Last October, 17 volunteers from Adventist churches across the St. Louis metro joined together to add some finishing touches to a Disaster Response Long Term Recovery project in Florissant, Missouri.

In 2011 a tornado caused severe damage to many homes in the city of Florissant. One of the families who survived the tornado was unable to secure the needed repairs to their roof, resulting in further damage to their home over the past few years. Eventually, the family had to vacate.

That’s when the St. Louis Community Organizations Active in Disaster stepped in and started to assist the family in the process of recovering their home. Many community agencies and organizations partnered with the city of Florissant to help coordinate the recovery project that would bring much-needed assistance to the family. A new roof was put on, the interior was gutted and mold eradicated, new sheet rock was installed, and a new HVAC system was purchased.

When I was asked by COAD to assist in getting this project finished, I reached out to Danise Taylor, chair of the St. Louis Seventh-day Adventist Lay Missions Group, for assistance. The Lay Missions Group is a collaborative group comprised of members from local St. Louis area churches in both the Iowa-Missouri and Central States Conferences.

Working together, this team of volunteers repainted the interior of the house, making it possible for the rest of the home to be prepared for the family’s return by the first week of November.

Monica McFee, the family’s case worker from United Way of St. Louis who worked alongside the Lay Missions Group volunteers the entire day, shared the family’s gratitude and thanks for the work that was done.

Pastor Jody Dickhaut is the Missouri ACS DR state director.