Tom and Kathy Provenzano, Foursquare chaplains and assisting ministers at Fort Myers Central Foursquare Church in Fort Myers, Fla., traveled to New Dorp Beach on Staten Island this week. While they were ministering to people there, they saw unbelievable damage: “We saw homes with evidence of where the salt water rose over 12 feet.”
At the height of Superstorm Sandy, waves crashed from the Atlantic Ocean over the shoreline and into this Staten Island neighborhood with a vengeance.
Tom, Kathy and their team are also ministering in the area known as Toms River, where they hope to join forces with a Red Cross shelter. “We’ll go where the need is and the Lord leads,” the couple says.
Supervisor Robb Hattem of the Northeast District joined the Provenzanos to assess the needs of Staten Island and to reach out to people who are in desperate need of help.
Among others who have responded to the need to engage in relief efforts, the Mobile Church Movement has decided to take action. The Mobile Church team, led by recent Life Pacific College graduate Rebecca Schaub, assisting minister at Gateway (Salem South Foursquare Church) in Salem, Ore., took time away from a four-month, 15-state itinerary to join forces with the Provenzanos as they minister to victims of Sandy.
A great need exists in New York and New Jersey, not only for physical assistance, but also for spiritual and emotional care. Foursquare Chaplain Gary Grubbs reports that among the trained crisis counselors in New Jersey, few are able to work because they are among the ranks of those who were hard hit by Sandy.
Foursquare Relief and Compassion and Foursquare Chaplains International are working in tandem to see that both physical and spiritual needs are met.
Skilled and semiskilled volunteers will be needed as the clean-up efforts continue on the East Coast. For details on how to volunteer or to make donations of food, water and blankets, contact Foursquare Relief and Compassion by email or by calling 213.989.4335.
For more information about financially supporting Foursquare local ministries and churches as they reach out to others, go to give.foursquare.org and click on “Disaster Relief.”