Mission Trip to New Bern, NC Post-Hurricane Irene

By Ashlyn Sowell, 2/23/2019

It’s amazing the things that can survive a hurricane.  That’s what I thought as I looked at the stone cross statue with a bluebird that sat on the front step of the first home we worked on in New Bern, NC.  I, along with seven other team members from CMPC,  went down to North Carolina January 18-21 to work with the Fuller Center on a mission trip post-Hurricane Irene.  Pete Berlowitz was our leader is also a member of the Fuller Center’s board.  You may know that Millard Fuller started Habitat for Humanity and later started the Fuller Center for Housing https://fullercenter.org/.  Pete did a great job of organizing us and cheerfully running to Home Depot several times a day!

We worked on two homes, one that needed insulation and another that needed mudding.  Both homes were owned by elderly ladies that have had to relocate for the time being due to storm damage. Although we did not get to meet the homeowners, we heard several stories about them and other families who are struggling with recovery.  One of these women was rescued by boat from her home as the creek rose rapidly behind her house!  

The Cornerstone Church and its congregation served as a volunteer center and welcomed us for dinner and an orientation.  It was wonderful to hear from the Fuller Center folks about their work, and from the pastor and church members about life after the hurricane in New Bern.  We also enjoyed meeting volunteers from around the country that traveled to help their fellow humans.

The statue I mentioned above is pictured below along with our crew.  We asked a neighbor across the street to take our photo and in conversation learned of another neighbor that needed some help.  God for sure works in mysterious ways and that connection may not have been made otherwise. 

Luckily another thing that survives a hurricane is the human spirit of kindness! We were blessed to work on this project. If you have questions or want to participate in a future trip please see any one of us.  We’d also like to thank Phil Davies who organized the trip but had to stay home for medical reasons. We missed you Phil!

In the photo: Kevin Wilson, Pete Berlowitz, Mike Chapasko, Ashlyn Sowell, Luke Wilson, Sue & Bob Ashman and Don Kyle.