Oregon Conference Active in Hurricane Ike Recovery
A heart for mission takes many across the globe to share the life-saving news of Jesus Christ. But a group of Oregon Conference members found a need closer to home. On Oct. 1, Sam Pellecer, of Hood View, Ore.; Dan Patchin, of Lents, Ore.; Marvin Fernando, of Meadow Glade, Ore.; Kathy McCracken, of Grants Pass, Ore.; and David Ames, also of Grants Pass, were the first Adventist Community Service Disaster Response team to volunteer for two weeks on the front lines in Houston and Galveston, Texas, performing hurricane relief work for thousands of survivors.
One week prior, the ACS team collected 9,500 pounds of goods, which were sorted, organized and then loaded into a Texas Adventist Conference semi-truck. Sam Pellecer, Oregon’s ACS head, spearheaded advertising, donations and worked with ACS coordinators scattered throughout local congregations in the conference.
“When we got to Texas, we were surprised to see we were distributing the very items people had sent on the truck from the Oregon Conference,” reports Pellecer.
People are so happy for the help. Marvin Fernando, volunteer, relates this story, “There was one lady—the very last house on the corner—she was sitting there with her head down. I saw her and thought, ‘This lady is in bad shape.’ She was cleaning a screwdriver, trying to recover her tools because they were rusting from the saltwater. I said, ‘Hello’ and she suddenly started crying and crying. She held me and said, ‘God sent you to me.’ She kept on holding me and crying. She had just been talking to God and saying, ‘Why is this happening to me? I’ve lost my home. I’ve lost everything. If you’re really out there, God, just give me a sign. Just do something for me so I know you are there.’ And that’s just when I said, ‘Hello.’ It was pretty neat. She lost her husband a year before the storm and had moved to this town so she would be closer to her daughter. Both their homes were destroyed.”
Kathy McCracken, ACS volunteer, recalls an Adventist pastor who was so glad to see their team. “He thought they had been forgotten. Every time we started talking he would cry. We helped people who didn’t know there is a Seventh-day Adventist church in Galveston. They do now! I think they will be going to that church in the future,” continues McCracken.
If you are interested in learning more, contact Rhonda Whitney at the Oregon Conference, 503-850-3500.