Radio Interview With Dick Forrester

After I had the joy of training a group from Lake Oconee Presbyterian Church, the newly trained team began building two sheds for Albany, Georgia which had just suffered severe storm damage. This Community Spotlight Radio Interview with the leader of the Lake Oconee team, Dick Forrester, was recorded the week after the shed-build.

 

Phoenix Rising in Rowlett

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Blue skies and a beautiful day greeted Rowlett residents who came out of their homes on December 26 this year. Quite a change from last year, when they came out to a scene of destruction on all sides after a F4 tornado ripped through their community. This tornado damaged 6,000 homes and injured 23 people in Rowlett, one fatally.

After the tornado, the long process of cleanup began. The storm debris removed was enough to fill 3 football fields to a height of 30 feet. This is the height of the commemorative sculpture that will grace a reflection area in Schrade Bluebonnet Park in Rowlett. A model of the sculpture was unveiled at the Tornado Anniversary Remembrance this past Monday. It depicts a phoenix rising from a tornado, and materials will incorporate parts of the Rowlett water tower that was damaged beyond repair during the tornado.

Hope on the Horizon for Texas

Texas is the land of the “Big Sky” and that is one of the things I love about living in Texas. Over the last 12 days premature darkness covers the landscape and waterlogged streams, rivers and reservoirs are at their max. Along with the rain, has come damaging hail and powerful winds.

The statistics are in, and over the last 2 weeks in North Texas, we have had 64 homes destroyed, 307 homes with major damage, 135 with minor damage, and another 184 homes categorized as affected, for a total of 780 families impacted by the storms. The hardest hit area was Van, Texas, where an EF3 tornado destroyed 44 homes, and left an additional 30 with major damage, 64 with minor damage, and 33 affected, for a total of 171. The tornado left two people dead and many hospitalized.

Sheds of Hope is developing a two-phase approach to help the residents of Van, Texas, and to bring ongoing relief to those who have lost homes. In Phase 1, our goal is to pre-build and set up 30 Sheds of Hope in Van. If we are able to complete this phase,  we will proceed with Phase 2, by seeking to provide an additional 20 Sheds, for a total of 50.

If your church, business, or group would like to pre-build a Shed of Hope for Van, Texas, let us know by filling in the Sheds of Hope: Van, Texas Pre-build Form. Plans are available for download at Sheds of Hope.

Another week of rain is being predicted, but when the Big Sky returns, may it come with Sheds of Hope on the horizon for the areas devastated by the darkness that brought destruction.

Sheds of Hope – Where Do We Start?

1. DETERMINE POLICIES AND LEVEL OF INVOLVEMENT

“Weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15

Disasters take us all by surprise, so it is essential to plan now how you would like to be involved with Sheds of Hope. This will give you time to work with any committees, groups, or governing bodies to establish any necessary policies so that you can respond quickly when the time comes. It also helps us to be more efficient during a disaster, as we can contact you directly with a specific need. 

What is a Level of Involvement? It’s based on your location.

If a disaster happens within 100, 200, or 300 miles of your church, we invite you to pre-build sheds and get them ready for transportation. It’s up to you to decide the radius (100, 200, or 300). The larger the radius, the more opportunities you may have. Note: Beyond 300 miles is a bit far for us to transport the sheds economically, but you can always send teams to help set them up.

If a disaster happens within 50 miles of your church, rather than preparing sheds, we encourage you to make plans to allow Sheds of Hope teams to bunk at your church, or to allow your parking lot be used as a staging area. You might also allow the presbytery to place a shower trailer on your property for use by Sheds of Hope volunteers.

Next …

2. SET ASIDE THE $$$ FOR BUILDING AND DEPLOYING SHEDS

$1K = 1 Shed; $2K = 2 Sheds; $3K = 3 Sheds

If you are outside the 300-mile radius, instead of using the funds to build sheds, you might choose to get involved by using those funds to send a team to set-up Sheds of Hope that were built by other churches. This is a policy decision, so it’s good to decide this ahead of time.

Next …

3. TRAIN THE PEOPLE

Contact us to schedule a training event, or to join with other churches in a combined event. For a Pre-Built Shed, you will need 8 People for 8 Hours of training. For a Pre-Cut Shed, you will need 3 People for 3 Hours of training.

Now, wait for the call … when a disaster strikes, it takes about two weeks for teams to be allowed into the disaster area. You will use that time to pre-build the sheds you planned to build so they will be ready for delivery to the disaster site within two weeks.

Things you can do now to be ready …

4. PREPARE FOR ACTION IN THE CALM BEFORE THE DISASTER STRIKES

a. Recruit a Leader and Communicate the Opportunity to the church

b. Download the Shed Plan

c. Order one Shed-in-a-Bucket for each shed you plan to build (Coming Soon – Everything you will need to fasten a shed together.) These buckets can be stored at the church and opened when you get the call to build your shed(s).

d. If your church is within 50 miles of a current disaster, and you were planning to build sheds in the area, you can sign up to be part of our:

Two-Year Follow up Plan
• A shed and a family may be assigned to your church
• Paint the shed within one month of set-up, and if possible paint more than one shed during the same morning. Allow 1 hour per shed (Youth can paint a shed, but always have at least 2 adults with them)
• After you have painted your allotted sheds for the day, gather all the volunteers and families and have a lunch/dinner together. Example: bring Chick-Fil-A sandwiches and drinks for everyone and have the families share their stories and specific prayer requests. Take note of any follow-up needs and see that necessary actions are taken.
• Your church will be responsible for these families over the next two-years.
• You will go back to re-level and fix anything broken at 6, 12, 18 and 24 months from the set-up date and see how the families are doing. Each time, repeat the opportunity to have a meal together, have them give an update on how things are going, and ask for prayer requests. Note each of the prayer requests and remind them of any answered prayers, as your church has been praying for them.

Last, but not least! …

5. CONTACT US

Contact Us Directly Through Our Contact Form

John Browne
MNA Disaster Response Specialist, Sheds of Hope
Mission to North America

John’s First Missionary Journey

Download and Print John’s February Mission Trip

John's Mission TripsMy first trip was a tremendous encouragement and blessing in three ways:

1. MNA – My first trip showed me the great respect and love PCA churches and members have for MNA. I received my first shirts a few days before my trip, and the Logo alone put pastors and church staff at ease. I saw a joyful willingness in others to have the opportunity to share the message of Sheds of Hope.

2. Church Reception – Churches that I visited along the way want more information and are excited be on the list for helping to provide Sheds of Hope in the event of a disaster within their Disaster Zone.

3. Sense of Call – I was deeply humbled and encouraged as I met with pastors and friends along the way. I felt your prayers, and with each stop I was emboldened to share about the work of Sheds of Hope. More than once, God put me in the right place at the right time. What a joy to see the delight in people’s faces as they caught the vision for helping others in times of disaster.

Praise:

  • Many contacts were established along the way
  • 3 Sheds were built on this trip (One of the sheds is being donated to a family whose trailer burned the week after the church had built the shed. They sought to train their people to be ready to build a shed after a disaster, and the Lord already had a place for it.)
  • 20 People were trained and will be able to build a Shed of Hope for their Disaster Zone
  • 9 Churches want to help build Sheds of Hope for their Disaster Zone when they are called upon

Prayer:

  • Building a Sheds of Hope storage shed at Bethel PCA
  • Disaster Response Workshop April 17-18
  • Follow-up with churches from first mission trip
  • Planning for second mission trip

Support:

One Time Gifts or Monthly Support can be given online through the secure website of MNA then

  • Click on “MNA Disaster Response – Sheds of Hope (Browne)” and
  • Press “Continue.”

Blessings, John

The Ins and Outs of a Disaster Response Trailer: Part 1

Following the devastating tornadoes in 2013, Mission to North America (MNA) Disaster Response built 200 sheds in and around Moore Oklahoma. This site was closed down in September 2014, and the remaining materials are being stored in Oklahoma and Texas. I’m in the process of getting one of the trailers for North Texas Presbytery outfitted for its next deployment with Disaster Response.

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After 18-month deployment in Moore, Oklahoma. Note: I had already taken 4 ladders out before taking this picture.

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Ready for its make-over

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Starting on the outside – washed and ready for new signage

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Outside Make-over complete!

Watch for Part 2 – the inside make-over.