By Rori Francis Blakeney
The Wesleyan Christian Advocate
After a team of volunteers from
But, the second time they didn’t go alone, because Ecclesiastes 4:9 says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work.”
Cascade partnered with Andrew’s Chapel UMC, a congregation in the Griffin District, for a second trip that took place in December.
“We (Cascade) knew we had to do more than just send materials, money, clothes, food,” said the Rev. Olu Brown, associate pastor at Cascade. “We had to go to ground zero where we could help in a way that sending things could not do.”
The members of Cascade have given $50,000 to Katrina-related ministries, $5,000 of which was sent to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and $5,000 to a local church in
But, Brown says, “We had to see how things really are.”
A delegation of 40 Cascade members went on the first trip where they did everything from gutting homes to pulling up carpet. But going once just laid the foundation for the church’s commitment to help in the rebuilding process. They knew the city needed some help with bricks and mortar in the difficult task of reconstructing lives.
After evaluating the first trip, Brown discovered Howard Turnipseed, a site manager of sorts at Andrew’s Chapel.
“We (Andrew’s Chapel) decided to be more mission minded,” said Turnipseed, president of United Methodist Men at Andrews Chapel and for the Griffin District. “We have supported Boy Scouts, youth, the
So he decided to put his Volunteers in
In late December, Cascade and Andrew’s Chapel members boarded a bus for
But even with the tearing down and the planting and pruning, Brown and Turnipseed understand the city is still under construction.
The two churches are working with Hands on
Turnipseed said, “I keep telling my congregation, it’s not over. It has not gone away. The only way the people’s lives will get better is for us to go out and do hands-on ministry.”