Post Hurricane Michael Updates
(See bottom of page for Journal entries)
1. Samaritan's Purse is working out of Wewahitchka, Florida. Volunteers must be at least 16 years of age. For more information on how to get involved please visit their website.
Our region was severely impacted by Hurricane Michael. Piedmont Park Alliance Church will collect as many donations and supplies as we can so that we can help those who are struggling with no power, limited food, and lack of access to resources. Please bring all donations to the Fellowship Hall.
- NON PERISHABLE FOOD :
- Bottled Water
- Canned Goods
- Bread and Crackers
- Peanut Butter and Jelly
- Baby Formula
- Other dry snacks
- Other food that does not require refrigeration
- Pet Food
- OTHER SUPPLIES:
- Battery Operated Fans and Radios
- Wet wipes (Hygiene, Cleaning, Baby)
- Toiletries (soap, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, washcloths)
- Paper towels
- First Aid Supplies
- Gloves (Work, Latex)
- Safety Glasses
- Hard hats
- Simple roofing materials (Flashing and metal; tarps)
- Cleaning supplies (Sprays, bleach, buckets, mops, brooms)
- 12V Batteries
- Charcoal grills, charcoal
- Chainsaws and accessories
- Tire Plug kits
- Sun Screen
Post Hurricane Michael Journal
Wednesday, October 31
It seems as though we're winding down the relief collection efforts and are moving into the next phase: work crews. We will be hosting out of town groups and sending local teams to affected areas. To date, we have received close to $20,000 for relief efforts. A small taskforce is being established to provide direction and accountability of these funds. To give, please follow this link.
From Paul Stonecipher:
"Pastor asked me to share what a small group of us were able to accomplish over the weekend in Blountstown. A group of us were planning to camp out over the weekend, but the devastation of Hurricane Michael ruined those plans, closing the campgrounds of the park we were headed to. So we decided to revamp the weekend to be something productive and spend some quality time together giving back.
Spencer & Kathleen Lipson, Jordan Powell, Grace Scott, Brett & Lauren Pason, Grant Cook, Miriam Neergaard, and Caroline Yoder joined me for a day of clean up. We went to Caroline's parents and began the work from there. We brought down three trees that were heavily damaged from the storm, and cleaned up over half a dozen trees that had already fallen. There was a lot of clean up work, but with the help of the heavy equipment that Caroline's dad had on hand and the equipment Spencer brought with us, we were able to accomplish a lot."
Friday, October 26
On Wednesday, October 17, one week after Hurricane Michael impacted our region, I received a phone call offering meals for disaster relief. As one who is not prone to turn down blessings, I instinctively said “Yes! We’ll take it!” And then I uttered this simple prayer, “Lord, I need your help!”
Immediately, I started reaching out to people I knew working in affected areas.
I reached out to our church family who had relatives in the affected regions.
I called numbers that had been passed on to me from a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend.
Of those who responded, I heard:
“Thanks, but we don’t need any more food. Do you have…..?”
“Gee, I dunno…that’s a lot of food!”
“What is it exactly?”
Last night, 9 days after the initial phone call, we received 82,000 meals for disaster relief. Thank you to everyone who showed up to help unload and also to those who were with us in spirit! (The missionary was able to procure a pallet jack at the last minute which helped our transfer time immensely! A lot of us stood around and watched a few guys work - well, we told them how to do it!)
At the end of the evening, I was asked in front of everyone, “Where is the food going?” My honest response was, “I don’t know yet. That’s what I’m working on tomorrow.”
Now, I’m not a mind reader. I don’t have ESP, much less ESPN, but if I had to guess the sentiments based upon the facial expressions of my faithful flock, I could imagine:
“We want to help, but what’s the plan?”
“What does he do all day? He only works one day a week.”
“He better not make us eat it!”
“This guy’s our leader? He doesn’t have a clue!” (Actually, that one is correct!)
But I know what I was thinking!
“God, what is your plan?”
“I wonder how much my kids will eat before they revolt?”
“Where can I dump these if I need to?
“Who would be a willing accomplice to help me dump it?”
“How many rooms in the church would this inventory take up?”
“What have I done? I don’t have clue!”
I slept well last night. (I found a nice spot to dump the food…just kidding!)
This morning Cindy and I took our meal providers out for breakfast and learned a little bit about them and their ministry. They are such a sweet couple! (WARNING!! Shameless church attendance plug alert!! You’ll meet them on Sunday, November 11th, when they come to share about their ministry and the time she was kidnapped with their son! )
Once we said our good-byes, my panic mode began to settle in. We’ve got phone calls to make! We have to find someone to take this food! I made a couple more phone calls (does anyone answer their phones anymore?!?), and then I decided to sit down and pray.
“God, who would you have me call about this food?”
In my stillness, I thought of a gentleman that I met earlier this year. So I sent him a quick text message (I couldn’t bear another voicemail). I didn’t dare tell him 82,000 meals. He immediately responded and we made plans to meet in just a few minutes.
On the way to church, my mind was racing.
“How many meals can I unload on this guy?”
“I hope he has a truck…maybe he can take a pallet.”
“I’ve got to play this cool. Sell the vitamins and nutrients of the food.”
“If he only wants 5 boxes, make sure he leaves with 6 or 7 boxes.”
“Who else can I call?”
I pull up to the church and I see a truck! Excitedly, I get out of my car…my hands are starting to sweat…my heart is beating…I feel like I’m getting ready to pull off a heist…and trying to muster a normal voice say, “Hi Glenn, how are you doing today?”
We walk to the enormous monster yellow truck in the driveway, and he says, “The food’s in here?”
Fearfully, I replied “Yes.”
With my eyes closed, I opened the door to reveal the contents. This is the moment of truth.
“I’ll take it all.”
Instinctively I said, “Let me show you what it is.” (Did I really just give him chance to change his mind?)
I marched him inside the Fellowship Hall so he could examine the delicacy, to which he said,
“This is perfect! There are so many people in the area that have been affected by Hurricane Michael either directly or indirectly. We haven’t received any food shipments for over 2 weeks because it’s being diverted to the heavily damaged areas. We have needy families in surrounding areas that have been overlooked in storm relief efforts. I was just praying about this this morning! This is a direct answer to prayer! This is manna from heaven!”
The truck left tonight for a trip - across town. They already have the infrastructure to accommodate the counties we are trying to reach! In fact, those areas are coming to get the food tomorrow!
God is good…so very good!
I guess my lesson for today is that we’re not necessarily supposed to be strategic planners because that would be us planning and then asking God to bless our agenda.
I believe we are to be responsive planners - listening and responding to God’s voice and instructions as we engage in building His Kingdom. We’re to trust Him even when we don’t have all the details worked out. It’s a little nerve wracking, but very faith stretching!
It’s been said, “Where God guides, God provides.” But today, I also learned that “Where God provides, God guides.”
BONUS PRAISE - They unloaded it!
Tuesday, October 23
We had 2 phone calls today from C&MA churches (FL and TX) to inform us that they are sending money for hurricane relief. $5,500 from one and $10,000 from another. PTL!
Friday, October 19
Yesterday, we had trucks and trailers leave for Blountstown, Eastpoint, and now Port St. Joe! Wiped out our inventory! PTL
Our mailman has been making 2 trips a day delivering packages this past week. On Friday, he began asking questions about our efforts, which turned to personal spiritual matters. He used to attend church, but hasn’t attended in a long time. Please pray for this young man.
Thursday, October 18
Three very full trucks left our church today with much needed supplies. It is safe to say, that within a few short days, several thousand dollars worth of relief supplies have passed through our Fellowship Hall! Praise the Lord! (And I'm not including the packages we are receiving for Forgotten Coast Community Church!)
From the Forgotten Coast Community Church:
God has made His mark today! I prayed that we would serve 125 people and He brought 139 people from 38 households. I had more opportunity to pray with people today. I have a few specific prayer requests below.
Each time I ran out of or got low on something someone would arrive with more. We are stocked up and ready for tomorrow thanks to few people from out of town who saw our Facebook requests and stopped while they were in the area, plus the awesome crew at Piedmont who have not only been receiving Amazon orders for us via our wish list but also sending extra to us, and our special guests today Jesse Sharp and Matthew from Lakeland who brought an SUV FULL of supplies. Talk about being the church - thank you all!!!
Tomorrow I am praying that we can help 150 people and 50 households and for a few helpers.
- Mom who gave birth while evacuated and her house was damaged. They are still living without power.
- Another mom with a young child who is also 2 weeks from giving birth. Her family lost their home including all the things they had for baby. Mom looks completely worn out.
- A woman whose landlord originally said he was repairing the home she rents has changed his mind. Now a week later when our already tight rental market has nothing available she is looking for a new home.
- We were made aware of 7 elderly or handicapped people who live in a nearby apartment complex who are often not thought about at times like this.
- A couple who moved here a little over a month ago had the front wall of their rental home collapse and they had to send their three kids to three different family members while they work with their landlord to get their place fixed.
- So many families are trying to figure out how they will bring money in as restaurants are slow to reopen and many vacation homes are too damaged to rent which means they won’t need to be cleaned.
Thank you for your prayers and support.
Wednesday, October 17
Thank you for signing up to take shifts to help receive donations! Generous people are bringing in bags of relief supplies and trucks are leaving loaded with relief supplies.
Tonight our children and youth sorted, packed, and prayed over 200 hygiene bags that are to be distributed to storm weary victims within our region!
From the Forgotten Coast Community Church:
God is so Awesome! Yesterday I prayed we would help 100 people today and He brought us 110 from 29 families.
I am praying for 125 people tomorrow. If we have any prayer warriors we can mobilize I would love to give family names out to pray for. So many are hurting and really need prayer and some if the circumstances are heart breaking.
The donations have been amazing!!! Piedmont Park took in another 30 boxes yesterday, in the boxes the load would not fit in my pick up so they had to unbox some. Everything is unpacked and set out for tomorrow. Jesse and Matt from Lakeland Alliance Church will be here this afternoon with more.
Chris will be happy to know at that UPS is delivering here again so we changed the shipping address and after Friday the boxes should start decreasing up there. He is doing so much up there and we are so thankful.
Please keep us in prayer. We are getting to know these families and how we can serve them beyond just basic needs. One thing we keep hearing is how we aren’t like a normal church and we are to talking taking that as a compliment.
We did get to meet the step daughter of Old Charlie. Our building was once his bar. She walked in and exclaimed, “My God is so Good!” And He is!
Thank you again for all the love and support you have shown us so we could do the same for our community.
Tuesday, October 16
- We have met new friends in our community as they are responding to our marquee sign by giving donations. Stuff leaves as quickly as it comes in!
- A work team went to Marianna to tarp the McArthur’s roof. (The McArthurs have been a wonderful addition to our quizzing program!)
- Two trucks took relief supplies to Eastpoint. The second truck filled every possible nook and cranny with donated items.
- Another truck headed to Blountstown loaded with relief supplies went to Blountstown.
- Candice Nissley reported there were no tarps available in Blountstown until our 50 tarps arrived along with a roll of visqueen and roofing shingles. People were deeply moved and seen hugging their tarps.
- We had an encouraging visit from Chuck & Dale Hughes, our District Superintendent.
1. With long, hot days filled with hard work and no electric for light or water, there is an increasing need for personal hygiene. Therefore, we are creating “Hygiene Bags” for the Blountstown area. The youth group and Kids Club will be assembling these on Wednesday night. If you are able, please bring:
- Gallon size bags
- Feminine products
- Water, Batteries and flashlights are also in high demand at this time.
2. We need people to sit at the fellowship hall for an hour or two to receive postal packages and donations. Text Pastor Chris for details (352-362-5925)
3. Trees are down in the turnaround behind the Fellowship Hall.
From Forgotten Coast Community Church:
"What a day!!! 35 boxes of supplies arrived today from the Amazon wish list we posted on Facebook plus extras thrown in by Chris and the Piedmont Park Alliance Church not to mention one of their church members brought down the first bunch (THANK YOU for all your help). We are restocked and ready for tomorrow. I prayed tonight that we would serve 100 people tomorrow.
Today we served 16 families totaling 58 people. That is 55 families and 202 people in just 4 days. There are probably more we can serve we just need to get the word to them.
The Red Cross made us a food distribution site and will drop off enough hot food to serve 150 meals each day. Each of the last two days we have served 60-70 meals.
Jesse Sharp from the Lakeland Alliance Church and another woman from GA are coming later this week with more supplies. I also was connected with the Rotary Club who wants to work with us. God is providing more than we could imagine."
Monday, October 15
URGENT: A family in our church needs tarps on their roof. They live in Marianna. Contact Lisa Litteral for information (850-459-3941) - Done! PTL!
URGENT: Candice Nissley will be making a trip to Blountstown and surrounding communities on Tuesday Morning at 9am to deliver relief supplies. Tarps (new or used) and roofing flashing are in high demand as rain is expected on Wednesday and roofs are in need of repair to prevent wetness and mold. Food is also in high demand. ALL items on donation list are needed (see below). Please drop items off at church fellowship hall.
From Forgotten Coast Community Church:
"Yesterday we helped another 56 people from 14 households. That is 24 families and 90 people with very few resources. We had a gentleman and his two adult sons who have a second home on St. George Island bring a pick up full of supplies after service. They knew about us from our posts on Facebook. As soon as we posted that we had more people started coming.
Today we have more supplies coming in from some folks in GA who saw our post and I am hoping some of the Amazon wish list items will get to Piedmont Park so we can make a run up to get them or it looks like Chris may have found us a way to get them down here.
We have been able to serve people and pray for them and with them. The storm is over but the hard times are coming for many of the locals. Many will be out of work as their employers repair and I would guess some will not reopen. Many people here live hand to mouth and they are already out of money. If anyone knows of resources to help them get unemployment paper work completed that would help some of the people who are on a regular payroll and not subcontractors. I intend to look at the paperwork and see if it is something I can help with but I have no experience here.
We had 13 at service yesterday on the porch and a lady came by afterwards for prayer. Some of our regulars are not back yet and a few were cleaning up.
Power came back on last night. One more step towards recovery. I look forward to understanding what we need to have for CAMA Services.
God is working on the Forgotten Coast."
Sunday, October 14 - At approximately 7:30pm, power was restored at church! Praise the Lord!
From Forgottten Coast Community Church:
(NOTE: PPAC is partnering with our sister C&MA church plant to provide relief and assistance in the Eastpoint/St. George Island area.)
"Forgotten Coast Community Church was able to help 10 families yesterday which included 34 people. We did this with items the people of the church had and one carload of things from people who sheltered out of town. Several who came in had no water and no food.
Pictures really do not do justice to the situation. Buildings are piles of rubble, roads are buckled, I am not sure there are many places completely without damage Praise God our Church building was one so we can serve others and love on this wounded community.
The pain of the people is real and is just as bad as the physical state of our community. Some people were sent back from shelters they were bussed to in Leon and other northern counties because the shelters were closing or others needed the shelter more. Some were not fed at the shelters.
We will continue to distribute what we have. We just got some more supplies but I am sure those will be gone before the end of the day now that people know we are here.
We have some online contributions and the Piedmont Park Alliance Church has offered to receive Amazon shipments (not sure when UPS and Fedex will deliver here again) so we set up a wishlist for people who do not want to give money.
Please continue to pray for us. We are here and will be having our service at 9:45 out on the Porch."
Saturday, October 13 - PPAC Family, please let us know how you're doing. Please check in with your Elder or Deacon, PPACFamily facebook group, email firstname.lastname@example.org, text Pastor at 352-362-5925, send smoke signal, carrier pigeon...
Friday, October 12 - No damage to church buildings. No power at church.
SCHEDULE CHANGE: Whether we have power or not, we will be having church on Sunday at regular time (10:45am). Please bring a chair/blanket in case we meet outside. Sunday School is cancelled for Sunday.
Wednesday, October 10 - Due to Hurricane Michael ALL Wednesday Night Activities are cancelled.
Wednesday Night Dinner
Bible Quizzing Practice
Youth & Children's Ministries
Adult Classes & Studies