By Tamica Smith Jeuitt, Mississippi Conference Communications Specialist
Photo right: LaTia Penn and Santarious Curb during the Mississippi Conference office Christmas party.
Photo below right: Case managers from across Mississippi were in Jackson for the annual Mississippi Conference Christmas party.
Plans for Christmas Day are set for a couple of Mississippi Conference disaster response case managers.
Santarious Curb will surprise his nine-year-old daughter with some of the items on her wish list--a drone, a drum set, and a fancy robe. Later in the day, he'll spend quality time with his 90-year-old great-grandmother who is in hospice.
LaTia Penn of Topeka, Kansas is a recent graduate of Delta State in Cleveland, Mississippi. Instead of returning home to be with her relatives, she looks forward to joining her roommate's family for Christmas cheer.
Nevertheless, both will get a good night's rest to deliver what might be the perfect gift to those still recovering from storms last March in Mississippi. Hundreds of homes suffered damage from heavy rain and record flooding. Ten months after the fact, some people are not back in their homes, or they live in them with the damage.
"These people have been through a whole lot. Once they see you, they feel so excited and encouraged. I can't think of one of my clients who has not prayed or has fallen to their knees and cried. It makes me feel like I have a purpose," Curb explained.
"To be able to assist them and know that I am there to help them through their recovery is reassuring. It feels really good to be able to do something for other people, so the appreciation that comes along with it is a great feeling. I have had clients who have cried out of gratitude," said Penn.
The Mississippi Conference workers are partnering with the Mennonite Church and an Amish group from Indiana to make fundamental repairs to homes of those who do not have the resources to do so. Restoration to as many as 25 homes in the Bolivar County will include roof repairs, sheetrock replacement, and floor renewal. The work begins the day after Christmas through the end of December.
"We don't know all that we can do, but we feel like we can make a difference," said Larry Miller with the Mennonite Church in Macon, Mississippi.
St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Cleveland will house the workers presenting the gift of generosity.