Helping Those Who Have Been Hit by Storms of Life and Weather

Chester, SC Disaster Rebuilding Ministry 2018

Volunteer Opportunity January 7 – March 28, 2018

We are returning to South Carolina, this time to the community of Chester. This is the same general area as last year’s Columbia winter project. Returning here offers many benefits. We already have relationships with local long-term recovery organizations, suppliers, the camp, and most importantly, with former homeowners. 

We will be building a number of new houses for those whose homes were nearly destroyed. We will also focus on helping numerous disadvantaged people by repairing their severely deteriorating homes. When storms hit, the elderly living on a fixed income, the disabled, widows and others, do not have funds available to pay for repairs to their damaged homes. Instead, they struggle to survive with the very basic needs of life. Over time,  unrepaired roofs continue to leak every time it rains. Constant moisture leads to mold and rot and a total deterioration of the house. In some cases, large holes in the floor make walking through the house a challenge and dangerous. There are others who have no running water or no working toilet. Many are living in conditions that we cannot imagine.

Through the efforts of long term recovery groups, families in these situations have been identified and screened through the process of case management. Case workers have gathered financial information from these families and are working to bridge the gap between their meager resources and the cost of providing a safe, healthy place for them to live. HarvestCall is responding to this need through a rebuilding ministry comprised of volunteers and long-term leadership. Funding for this ministry is provided through generous donations to the Disaster Fund. Our funds will be matched by local contributors to this recovery effort.

While providing adequate housing is an important goal of this ministry, it is second to the goal of sharing the gospel. As we serve in this ministry, we want to share the message of salvation through Jesus Christ by words, our actions and all that we do.

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And whatsoever ye do in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Col. 3:17

About the Flood

October of 2015 will long be remembered as one of the wettest months ever recorded in the state of South Carolina. A powerful storm system brought unbelievable amounts of rainfall over a five-day period. The event has been termed a 500-year event with a total of 11.5” of rainfall in a twenty-four-hour period. Thousands of homes, businesses and community buildings were flooded. Interstate highways were closed. Bridges were compromised and entire communities were under water. Nineteen lives were lost in the state because of this storm. More recently, heavy rains from hurricane Irma caused further damage to homes never adequately repaired following the initial disaster.

Volunteers Needed

Beginning on January 7th, forty volunteers are needed each week to serve in this rebuilding ministry. Both skilled tradesmen and unskilled workers are needed. There is an opportunity for every willing heart to serve in this ministry. Skilled construction workers will provide leadership for volunteers on the work sites. HarvestCall tool trailers and vehicles will be on site throughout the term of the work. The work will include all phases of house construction from foundations to painting and cleaning.

Damaged houses will be repaired and destroyed houses will be rebuilt. The gospel message will be proclaimed as Christ’s love is shared with hurting hearts and we serve them in His name. We have the opportunity to be His hands and feet as we minister to those whose lives have been turned upside down resulting in hopelessness, frustration and despair. They need to know that we care and most importantly that God cares.

----- ALSO: Watch testimonies from disaster victims who were helped in prior years. -----

Special Invitation to Ministers
Since this project is located too far from any of our congregations to worship there, we plan to hold services at the camp each Sunday and Wednesday evening. We encourage ministers to make themselves available.

Accommodations Provided

Volunteers will be housed at Camp La Vida in Winnsboro, South Carolina which is approximately 30 miles south of Chester. There are accommodations for both men and women. Lodge buildings are equipped with bunk beds, showers and toilets. A central kitchen/dining area will serve as the focal point of activities. Delicious home cooked meals will be served each day of the week beginning on Sunday evening through Friday noon. Brown bag lunches are carried to the job each day.

While there is no required fee for room and board, donations received for accommodations will translate into more funds available for building materials to help those in need. The cost of housing and meals is approximately $18 per person per day.

Hotel accommodations are a considerable distance from the camp and thus, not recommended.

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If you'd like to give specifically to support the rebuilding ministry in Chester, SC and/or to help us cover your meals and accommodation at the camp, click the button below.