Thursday, November 23, 2017

First Home Dedication in New Jersey

by Carol King, the Samaritan’s Purse office manager for our Ocean County, N.J., rebuild project.

July 19 was our first official home dedication.

Jane Timmons is a single mom with four precious grown daughters and a school of little grandchildren. On Oct 29, 2012, Jane was visiting a daughter in Virginia, so she was not in town when the flood waters from Hurricane Sandy overtook her home. Her story is like many others. She returned to find her lower level destroyed by four feet of seawater. The shock, the fear, and the sense of helplessness turned into a daily struggle to grab onto God and find His goodness and peace daily.

Samaritan's Purse Rebuild New York Hurricane Sandy

Jane received the keys to her new home in the middle of July. Since then, our teams have been working on getting more people into their homes.

Jane has been on a faith journey, and we were able to join her.

During the past four months, we have regularly brought volunteers to Jane’s house to repair the roof, replace drywall, replace the bathroom, put down new flooring, and paint, among other things.

When we were finished, it was time to dedicate the home.

When our volunteers found out they were going to be there, they were thrilled. Many had worked with Samaritan’s Purse at other disaster sites but had never gotten to attend a dedication. So, we loaded up our cooler with frozen punch (a must on a 97-degree day) and a cake, left the job sites an hour early, and went into a melting hot day.

The service was precious with smiles and tears and words of thanks. Jane shared how overwhelmed she has been by God’s grace and love poured out on her these past nine months. And it was our blessing to be a part of it.

Samaritan's Purse Rebuild New York Hurricane Sandy

Jane and her grandson enjoy the celebration of the dedication of their home.

Now that her house has received its final blessing, Jane can move into the phase of living out her life of faith and service in a home watched over and cared for in this storm.

It is hard to put into words all we are learning and the ways God has blessed me here in New Jersey. Jane and I have become friends these past months. She has reached back in the simple ways of friendship. I am walking around with my eyes opened wide and my ears staining to hear. What can I glean from this mixed up picture of the Jersey shore? There is such revelry here at the coast; it’s the happy place, the fun place, and there are signs of wealth and success. But there is also simplicity in many people’s lives. They work hard and want just a bit of the finer things of life.

Many people’s journey is cracked open with hard things, but the jewels that are revealed are priceless.