What A Relief

Monday 17 October 2005, 8:20 pm

CityTeam came to our church, Calvary Chapel of San Jose, to talk about opportunities for volunteers to do relief work on the Gulf coast. One of our members, Don Schottman, had already been to Mississippi even before CityTeam gave their presentation. Mary said she wanted to go. Now that she is no longer working, we both have the free time to do this. We had considered spending this autumn in New England, the winter in Arizona, and the spring in Italy, but God has other plans for us, for the autumn, anyway.

Debra Reyes of CityTeam was happy to talk to us this afternoon. In addition to Don, CCSJ members Joe Smith and his wife have also gone to Mississippi. CityTeam has ongoing relief efforts in both Mississippi and Louisiana, but right now they are mostly sending people to Mississippi.

They put Don to work putting on a roof, but I think that building has been finished and most of the "heavy lifting" is done. Right now it seems they are working mostly on light construction, fixing the building interiors, cleaning up, feeding the homeless, and helping people find their families, which requires some computer skills. But we're willing to help out however we can.

Because of other activities, we were trying to position our window between November 16 and January 20, hopefully not right at Christmas. (Mary's brother Robert Boston is a missionary to Paraguay but home on furlough until February, and we want to spend as much time with his family as possible.)

But because of conflicts trying to get all our families together at Thanksgiving, we told Debra that we would be available then. She was very happy because it is apparently difficult to find volunteers during that period.

We will attend a training meeting for two hours the evening of Tuesday, October 25. These training meetings are open to all, and if you're thinking you might like to be involved in this work, you are welcome to come by the meeting as a drop-in. It's the best way to get the whole scoop about everything that's happening. In fact, Mary and I still know very little about what we're getting ourselves in for, and we'll remain ignorant until the Tuesday meeting.

Debra advised us to get shots, Hepatitis A/B and Tetanus TD. She says some also get Typhoid, but we don't know why. We have already called our doctor and we can get these shots as walk-ins at his clinic. We plan to do that right away tomorrow morning.

It costs CityTeam $1500 to send one person to Mississippi for two weeks. We are not required to pay the $3000 for our own passage. But the money does come from donations. We can probably afford to make a donation to help pay our expenses, but not everyone can. We don't need your money since this isn't costing us anything. But your donation might make it possible for some other volunteer to go.

We really appreciate your prayers!

CityTeam has a web page about their hurricane relief efforts:

CityTeam San jose has a powerful ministry to the homeless:

Calvary Chapel San Jose is sending help to hurricane victims through Calvary Chapel Stone Mountain in Georgia which is coordinating relief efforts on behalf of Calvary Chapels.