What follows an F4 tornado? Opportunities! Open doors! Rowlett, Texas was devastated by an F4 tornado on Boxing Day (December 26th), and an immediate curfew was put in place to protect against looting. But Sheds of Hope was springing into action. Ready for deployment, two sheds were already being readied for transport. Back in September, Bethel Church of Dallas had built two sheds and stored them in anticipation of the next disaster. Little did they know that a lady who had grown up in their church would be a tornado victim in December. Because of their preparations, as soon as the Rowlett curfew was lifted, Bethel was able to set up a shed on her property so that she could store her salvaged belongings. As of today, Sheds of Hope has identified nine families in the disaster area that are connected to PCA churches. We have set up three sheds on site. Park Cities Presbyterian Church of Dallas has set up one of the sheds that was pre-built by John Browne and Rick Lenz; Bethel Church set up the other pre-built shed and has two more in the pipeline. Christ Community Church of Frisco pre-built two sheds last weekend and will set them up soon. Volunteers are coming out to help with pre-building and set up. Why not get involved? You can pray, you can build, you can give. Whatever God puts on your heart, we can use! Please pray that as Sheds of Hope start rising in Rowlett, we will be able to talk to other families in the devastated area and be able to give them hope, and maybe a shed.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
MNA Disaster Response Specialist, Sheds of Hope
Mission to North America
Shed of Hope – Mississippi Church Request
Available today is a new 8 x 16-foot shed plan.
A church in Louisville, Mississippi requested the longer shed following the tornado that came through the state in early May. Sheds of Hope provides 8 x 8 sheds to people who have been effected by storms.
The unique request came from a church who needed to store pews that are too long for the 8 foot long sheds. A team of volunteers will build the extra long 16-foot shed and set it up at the church in the next couple of weeks.
If you would like to help provide teams for Mississippi or Oklahoma, let us know at Sheds of Hope. Groups can also pre-build 8 x 8 sheds that can then be transported to the areas that have been hurt by the recent storms.
After months of planning and thinking about the design, we finally purchased the wood for the new Pulpit, Communion Table, Baptismal Font and Advent Candle Stand for First Church. Shedua wood was chosen for its beautiful natural color and striking designs in the grain.
The joy of coming up with a design that would work for the church and all that was involved in building it was the most demanding and time consuming part. There is no short cut to this step.
The staff at the church knew what they wanted for the overall look. They had selected and purchased a handmade glass bowl for the Baptismal Font. Now, the design and framework had a central focus that flowed into the rest of the design.
The grain of the piece of Shedua wood that was used for the communion table reflects the natural tones and colors that are seen from every angle. A clear natural finish was used to protect the wood, while at the same time allowing one to see its beauty.
All four of the pieces needed to flow as one on the platform and be easy to remove, as the church sanctuary is part of a multi-use building.
Building and finishing all the pieces of furniture took about 120 hours, not counting the time for the design.
We were very excited to be able to deliver the furniture in time for the first Communion Service in 2014.
We are reminded during this season of the church calendar of the visit of the Wise Men. “And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” Matthew 2: 9a-11 May the people who come each week be brought to Jesus, seeing him, and not just the things our hands have made.
God has given gifts to each of us. Will you ask him today how you can use yours to help bring people to Jesus?
This past weekend we saw a powerful phenomenon. About 100 RUF college students from Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas descended on the Sheds of Hope warehouse. This far surpassed our usual 20-or-so volunteers. But we were prepared. In their wake, they left sheds standing where homes had been torn away. They left the hope for a new beginning.
The shed in the photo is a new concept that will enable groups to build sheds outside of Oklahoma and then transport them flat-packed directly to a home in the Moore area. Volunteers can then assemble them quickly onsite.
News 9 came by and did a story on our effort. Here is their report…
“Sheds of Hope Group Offers Helping Hand To Tornado Victims”
By Heather Hope, News 9 – Oklahoma City
Sheds of Hope has built about 85 sheds so far, and they have more than 200 people on their waiting list.
MOORE, Oklahoma – We’re four months out from the Moore tornado, but volunteers are still busy trying to help victims in their path to recovery.
Countless tornado victims lost so much in the May storms, mainly space, and that is why one group is working to give them a place to store things.
The foundation is laid on the new home Joshawa Green is rebuilding in Moore, four months after the May 20 tornado. Green needed a shed too for storage, and the group ‘Sheds for Hope’ answered his call for free.
“They had it built right before I even knew they were going to and never got a chance to thank them really,” Green said.
In a warehouse, Sheds of Hope volunteers are making way for a special delivery. They’re preparing to build 15 more sheds for storm victims.
“So they have a place to lock their belongings to prevent looting and give them a place to start rebuilding on their property,” Laura Atherton, coordinator for Sheds of Hope.
Atherton heads the group, which is a part of the Presbyterian Church in America. She’ll be in charge of the 100 college students volunteering to put together the sheds piece by piece on Saturday morning.
“They will assemble the shed, put shingles on it, paint it the color that the homeowner has requested,” Atherton said. “Then later the homeowners will drive by later that evening and have a brand new shed on their property ready to go.”
It’s a tedious project that will take about four hours to complete. So the group is getting all their tools and materials stacked in a row, ready to make some Moore resident’s day. Like Green, who says he’s grateful for the secure storage space.
“It’s a pretty cool gesture you know,” Green said. “You don’t really expect anything like that to just show up in your backyard.”
Sheds of Hope has built about 85 sheds so far, and they have more than 200 people on their waiting list. If you would like a shed built, call (405) 928-8052 or go to www.ShedsofHope.com
Imitate leaders who have served others and harvested the promises.
“Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation. For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” – Hebrews 6:9-12