The power at Gracedale was restored Saturday sometime after 4:30 pm.
Yes...Gracedale survived super storm Sandy - better than five days without power. And so did we!
I was actually going to highlight some questions that I thought had to be asked early Sunday morning before church, but then the Lord pulled on my heart...calling me on a mission to Staten Island - Once again I complied.
I prepared myself for what was to come...witnessing the true devastation that Sandy caused to other parts of our tri-state region, as well as other parts of our great nation.
Viewing a report on television or seeing pictures just can't stir the imagination enough, as compared to the horrific evidence witnessed first hand.
Brian, Louie, Iris, Armando and I began our trip by making a pit stop at Dunken Donuts inside the Wal-mart on Route 248 where I bumped into Councilman Bruce Gilbert, whom I exchanged some kind words with before our team got our coffee, and off we went.
We arrived at Adalaide Ave some time after 1pm. We were immediately engulfed by the chaos of the event...people yelling orders, police barricades - finally, a location we could unload the food we transported...the clothes were rejected at that location.
A short distance down the road however, we came across a small church known as "Grace Bible Church". We thought this would be a good location to offer the clothing to anyone in need of them, as well as the gasoline we transported for those who had generators.
What came next was truly heart breaking. We parked and began asking who needed clothing. A young lady by the name of Tracy appeared in distress, so we asked her: can we offer you clothing or gas? She responded - you want to give me gas? Yes, we can give you some gas. Seemingly stunned because we were not selling the gas, she again asked: your going to give me gas? And she began to weep uncontrollably. I consoled her, giving her a much needed compassionate hug, and offering her the hope of Jesus. She said "but I lost everything".
She led us to her home where we witnessed the water line about two inches from the ceiling, and her refrigerator unbelievably resting atop of her stove at one end, piercing the wall at the other end - suspended above the floor...you just had to witness it to believe it.
Well, its been a long day, its after midnight, perhaps I can finish this story in a day or so.