Disaster Relief Update, Part 1

I’m currently on a disaster relief trip to Tom’s River, NJ.  A group of us from Buffalo Valley Church of the Brethren are here to assist in long term recovery efforts from Hurricane Sandy.  My time will be a little compressed so instead of my regular blog, I’m going to publish and update that I’m sending to the church family each day.  So, if you find these updates a little boring, tune back to the blog in about a week and I’ll get back to the regular stuff…unless you find that boring also!!!
I thought that I would send out daily updates on our experience and progress here in Tom’s River, NJ.  The members of the team are:  Jake Myer (fearless leader), Eli Mast, Gene Manbeck, Kurt Ilgen, Tom Styers, Matt Sowers, Keith Nyman, myself and my son Matt.  We are going to have a great time getting to know one another.
After a very uneventful drive of about 4.5 hours we arrived at our house in Tom’s River.  The house is very nice and there is a staff of four people who coordinate the work assignments and help take care of us here.  One of the gentlemen who is on the support staff is from California.  He and his wife are volunteering here for one month.  It turns out that this gentlemen, Tom, spent some time working at General Electric in Schenectady, NY.  He actually lived for a while in Scotia, NY where the church I served was located.  Unfortunately, he was there several years before I was born so we had no common friends.
It looks like there will be three of us in each room….I’m hoping that Keith Nyman does not snore!  We had a brief orientation meeting and then we went out to dinner at a diner called “The Office”.  Food was great.  Interesting fact is that Kurt Ilgen actually ate the lemon wedge in his water…I didn’t know that anyone actually ate the lemon wedges!
Our schedule begins at 6:30 a.m. by packing our lunches for the day.  The lunches are provided by the support staff.  After breakfast and morning devotions we head out to our job sites.  Each site is about an hour’s drive away from where we are staying.  We stay on the job site until 4:30 p.m. and then return to the house.  We have been divided into two teams and will be headed in different directions for our work assignments.  Four of us will be outside tomorrow and five will be inside.  The weather should be a little brisk tomorrow but then begins to warm up.
We appreciate your prayers.  I’ve got to go. I volunteered to lead the devotions tomorrow morning and as of now, I don’t have anything to say.
Look for these updates each day if you want to follow along with what is happening here in Tom’s River, NJ.
God Bless,


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