Around 100 requests for assistance came in from areas all over Eastern Pennsylvania, from Philadelphia to Stroudsburg and as far west as Reading and Kutztown, shared Kenton Hunt, PA/NJ state disaster relief director. To date, about 50% of the jobs have been completed.
Volunteers have come from several churches, including Ezekiel Baptist Church in Philadelphia. Former BRN Board Member Michael Haskins, a deacon at Ezekiel, invited Hunt to the monthly men’s Zoom prayer meeting where Hunt shared about disaster relief and its ministry impact.
“The beautiful thing about disaster relief is that Kenton treats this like ministry,” Haskins shared. “After doing everything he can to restore a person’s home, he always offers to pray for them.”
Several on the call were amazed at the ministry opportunities, Haskins added, noting Rev. Robert Dennis “was so moved, he said, ‘Put me on the list!'”
In fact, all the men shared their interest in being involved, Haskins said. “The things that BRN are doing really helps us reach out to our community. That’s why we respond the way we do.”
Buxmont Baptist Church’s new pastor Charles Blachford has also jumped into the work, connecting Hunt with several local pastors in the area and letting his church serve as an operations center, since the church was geographically located in the middle of the area affected by the storm.
“Disaster Relief is a great way to be the hands and feet of Jesus. The work of DR helps people who have an immediate need and connects them to local churches,” Blachford said. “We have hosted DR at our church and have had several members volunteer over the past month because the work is so important.”
Other church volunteers have helped, too, including from Great Commission Church, Keystone Fellowship, Mason Dixon Church, among others.
It’s not too late to join in. If your church can form one or more teams of 2-8 people who can be available for one or more days, please reach out to us here at the BRN Helpdesk, and we will connect you with Hunt.
Team members will be trained, if not trained already, and will be provided personal protective equipment and coaching. All teams will serve affected communities close enough to commute for the day without the need for housing.