jimBishop Anderson House Chaplain Jim Croegaert is also a volunteer with the Red Cross Disaster Spiritual Care team. He just returned from a 2-week mission of mercy to Greenville, NC, comforting residents whose lives have been upended in the flooding after Hurricane Matthew. Bishop Anderson House sent over 100 Teddy Bears and a full box of prayer shawls to assist in his spiritual care efforts.

From Jim’s posts:

“Last Tuesday evening I was asked to depart on Wednesday, Oct. 12, to be part of the early Red Cross Disaster Spiritual Care effort. I am in Greenville, NC, about midway through, coming home Saturday. Staying in a staff shelter, which is rugged going for this body, and am pretty weary. But have had some wonderful experiences that I think make some difference for people. One thing worth noting in this disaster, is that the people who were especially vulnerable to the loss, were poor people, choosing housing that was less costly, in part *because* it was on the flood plain. Disproportionately African American and Mexican immigrants, both legal and illegal, the latter by definition less likely to request help through traditional channels. Had a wonderful visit with Pastor Moses Perez and his Iglesia Pentecostal Unida church. Pastor Perez and his congregation did an amazing job setting up and running a shelter that the displaced Hispanics felt safe going to, where their language was the language and they could get help without fear of consequences – 80 people found food and shelter there for days, the numbers going down now but people still in need of assistance in various ways. Anyway, one little story, among so many. I had a wonderful time at their Sunday worship, even contributing a bit to the service. That is all for now, and this is my first FB visit since deployment and may be my last till home. Peace, all, and pray for these folks, and those trying to assist.

I arrived back home Saturday from #HurricaneMatthew Red Cross Disaster Spiritual Care service. Last night I enjoyed my first good night’s sleep in some time, and in an actual bed – mine!  I read all the comments made to my post, many of which had come to me in the form of emails but which I could not take time to respond to, as well as the “likes”. I am so very grateful, and felt very much upheld. The weariness will take some time to get through but I am on my way. I am also aware that our news cycle allows for 2-3 days of attention on these types of events and then moves along. But the lives of people who suffered loss of homes, belongings, pets, even loved ones, go on. In fact, some of the rivers in the affected areas only crested a few days ago. Hundreds of people are still in shelters, where their deprivations are considerably greater than anything I went through, and are ongoing. Please pray for those folks, and for the many who are working to try to help them through this.

I am attaching two photos: One of our Red Cross headquarters in Greenville (where the “on-the-ground” efforts, such as shelters, feeding, condolence calls and other relief efforts are organized and planned); the other of a gorgeous ash tree that fed my spirit this morning back home here in our lovely Evanston. Both are valuable, but I am grateful to be now where the ash tree is.