One thing we are reminded of every time we deploy into a disaster area is that you never know when you will impact someone’s life. The first couple days in New Jersey were no different.
While helping Presbyterian Church at New Providence cut trees off some headstones I met an 82 year old woman named Margaret. Margaret had two grave sites that were in the path of the fallen tree. One was her sister’s, which was at the base of the trunk, and the other was her husband’s, which was further down. It didn’t take long to see how concerned she was about the tree and how it had affected the two plots she owned.
We talked for ten minutes or so before she asked me if my house had been damaged. I told her I was not from the area. I shared how Dara and I had a ministry and how a big part of our ministry was responding to disasters. Her eyes lit up when she found out we were based out of Tulsa, OK and we were in the area to help those in need. Her face showed her gratitude as her eyes started to water. She talked about how unexpected it is for someone to travel all that distance to cut this tree for her. She thanked me several times for my willingness to come and specifically for cutting the tree that lay across her sister and husbands graves.
She left me smiling with a thought running through my head, “what if this is the only reason we came, would it have been worth it?” The answer for us is yes. This is exactly why we do this. We love to see people impacted with the love of Christ. We do what we do because Jesus first loved us, then commanded us to love others the same way. If He loved us as sinners, regardless of what we had done, then shouldn’t we love others the same. Jesus showed us His love, now we want to show it to others. This little task of cutting a tree in a cemetery may seem small to you, but to this 82 year old woman, it meant the world. To this 82 year old woman it meant that someone loved her enough to do the last thing she ever expected.
Will you show the love of Christ to someone that you don’t know today?
You can help us continue our response efforts in New Jersey and New York through prayer and financial support. Thank you for all you have done to make our ministry possible.