need is that we’ve got to have this encounter with Jesus. Sometimes it takes a hellacious storm to bring that renewal and sometimes it can take somebody helping out with the love of Christ to make that happen. But we all need Him. [We’ve been reminded that] we are powerless, and power is his.”

God has also used Hurricane Florence to compel All Saints and other churches in the area to pursue cooperation within the body of Christ. The week following the storm, 25-30 clergy and community leaders gathered. “We realized the Lord was convicting us of being competitive and not cooperating,” Dave+ shares. Afterward he felt the Lord pressing him to reconvene local church leaders to recommit to serving, encouraging and blessing one another. “The storm has really opened our eyes that the body of Christ needs to come together, not just when there’s a storm, but that we’ve got to be unified.”

Dave+ Linka pitches in.

All Saints has also been impressed with the need to partner with those who are already meeting needs in the community. “There are some folks in town here who have really done a great job. Rather than reinvent the wheel, cooperating with other brothers and sisters in Christ who really understand this sort of thing is critical.” Dave+ calls these lessons “a huge blessing.”

As the church celebrated All Saints’ Day with a special waterside service, several members gave testimonies of what God allowed through the storm and his redemption in the midst of it. “We’re just really, really grateful because we can see God’s redeeming hand in this,” Dave+ shares. “We understand that God has seen fit to assign these trials to us. And yet God has also seen fit to encourage us and draw us through his Holy Spirit, that we can see these things getting redeemed in powerful ways.”

AMIA Communications 2018-11-15T04:38:29+00:00 November 8th, 2018 |Evangelism and Outreach

See also photos of our team serving All Saints in Newport.

From: kpacetti@marykay.com

Sent: Wednesday, November 21, 2018 1:14 PM
To: frederic.smith@shdr.faith
Subject: RE: Servant's Heart Disaster Relief- Donation


Hi Ric,  

I did not spend time to navigate a lot as my customers still need me before tomorrow and I'm coming and going.

However, I did read about the remarkable work you are doing. I will go back on the site and take my time and share with my friends.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving. 

Karla

  

Karla Pacetti

Independent Sr. Sales Director

904 827-0479 Business

904 907-7480  text

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-------Original Message-------

 

From: frederic.smith@shdr.faith

Sent: 11/21/2018 12:31:20 PM

To: kpacetti@marykay.com

Cc: Subject: RE: Servant's Heart Disaster Relief- Donation

Dear Karla,

Thank you for your call and your donation it will be picked up soon! We are making weekly trips to the panhandle with teams and supplies. Did you have any trouble finding your way around our website, SHDR.faith?

We are an ecumenical Disaster Relief agency.  We have touched the lives of 3000 in FL for Hurricane Irma, over 4000 in the Carolinas after Florence and no telling yet how many Michael victims in the Panhandle.

Please tell your friends about us, every donation helps.  We are grateful for all the prayers, gifts and team members that are able to help out, enabling us to reach many more through this ministry of compassion!  You may forward this email if you wish or ask them to click the Get Involved or Donate button found in the header of our website.

Have a bless’ed Thanksgiving and thank you again for your call!

Shalom,

Ric

Rev. Capt. Frederic Smith, President

Servants Heart Disaster Relief

1333 Old Dixie Hwy, Suite 5

St. Augustine, Florida  32084

Frederic.Smith@SHDR.faith

c: 706-329-4553

o: 800-489-7837

So the believers in Antioch decided to send relief to the Brothers & Sisters in Judea, everyone giving what they could,” Acts 11:29



From: frederic.Smith@shdr.faith
To: 'rymskiinc@aol.com'
Cc: 'timothy.schiro@shdr.faith'; 'Stephen.Haynsworth@shdr.faith'

Sent: Monday, November 12, 2018 12:54 PM
Subject: RE: Devastation in Panhandle


Hi Ann,

I will ask our web developer to post this on our testimonial page, verbatim. Many thanks for your continuing prayers; Teams are in high demand, especially with the holidays approaching. 

Yesterday I learned from the Director of FLVOAD, all relief supplies were consolidated in Panama City at the Red Cross Distribution Center and other faith based programs have been sent home. 

That is a shame for the many residents still in need. At the same time we are blessed to have our Distribution Center in Apalachicola and that we are still allowed to continue our work in the Panhandle! God is good!!

Thank you again for your kind words; for all your help with Hurricane Florence damage in Conway, for our ongoing work in Conway and on the panhandle!!

I will contact your God-daughter in Panama City Beach again to see what else we can do to help on our next trip west.

Yours in Christ,

Ric


Rev. Capt. Frederic Smith, President

Servant’s Heart Disaster Relief

1333 Old Dixie Hwy, Suite 5

St. Augustine, Florida  32084

Frederic.Smith@SHDR.faith

c: 706-329-4553

o: 800-489-7837

So the believers in Antioch decided to send relief to the Brothers & Sisters in Judea, everyone giving what they could,” Acts 11:29


From: rymskiinc@aol.com
To: frederic.Smith@shdr.faith

Sent: Sunday, November 11, 2018 8:01 PM
Subject: Devastation in Panhandle


Ric and Stephen,


Thank you for forwarding the pictures of me at the mud out in Conway, SC.  I have explained to friends now that I'm back home, just what I saw and what it takes to help clean up after flood waters 4+ ft flow through a neighborhood. 


I have seen post hurricane pictures from Hurricane Michael on The Weather Channel. I have driven Rt 98 past Tyndal and Mexico Beach with my late husband as well as walked the downtown shopping area with Adie's mom back in early 2000's. I've camped at St. Andrews State Park in 1980, eaten at the Apalachicola Inn and had a cook out on St. George's Island in the late 1990's. 


I can relate to the devastation because I remember the before.  I thank the Lord that there are people out there like you who can make the trip to FL to help, and pray God will send more teams your way! At this point the best I can do is send money to the organizations that I know are helping and if the Atlantic District - Lutheran Church MS sends teams to be sure they have needed supplies.


The hurricanes of the past two years have made many of us appreciate our geographic location even more so, despite the ice and snow.


Ann Rymski


On Jan. 9th, 2018 Barbara Gonzalez wrote:


Hurricane Irma damaged my roof, the ceiling, floors, my fence, outside and inside walls, even the electric in my walls. 


Almost three months after Irma, my house was still darkened by the plywood on the windows and doors.  You can imagine the effects it had on my family, without the tools, means or know-how on how to fix these things; darkness was taking a toll on our family.


The pastor to my church, the Rev. Jorge Finlay called the day after Christmas and told me he was going to pass by with some visitors.  During that visit I was blessed to have met Ric Smith and his wife, Anna. I learned Rev. Ric is the Director of IrmaRelief.faith.


Father Jorge said, Barbara, you remember all the people you help in the name of Christ? Your prayers have been answered!  These people want to help. Ric asked if he could pray with me? He said, “Dear Jesus, thank you for the many blessings you have bestowed on so many through your servant Barbara. I ask you to bless her now for her faithfulness from your riches in Glory.”  Then he asked, Barbara, would it be alright if we help you now, in your time of need? I burst into tears, and couldn’t find my voice to say ok or thank you?!  They gave me a hug and prayed with me again.


In the next few days Ric contacted Home Depot to send a roofing and electrical contractor to my home. On Friday Ric and Flip (serving on the mission team from South Carolina) showed up to take down the plywood letting light back into my home! They repaired my front gate, took photos, of all the damage, moved several items, placed the plywood in my shed and built a set of shelves for me. On Saturday Stephen and John showed up to fumigate my shed and replace the rotted and missing door trim.


Our many prayers were answered!!  They were kind, gentle and eager to help.  Though I just met them they all made me feel like I wasn’t alone in the jar. 


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


St Johns Parish from Johns Island, SC went through Hurricane Hugo in 1998 and we know the struggle to get back to normal. When Hurricane Irma came through Florida, Georgia and SC we felt we needed to help our brothers and sisters in Florida.


We contacted ACNA and where referred to Rev. Ric Smith Director of IrmaRelief.faith based in St. Augustine. Wanting to bring our youth we planned a trip down Dec 28 – Jan 2 to Miami to help Jorge Finley and Christ the King Anglican Church fix a Rectory house for future IrmaRelief mission trips. Ric, Jorge, Tommy and Christ the King, removed the tree that fell on the house, had the roof and ceiling repaired, cleaned the house, replaced the kitchen appliances, repaired the AC and turned on the water heater before we arrived. We came in and cleaned the floors, walls and painted the inside of the house, often with three coats of primer. We also upgraded the electrical outlets, lights and fans that needed repair. Worked on the windows and cleaned up the back yard. It is now ready for other mission teams to stay and work in the community. 


We helped 1 family remove hurricane plywood still covering her windows and replace a damaged utility door. On Saturday afternoon Jorge and Christ the King took us out kayaking on Biscayne Bay at sunset, we got to the see Miami’s lights from the bay. Sunday we joined Christ the King for services. There is much to do in Miami, please contact Rev. Ric Smith Director of Irma Relief for opportunities to help. You can call him at 706-329-4553 or use the contact form on IrmaRelief.faith.


For us it was a 12 hr car ride each way and everyone pitched in and worked hard and long hours, we also got out kayaking and were treated to several meals at local restaurants. We were blessed by Ric and his wife Anna supporting us and Jorge and his congregation of Christ the King welcoming us. We would all do it again because we were blessed by what we accomplished and meeting and sharing with our brothers and sisters in Christ.


Blessings,

Stephen Haynsworth

Mission Team Leader

St. Johns Parish Church

Disaster Relief Coordinator, DoSC

St. John’s Island, SC



Our Church, All Souls, has supported the Irma Relief ministry since its inception, and we are glad for the opportunity. 


Anytime the church leaves the building it’s like getting off the bench to get in the game, and the whole church team was able to get involved. Some gave, some prayed, a good number of them picked up donations, then organized and distributed them into Care Bags to be given out to Hurricane victims. Others went to the sites for ministry – either to do the physical cleanup work or to be available to talk, to listen, and to pray with those who had lost so much. Still more of the congregation offered to host volunteers or those who couldn’t stay in their own homes. It was common focus for the whole congregation. When people get in the game by not just listening to the Word, but doing what it says, good things happen; they will be blessed in all they do (from James 1:22-25). And our congregation has been blessed in the doing.

Thanks be to God!

The Rev. Brook Batchelor

All Souls Anglican Church

4042 Hartley Road

Jacksonville, FL 32257

904.268.4600

www.allsoulsjax.org


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During times of crisis people often feel helpless and alone.  In the past several years we have seen many natural disasters in our country which have left people suffering with the loss of home, belongings, and, sometimes, family.  During these times Church Army steps in to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ to those in need.  We do so by helping rehabilitate and recover their lost belongings, but most importantly to communicate the truth that there is someone who cares for them and who has offered His life so that they might be set free from the burden of their sins and have new life in Jesus Christ.

When hurricane Irma hit Florida in September of 2017 Church Army had an opportunity to assist in the recovery efforts of IrmaRelief.faith.  Through a contact with Ric Smith, a recently reinstated Church Army Officer, and All Souls Anglican Church, Church Army sent a team of the Rev. Greg Miller, Lori Miller, and Mary Edna Thompson to help begin the relief efforts.  This team was a team with experience in disaster relief efforts associated with hurricane Katrina and super-storm Sandy.  Partnering with All Souls and Rev. Smith, who were already on the ground, the Church Army team had an opportunity to survey the damage in the Jacksonville area and begin to set up a base of operations from which relief efforts would continue. 

Under Ric Smith's leadership recovery teams from around the country were able to send teams down to Florida to help rebuild homes and lives and to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ in word and in deed.  Those efforts continue today as efforts have moved further south into the Miami area.  Please continue to support those efforts through your gifts and prayers.

The Rev. Greg Miller, Director

The Church Army – USA

P.O. Box 413

Aliquippa, PA  15001

www.churcharmy.org



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The Irma Relief team and grant from ARDF has allowed my family to get our home put back together from the damage caused by Irma without having to deal with the hardship of a long term financial burden.  Had it not been for the assistance from ARDF & IrmaRelief.faith we would have had to struggle with finances to repair the damage IRMA caused.  That burden would have taken years to overcome due to being a retired Navy vet - with only a small retirement pension and social security as our only income. 

I can’t thank you Ric, IrmaRelief.faith and ARDF enough for all the blessings you all have provided!

Wade Fallen

USN Retired







The Irma Relief team and grant from ARDF has allowed my family to get our home put back together from the damage caused by Irma without having to deal with the hardship of a long term financial burden.  Had it not been for the assistance from ARDF, IrmaRelief, GAD Disaster Relief we would have had to struggle with finances to repair the damage IRMA caused.  That burden would have taken years to overcome due to being a retired Navy vet - with only a small retirement pension and social security as our only income. 

I can’t thank you Ric, IRMA RELIEF / GAD Disaster Relief and ARDF enough for all the blessings you all have provided!

Wade Fallen

USN Retired


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


CMJ (The Anglican Church’s Ministry Among Jewish People) counts it a privilege to be a supporting partner in the Irma Relief work that ARDF is funding.  As most everyone knows, Florida and especially South Florida has one of America’s largest Jewish populations.  Often the gentile world assumes that if Jewish people face a crisis they do not need our help.


As disciples of Jesus, the Messiah of the Jewish people, that attitude short circuit’s our ability to show the love of Jesus to his Jewish people. In fact, it is this kind of caring in the face of crisis that can make Jesus real to a Jewish person and open up, perhaps for the first time, to a sensitive presentation of who Jesus really is.


For CMJ our involvement would not have been possible for us if Rev. Ric Smith, our Associate Director in the Southeast had not been willing to shoulder the leadership responsibility for us to be involved. Ric has a deep love for the Jewish people and for the church. We are pleased and grateful to be a part of this work of compassion and witness.


Daryl

The Rev. Cn. Daryl Fenton

Executive Director

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

During times of crisis people often feel helpless and alone.  In the past several years we have seen many natural disasters in our country which have left people suffering with the loss of home, belongings, and, sometimes, family.  During these times Church Army steps in to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ to those in need.  We do so by helping rehabilitate and recover their lost belongings, but most importantly to communicate the truth that there is someone who cares for them and who has offered His life so that they might be set free from the burden of their sins and have new life in Jesus Christ.

When hurricane Irma hit Florida in September of 2017 Church Army had an opportunity to assist in the recovery efforts.  Through a contact with Ric Smith, a recently reinstated Church Army Officer, and All Souls Anglican Church, Church Army sent a team of the Rev. Greg Miller, Lori Miller, and Mary Edna Thompson to help begin the relief efforts.  This team was a team with experience in disaster relief efforts associated with hurricane Katrina and super-storm Sandy.  Partnering with All Souls and Rev. Smith, who were already on the ground, the Church Army team had an opportunity to survey the damage in the Jacksonville area and begin to set up a base of operations from which relief efforts would continue. 

Under Ric Smith's leadership recovery teams from around the country were able to send teams down to the Jacksonville area to help rebuild homes and lives and to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ in word and in deed.  Those efforts continue today as efforts have moved further south into the Miami area.  Please continue to support those efforts through your gifts and prayers.

The Rev. Greg Miller, Director

The Church Army – USA

P.O. Box 413

Aliquippa, PA  15001

www.churcharmy.org





More Testimonials:

News Feed

Weather Channel

Hurricane Chris Update - Final

At a Glance:
  • Chris became the second hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season in early July.
  • This second hurricane of the season came much earlier than average, by over a month.
  • Chris generated high surf and rip currents along much of the U.S. East Coast.
  • Parts of Atlantic Canada took a final brush from Chris as it became a post-tropical cyclone.

We will continue to monitor Hurricane Chris.

Should we see a significant change or determine that both lives and livelihood may be threatened to our northnern neighbors, ADPR will keep you informed and rally the necessary resources and mission teams.

Weather Channel

Hurricane Beryl downgraded to Tropical Storm says The Weather Channel…

“Given barely enough ocean heat content (sea-surface temperatures around 80 degrees Fahrenheit), low wind shear, and its location south of a plume of sinking, dry air known as the Saharan air layer, Beryl intensified quickly from a tropical depression at 11 a.m. EDT Thursday to a Category 1 hurricane just 18 hours later.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), wind shear has increased and combined with a very dry environment likely causing Beryl to weaken.”






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