Provided by Covenant Presbyterian Church
It’s been nearly a year since Hurricane Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle. Residents are begging not to be forgotten.
Of all the devastation doled out by the monster Category 5 storm, the cities of Mexico Beach and Panama City suffered the worst. Oct. 10 marks the one-year anniversary of the disaster. At least 2,500 schoolchildren and school staff still out of their homes and living in temporary facilities. There is still endless demolishing and rebuilding to do.
Officials say they desperately need more help, and the Florida Department of Agriculture calls it “America’s Forgotten Disaster.”
One group answering the call is a mission team from Covenant Presbyterian Church in Woodbridge. Co-Pastor Knox Swayze says his group will be working on two homes to get their displaced owners back in them as soon as possible. One is for a single mother of four who is fostering four other children. They’re currently split up between a FEMA trailer and an aunt’s home. The other home is owned by a staff member with 30 years in the school system.
Through the coordination of Fuller Center Disaster Rebuilders, the Covenant crew will be doing everything from plumbing and flooring to painting and trim work.
From Joplin, Missouri to Puerto Rico, this is Covenant Presbyterian’s 18th national mission trip. They’ve also been to Mexico 16 times for a long-term mission project to help build a church.
“Our church has a history of valuing ‘hands on ministry,’ because of the message of God’s love and mercy,” said Swayze. “We work to connect others to Jesus Christ and the good news that he can not only work in us, but he can rebuild houses through us.”
The Covenant contingent will be in Panama City Oct. 14 to 18.