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Responding to Hurricane Florence

Foursquare Disaster Relief (FDR) chaplains and volunteers are still reaching people who lost everything when Hurricane Florence hit the U.S. Southeast Coast with its unprecedented rainfall of up to 40 inches.

But amid the damage done to communities, one homeowner remarked, “I have hope,” even as she surveyed stacks of furniture and personal belongings sitting on the curb in front of her home. That’s because Foursquare chaplains such as Tina Fowler and her team of volunteers from Hope Chapel (Apex Foursquare Church) in Apex, N.C., helped muck out the woman’s flooded home. The chaplain team also offered emotional and spiritual support, ministering to the homeowner and her grandchildren.

Drying out before rebuilding

Joseph Ellen from Sanford, N.C., has served as a Foursquare chaplain in the disaster relief division since 2012. When Hurricane Florence struck, Joseph ministered to the needs of some 240 evacuees at a local Red Cross shelter.

 While Foursquare chaplains and responders such as these remain ready to serve, FDR also is sending truckloads of supplies and continues to partner with local Foursquare churches to bring the hope of Jesus into hopeless situations.

“Floodwaters are now receding, and residents face a new concern,” says FDR U.S. Operations Chief Gary Grubbs. “They have five days to muck out the house before mold sets in. After that, the cost of repairs escalates to the point that the house needs to be torn down and rebuilt from the ground up.”

“We have housing, food and equipment. Now, we need people.”
—Chris Wilcox, properties assessor for Southeast District

Responding to the current need, The Foursquare Church’s Southeast District Supervisor Bill Gross has assigned one of his district staff, Chris Wilcox, to coordinate teams to help people whose lives have been turned upside down. “We have housing, food and equipment,” Chris states. “Now, we need people.”

Anyone interested in bringing a relief team to help with cleanup may contact the FDR team at, or complete a volunteer form through the Southeast District’s interdenominational partner, Renovation Vineyard Church in South Carolina.

As people step up to serve, FDR U.S. Director Jason Reynolds has updated the Foursquare family with news from the field on FDR’s Facebook Group page. There, he also shared a shout out to all responders: “Restoring hope … thanks, team!”

The need for hope in the Southeast is greater today than when Florence first came ashore. Now, it’s time to be the hands of feet of Jesus and minister where people need it most.

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was an ordained Foursquare minister, Life Pacific University instructor and freelance writer.