Disasters create opportunities for us to help our neighbors, and the disasters of 2018 have been doing just that. Hurricane Florence flooded the Carolinas, and we have seen people come from all over the states to help. Nichols, one of several little towns flooded for the second time in two years, was helped by the outreach efforts of Mullins Presbyterian Church, who opened up their hearts and doors to the many volunteers who came to help through MNA Disaster Response efforts.

Within weeks, Hurricane Michael left the Florida gulf coast near Panama City devastated. Its beautiful trees were stripped and toppled, bringing down countless fences and power lines. Over the past three months, work has been focused on debris removal and helping church members with home repair and Sheds of Hope. Opportunities are open to help in this effort as we move into 2019. A long term staging area has now been established at First Presbyterian Church to help in and around the area.

During my last trip to Mullins, South Carolina, while I was working with RUF students from the University of Kentucky, an exciting suggestion was made. Why not build Sheds of Hope at their Summer Conference? It is held in May at Panama City Beach, just 20 miles from our new staging area. Providentially, our temporary disaster response staging area in Florida has been generously hosted by Laguna Beach Christian Retreat, which is home to the RUF Summer Conference each year.

Plans are moving forward! During the RUF Summer Conference, we hope to build 18 Sheds of Hope with students from all over the country as they donate time from their vacation to help the people of Panama City. (They might even catch a glimpse of the Wee Helper in the process!)

With a goal of building 18 Sheds of Hope during the May Summer Conference, we will need your help! To give toward the cost of building these Sheds of Hope for Panama City this May, you can donate online to the MNA DR Sheds of Hope Ministry Fund This link takes you directly to the account that covers shed materials and supplies. Cost to build a Shed of Hope for a family is $1,100 (gifts are tax-deductible).

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