Months after Hurricane Irma hit, people’s homes have started to be repaired, businesses are starting to re-open and life is returning to normal. But there are still some communities where repairs are few and far between. A few weeks ago, a handful of HAB folks went out to the Washington Heights area of Jacksonville and delivered some muchneeded food and cleaning supplies. The children packed over 120 bags! Before we knew it, all the bags were delivered, and there were still some people that did not get anything. Below is a reflection of this experience from Chelsea Weise:
Sunday after church, Maddie and I joined several others to distribute groceries and other items to the Washington Heights neighborhood. Months after the hurricane, this area of town is still suffering a great deal. From plywood on windows to appliances still out in the streets, these people are in desperate need of help, support, and love. Our mission on Sunday was to be a presence and let them know that they are not forgotten.
As we made our way to an area of Jacksonville we are not familiar with, Maddie and I had our eyes opened. We pulled in, met up with people who knew we were coming; then Maddie and others set off on foot to tell people we were there. After our job was done (at least for this day), our conversation on the ride home is one I will always remember. Maddie expressed that there were times she was uncomfortable. She did not realize that people were still suffering in Jacksonville, now in March, from the hurricanes last year. We had a lot of quiet moments but we both said, “We are grateful; we are blessed.”
I asked her if she was surprised by anything. She did say that after being a little nervous and seeing and meeting these people, she was reminded they are just like the rest of us.
I met a man who loved to write poems. He loved to write poems about the Lord. He was joyful with every word that came out of his mouth. This reminded me that yes, life does not always go the way we want it, yes, people are hurt every day, but God has not forgotten any of us. These amazing people are not forgotten and Maddie and I both are ready to help where we can.