It’s not easy living in Zone A. That is the area in New York City where flooding is most prone to occur when a hurricane hits. If you live in the red area on the map, you might be asked to evacuate. That’s exactly what Chris had to do on October 29th as Sandy was approaching Far Rockaway. It’s a good thing that he did. Water filled his house and destroyed everything he owned.
After the storm it was impossible for Chris and his wife, Barbara, to live in their home. So FEMA put them up in a hotel in Brooklyn where they lived for the next three months. They both returned to their jobs and used every daylight hour available to start rebuilding their home.
Our Outreach Team from Good Shepherd met them at home one morning in early December. Chris and Barbara invited us into their home to see how Sandy had abused them. They had already cleared the house of all trash, torn down the all the walls and ripped up the floors. After weeks of hard work, now they were ready to start rebuilding.
With the help of family members every Saturday and Sunday was spent putting up dry wall, laying new flooring, painting, installing all new electrical wiring and new hot water heater, etc. etc. etc. When I stepped into his house earlier this week, I was amazed at the transformation. He is nearing the completion of rebuilding his home, and it looks beautiful.
The pace at which his house is being rebuilt has slowed down slightly during the last month. You see, Chris now sets aside Sunday mornings to come to church at Good Shepherd, where he seems to have found a home. With God’s help, Chris is now rebuilding himself as he continues to rebuild his house.
Chris has lived in the same section of Far Rockaway for years. Rebuilding is never easy but we are more prone to persevere in our rebuilding when we are in a place called “home.” We can take a lesson from Chris. Rebuilding of our spiritual self is a lot easier when we find a place we can call home.
I see Chris as a man who stands very tall in character. He is kind, faithful, and steadfast… and still trusts in God. His reaction to Sandy? “God knew this was going to happen, and with His help, we are going to rebuild.”
When they finish rebuilding their home, Chris and Barbara want to have a House Blessing. What an honor it will be to conduct a House Blessing in Zone A. I pray that more people who are in the rebuilding process would ask God’s blessing. It’s not easy living in Zone A.
But it doesn’t just stop in Far Rockaway, it’s not easy living in New York City. While many people press on to rebuild their damaged homes in the post-Sandy months, God is also busy rebuilding the lives of wonderful people like Chris and Barbara.