In December, the pastors of Circuit 13W (Raleigh, NC area) congrega
tions cancelled their monthlymeeting. Instead they organized a circuit-wide work day, to help with Hurricane Matthew relief efforts in the southeastern part of North Carolina. Thirty volunteers, including several pastors, a vicar, and a DCE intern joined forces in Lumberton, North Carolina, for the day.
Most of the group worked on a heavily-damaged day care center that is being rebuilt thanks to the generous efforts of the people of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Norlina, North Carolina. They made great progress on roofing, mold remediation, and window installation. Other volunteers attacked a giant fallen pecan tree on a rural home-site, and emerged victorious.
Pastor Eric Hollar (Bethel, Claremont, NC) is now functioning as the Southeastern District's on-site coordinator for Hurricane Matthew relief efforts in North Carolina. He is spearheading initiatives to continue and expand LCMS volunteer services in the affected region, and to strive toward providing much-needed spiritual care to the Lumberton community
Over 100,000 structures in North Carolina were damaged in the flooding last October. Robeson County is the poorest county in the state, and hundreds of homeowners are still living in hotels in the Lumberton area. Thousands of homes remain uninhabitable.
Volunteers are starting to come from other LCMS districts (Georgia, North Dakota, Minnesota, etc.). Congregations and members of the Southeastern District are welcome and encouraged to send volunteer teams to help with the cleanup and rebuilding work. Free housing and very low-cost meals are provided near Lumberton. Call Hope Lutheran Church, Wake Forest, NC (919-554-8109) for information on registering to volunteer as an individual or as a team.