Here is the latest status on our church as we work through the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
The damage to our church building was extensive. The 4 to 5 feet high crawl space under the floor of our four storefront church buildings filled to overflowing. About 18 inches of water filled all our buildings taking out everything in its wake. We will have to replace our flooring, part of the walls, songbooks, Bibles, literature, cabinets, as well as many church supplies. We’re not sure if our pianos will survive. The flooring was damaged to the sub-floor as well, so we basically lost everything.
The Lord has been working and has led our Pastor to Operation Renewed Hope. They are sending a team of seven men from Maranatha Baptist Bible College to us cleanup. They have also helped with some funds, as well as funds to help us distribute needed items to our neighbors in Sheepshead Bay. This will be a great opportunity for us to share the Gospel as well.
A relative of our Russian Pastor is also bringing a crew to help clean up and work on the church. I also heard that there is a relief fund through Baptist World Mission. Our Russian Pastor serves under this mission board. Our monthly men’s prayer breakfast is being turned into a handyman workday.
We still do not have power or phone service at the church. We are planning a short meeting on Sunday and then we will reach out into our community.
As people are starting to emerge and get things back “on track,” things are getting difficult here in the City. I went to the store on Wednesday. When I returned today shelves were more empty, and the lines were long. One store was closed completely…I’m not sure if this is from flooding or lack of food to sell.
The shortage of gas is also a big problem. It took Ben a very long time to get home on Wednesday night. Today the streets were nearly deserted except for the long lines at the gas stations, which have very little gas to sell. The main thoroughfare in my area is 4th Avenue, and it is 3 lanes wide. The far right lane was coned off for dozens of blocks as a gas line. There was a mob of people on foot with gas cans in hand trying to force their way to the pumps, but the police were holding them back. I heard a man on the radio say that he stood in line for two hours to get gas for his generator. When a lady cut in line, another man chased her around with a hammer because he was so angry. There was a taxi cab parking in a street cleaning zone. He wrote on his windows, “Please don’t ticket. OUT OF GAS.” I saw very few delivery vehicles around town, and the ones I did see were mini vans and not the usual box truck.
You can follow our church’s Facebook page for further updates and information. Please continue to keep our church and church family in your prayers!