IRC sent several people down to Panama City in November and December to help with disaster relief efforts after Hurricane Michael, alongside team members of Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Team. Over 55 trees were cut down into manageable pieces to haul to the street during the clean-up efforts.
As we approached the Panama City area, the devastation engulfed us. It was quite humbling to see what 155 mph winds will do to huge trees. At one house, we saw the trunk of a tree that was twisted at the base where the winds whipped it around during the storm.
We jumped right in and started working on cutting down trees and removing the debris. Time was spent ministering to those people whom we were fortunate enough to be able to serve. Part of the healing process for them was not only having the physical help, but having a willing ear to listen to their story. Each visit ended with a group prayer for continuing blessings for each person we helped.
Gratitude and disbelief of the efforts that were being freely given was the reaction of most, and then an overwhelming sense of relief that their worries that had been weighing on them the past month were suddenly no longer a concern.
While our efforts helped many, there are still many more to be helped, and we hope to be able to return to do more in the weeks and months ahead.