In mid-May of 2012, 11 intrepid Moravians from the Friedland and Friedberg congregations in Winston-Salem, N.C. traveled to Ocean Springs, Miss. for an assignment as a work-service team. For the leaders, Jerry and Sherry Edwards, it was their third trip to assist in aiding those damaged by Hurricane Katrina. We were a group of skilled and unskilled laborers called by faith and driven by desire to assist those in need. As most work-service teams have discovered, what we learned seemed far greater than the help we offered.
Along with our labor skills, we carried three quilts from the Friedberg Prayers and Squares quilting group, and a box of window treatment choices from the Raleigh Moravian sewing group. Folks at Friedland Moravian had raised funds for this particular trip and its special needs.
For those who are wondering, “what exactly do these volunteers really do?” a short list includes: sanding, caulking, painting, installing, digging, fastening, plumbing, hammering, stapling, leveling, sawing, mitering, measuring, chopping, drilling, grouting, laughing, cleaning, calculating, praying, and loving! One of the homes that we worked on was the same one that a group of young people from Friedberg had labored in during the summer of 2011. The homeowner remembers these teenagers as those who went from room to room praying in each one for God’s protection for him, his mother and his home.
At the end of each day, we were exhausted by the labor and effort, but strengthened in our faith. Of course, professionals could have done the work faster and more efficiently, but under the circumstances of limited resources, such a situation is unfeasible. What we did was done in the name of Jesus walking the walk. “Be not hearers of the Word, but doers.”
Lillian Britt Shelton is a member of Friedberg Moravian Church and is married to its pastor, the Rev. Tom Shelton. Photos: members of Friedland and Friedberg Moravian Churches at work in Mississippi.
From the September 2012 Moravian Magazine