Sixteen youth and eight adults from St. Mark’s traveled to Morehead City in late June to serve a community that was heavily impacted by Hurricane Florence (September 2018).  We stayed at First UMC in Morehead City and served residents of Morehead City, Newport, Otway, and Beaufort.  Our participants worked hard in all their volunteer activities.  Below is a recap of the work we completed:

  • At a property owned by an elderly couple, participants installed a sturdy railing around a porch, installed new electrical sockets, and cut back overgrowth from the house.
  • At a trailer owned by a woman and her 19 year old daughter, participants painted the interior, installed sub-flooring, removed a dangerous porch, and installed a new porch.
  • At a property owned by an elderly woman who helped care for her adult son, participants installed a new tarp on the roof since the one installed last September was in tatters.  We also cut overgrown bushes away from the house.
  • We did much-needed yard work on two other properties that included weed whacking, tree removal, and general cleanup.
  • Many of our youth had the opportunity to help lead aspect of the Vacation Bible School at First UMC.

I was told by one of the long-term recovery leaders in Carteret County that the area would not see normalcy for another 3-5 years.  Our group commented several times throughout the week that our efforts were a drop in a very large bucket, but that our efforts were also much more than a drop to the people we were able to serve.  The people we helped we so thankful for our work to make their homes safer and more livable.  It was a pleasure to serve alongside our youth as they went outside of their comfort zones, learned new skills, and served God and neighbor in the process.  I was so proud of the way they carried themselves and the way they threw themselves into the work so enthusiastically.

In addition to the volunteer work we did, we also had devotions and group discussion each evening, we made a couple of trips to the beach, and we enjoyed two of the local restaurants (Dank Burrito and Sanitary Fish Market).

My thanks go to:

  • Our youth, who did an awesome job on and off of the volunteer sites.
  • My co-leaders on the trip: Dave and Eileen D, Susan G, Patrick H, Charles and Susan L, and Dan W.  It was a blessing to have these parents with us to serve alongside our youth, participate in group discussions, and keep our youth safe.
  • Our congregation, which supports our youth in so many ways.  Trips like this on are so important to the spiritual growth of our young people.  Thank you to St. Mark’s Lutheran for making our youth a priority.  Thank you to all those who donated funds to this cause.
  • First UMC in Morehead City, who hosted us and invited us to serve at their VBS.  I’m especially thankful to Waylon for being our contact person there and for sharing his testimony with us on our last night in Morehead City.
  • The Carteret Long Term Recovery Alliance, for sending us to volunteer sites and helping us with our work.  We really enjoyed working with these fine folks.

Check out some pics from our trip below.  Thanks for reading!