The Greatest Blessing
During life’s darkest moments, the light of God’s love shines the brightest. Driving through the neighborhoods in Panama City, Florida, it is easy to be shocked by the severity of the damage. Hurricane Michael’s category 4 winds ripped apart homes, blew in walls, and displaced thousands. Yet mingled with the loss and the heartbreak, there is still hope even in the wake of devastation.
In partnership with Christian Aid and Relief, Builders For Christ volunteers are rebuilding Amazing Grace Lutheran Church and it’s parsonage. The sense of community and compassion of these volunteers is evident in their hard work, laughter, and love for Christ. A Wisconsin volunteer named Mike noted,
“You’re helping them put their lives back together, their homes back together, and if nothing else you can hold their hand. There’s a palpable feeling of hope—we are rebuilding, and we will be fine.”
Thanks to the partnership with Christian Aid and Relief, many young volunteers have connected with this project. First-time college volunteers Morgan and Macey appreciated how the experienced volunteers were willing to teach them new skills, “Everybody here is so nice. If you have any questions you just have to ask, and they’re happy to help!”
Partnering with additional churches and organizations makes it possible to expand our impact far beyond what we could do on our own. Together Christian Aid and Relief and Builders For Christ are demonstrating to the Panama City community what it means to have a servant’s heart.
These volunteers give up their free time, their chance to relax during a school break, or their vacation days to serve the people of Panama City. Among those being served is a man named Dave who was brought to faith later in life and has been a member of Amazing Grace ever since. For him,
“It has been a great blessing to have all these people come down here.”
For those who call Amazing Grace their home church, rebuilding is going to take some time, but the end result will be worth the wait. The rebuilding project is showing the congregation members that amazing grace isn’t just the name of the church; it’s a great blessing from God. We pray that when the doors finally open again, Amazing Grace will be a blessing to the community of Panama City.
Left: The steeple from Amazing Grace Lutheran that blew off in the storm Right: Volunteers Mike and Gary helping rebuild the Pastor's home