Sandy Mission and Networking Trip Update, Saturday December 8

IMG_1977With four church meetings out of the way, and one more to go on Monday, Darrell and I decided to tour New Dorp and continue to the Great Kills area of Staten Island, another hard-hit area, this afternoon.

Unlike the previous days we toured Staten Island, this day saw New Dorp as a bustling neighborhood as families and volunteer groups cleaned up and gutted homes.  Crews were in the neighborhood to move debris and many people were walking dogs and chatting with neighbors.

Although our meetings with churches this past week moved me and inspired me, I found that I was frustrated today.  I felt so helpless to aid in these efforts, and all I could think of was that these folks shouldn’t have to do this alone, that we should be here and help each person in their efforts.

I realized, (or perhaps only assumed it because of my emotions), that the churches will need help to coordinate their efforts.  I celebrate the fact that many are helping, that they are trying to collaborate and do all they can, but there is more to be done.  No person should be without support, and if churches don’t collaborate on Phase 2 with an efficiency that we have yet to see, then many people in need will fall through the cracks while certain redundancies will exist.

I wasn’t frustrated with the churches; I was only frustrated that I couldn’t do anything AT THIS MOMENT about it, that I couldn’t call the heroes at my church and others that I know to come today and help rebuild.   Atlanta is so far from New York, and I’m simply praying for the patience and God’s provision that some day we will be able to go and help when the time is right.  Hopefully sooner than later…

From there, we traveled west south-west along Hylan Blvd, past New Dorp, where we toured Great Kills.

The Great Kills area is a beautiful area, with larger homes amidst a federal park.  Harbors abound, and boats are ubiquitous.  When we drove around some of the marinas, we noted many boats in the wrong places:  On front lawns, in the street, clearly not in the water.  Several cranes were working to salvage boats that had yet to be hoisted onto temporary boat stands.

Another busy day is coming to a close, and tomorrow will be a Sabbath day.  I appreciate that I will be only a guest tomorrow at a church rather than the officiant, and that I will be worshiping with a church very much like Trinity.  Our place of choice will be New Dorp Baptist Church, one of the churches with whom we met Friday.  They are a smaller church, founded in 1905.   I have a feeling that, from all the devastation I saw the past three days, I’ll need to be ministered to rather than the one ministering to others this weekend.  And, I hope, receive the patience I so desperately need.


Published by Joe LaGuardia

I am a pastor and author in Vero Beach, Florida, and write on issues related to spirituality, faith, politics, and culture.

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