volunteer team in front of church sign

— First Presbyterian Church, Cambridge OH

An intergenerational team from First Presbyterian Church in Cambridge, Ohio, and Old Washington Presbyterian Church served in New Jersey.  Rev. Keith Leach of First Presbyterian shared,

“This is a quick note to say thanks to everyone at PDA for all you do.  Our intergenerational team of 12 left Cambridge, Ohio on the 14th of June not at all aware of what we would face as we answered God's call into service.  When this trip was planned we often wondered out loud if we, a church that had had its own building destroyed by wind damage in June of 2012, should be off trying to help others or should we stay home and tend to our own things.   After all we are still a long way from the completion of our replacement facility.  Yet, PDA was here for us in the aftermath of our storm both financially and with prayers and thus we ventured forth.  We were so relieved to meet Wendy Frisby at the Community Presbyterian Church (CPC) to welcome us and help us get settled in.  We were also relieved to be so warmly and comfortably welcomed by our hosts at CPC.

“We were not only welcomed that evening but were gladly greeted and welcomed for Sunday morning worship the next day.  Pastor John Scotland and the entire congregation made us feel like we were a part of the community.  They shared stories of their difficulties during and after Superstorm Sandy and helped to understand the trying times that this community had faced.    As we gathered for our evening devotion on Sunday night we were lifted up in our understanding that this was indeed where God had called us to be, even as our trepidation rose about what we might face at the jobsite in the morning.

“We were blessed to be able to work most of the week with a family that had endured more than 20 months of temporary housing and the frustration that comes with that type of displacement.  We all experienced God’s grace as we were able to tie up many “loose ends” by placing concrete, finishing siding, electrical work and insulation and saw the family’s frustration dissolve into an anticipation of their “homecoming”.  What we saw as simple construction tasks they saw as hope and a clear reminder that they had not and would not be forgotten.

“We felt God’s presence in so many real ways; in tension that turned to smiles, in anxiety that turned to joy, in strangers who became friends and in the ministry of so many around us.  We were humbled at the courage, joy and warmth of our host congregation.

“Again, thanks to all at PDA who work so hard so that hope can indeed emerge from chaos!"

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