That’s the best way to learn, right? On Saturday March 7, the Sheds of Hope building teams of Memorial Presbyterian Church – Elizabethton TN and Lake Oconee Presbyterian Church – Eatonton GA joined together at the Rome Warehouse to train approximately 25 students of Georgia Tech in Sheds of Hope building skills. The event was hosted by MNA Disaster Response and Winshape Camps.

Doug Thomas, Memorial PCA working with a student.

The MNA Charles H. Jones Family Disaster Relief Warehouse and Training Center in Rome GA provides a great platform for SOH training events and is equipped with a Smart Bench, designed by John Browne.

Instructor Ed Robinson, former Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) missionary aviator, with Georgia Tech students building a wall. This is retirement.

This is the third year that students have traveled from Atlanta to assist at the warehouse. These students are members of Sigma Chi Fraternity. Go Yellow Jackets!

Safety Glasses all around!
Lake Oconee PCA team Leader, Dick Forrester supervising the end wall construction of a Shed of Hope. Perhaps the most critical part of a build.
Only the Lord knows where these Sheds of Hope will provide great hope to a tempest-tossed family, maybe in your community!
Warehouse and Training Center Manager, Mike Kennamer, receiving a gift from Sigma Chi Georgia Tech. Thank you, students, you blessed us immensely to bless others!

The Dallas EF3 (winds of 136-165 mph) was approximately 10 minutes on the ground for 16 miles with an estimated 2 billion dollar recovery cost. Churches, Homes, Schools and Businesses were destroyed in the Sunday, October 26, 2019 Tornado. A total of 10 tornadoes spun up during this front as it passed through the Dallas metroplex.

Recovery efforts were underway on Monday morning for Churches all around the disaster area. Mission to North America Disaster Response and Park Cities Presbyterian Church loaded up supplies from the Dallas Depot to bring to church members and churches in the wake of the destruction. None of our Presbyterian Churches (PCA) were damaged, but a number of PCA families lost homes during the EF-3, sustaining severe damage from winds and uprooted trees. Debris and downed power lines left roads impassable, with North-South travel coming to a standstill. The main roads have been moving slowly all week, as people look at the devastation.

Today, Saturday, October 26th, we are pre-building Sheds of Hope at the Dallas Depot to restock our inventory and be ready to help families needing storage, as devastated neighborhoods will soon be accessible. It is a great way to celebrate my one-year anniversary of being a United States citizen.

Michael Denton and John Browne Preparing to Deliver Supplies

Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF-Scale)

Someone asked me the other day what the EF level means. Here are the definitions, along with the number of each type that hit the Dallas metroplex Sunday night. Source: for the number that hit the metroplex.

EF0 65-85 mph Light damage (4 on Sunday night)
EF1 86-110 mph Moderate damage(4 on Sunday night)
EF2 111-135 mph Considerable damage(1 on Sunday night)
EF3 136-165 mph Severe damage(1 on Sunday night)
EF4 166-200 mph Devastating damage
EF5 >200 mph Incredible damage

“Fun” Fact – Moving to Another State Is Not an Option for Escaping Tornadoes

There are no tornado-free states in the United States. The state with the fewest tornadoes is Alaska. Roughly 1200 tornadoes form each year in the U.S. Texas gets its fair share with over 80 per year.
Source: The Internet – It must be true!

You can see that I brought back more than ideas from our staff debrief in Rome, Georgia. It was a great time to discuss and evaluate what we learned during our response to Hurricanes Florence (the Carolinas) and Michael (Florida). The versatility of the Bobcat Mini came in very handy in Panama City, Florida, during the many months we were there, and it was decided that our Depot in Dallas would benefit from having one on hand. It just followed me all the way home.

Helpful Information

Sheds of Hope is a ministry of Mission to North America (MNA) Disaster Response. For more information, see the Sheds of Hope Brochure and our Sheds of Hope Pre-Build Plan – Material Order List Included.

Book a Shed of Hope Training for your church today.

A Roadmap for Involvement

515 RUF Students pre-build 18 Sheds of Hope

During their free time at Summer Conference 515 RUF students pre-built 18 Sheds of Hope and because they worked so fast we had to go out and get more material to start another 6 sheds. The rest of the parts to complete these 6 sheds have now been built by Lake Oconee Presbyterian Church in Georgia and will soon make the journey to Panama City for set-up.

RUF Summer Conference (SuCo) got off to a great start with all available time slots filled for the week. 210 students from many different campuses signed up and worked hard at the Sheds of Hope Pre-build.

This was the first time to introduce Sheds of Hope during the three weeks of SuCo. The first week was a tremendous success, and we exceeded our goal. Six-and-a-half sheds were pre-built, and one was set up at a home. This SuCo project was inspired by the enthusiastic work of staff and students from the University of Kentucky (UK) RUF when I worked with them in Mullins, SC during a mission trip on their New Year break.

Advance Teams came in to help me get all the material pre-cut and prepared for this three week event. Three men from Evergreen Presbyterian Church in Tennessee and two from Pinewood Presbyterian Church in Florida worked alongside me, pre-cutting the lumber and plywood for the eighteen sheds we plan to build.

RUF Group from University of Kentucky

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).

Meet me in Panama City during December 8–21 to help set-up Sheds of Hope for families. MNA Disaster Response is getting requests for Sheds of Hope from all three of our PCA churches in the Panama City area.

  • Covenant Presbyterian Church — request for 6 more
  • First Presbyterian Church — request for 4 more
  • Panama City Korean Church — request for 18 more

We have 22 sheds pre-built and ready for set-up between Saturday, December 8th and Friday, December 21st. So far, we have set-up 8 pre-built Sheds of Hope in the area, but are in need of individuals who can come specifically to help set-up another 22 before Christmas. If you can join me with this blitz-build during December 8–21, you would be very welcome. No tools or skills required, just a willingness to serve and help these families.

It takes less than 3 hours to LEARN how to set-up a Shed of Hope.
After setting up their first one, a small group of 6 to 8 people can set-up about 2–3 Sheds of Hope in a day depending on location.

If you know someone who might be able to help — send them a link to this blog so that they can come and help us. Click here to sign-up with MNA if you can come help. State that you want to work on Sheds of Hope Builds. PLEASE NOTE: ALL VOLUNTEERS MUST REGISTER AND BE SCHEDULED THROUGH MNA DISASTER RESPONSE.

Think what it would mean to these families if we could set-up all 22 sheds we have pre-built by Christmas.

Overnight housing is available for those coming to help build sheds.