When a natural disaster hits, people’s lives can change in an instant. Hurricanes, tornado’s, floods and winter storms are all fairly common, and it can seem like it’s not that big of deal, unless you’re in the middle of it.
I’m part of an incredible organization called Eight Days of Hope, that helps in these times of disaster, and brings hope into people’s lives when they are feeling hopeless. When you look into the eyes of a person that just lost everything it breaks your heart. Many are still in shock and are overwhelmed with the thought of what do I do now?
Eight Days of Hope started after Hurricane Katrina hit Mississippi and Louisiana. Since that first trip in 2005 they have done 16 major rebuilding events all over the country.
Eight Days of Hope has successfully restored or rebuilt 2,760 homes following natural disasters since 2005. Volunteers from all 50 states and ten countries have worked over 1,067,425 hours during the first fifteen rebuilding events alone. To date, Eight Days of Hope has completed over $44.8 million dollars of work—for free!
Eight Days of Hope comes in after much of the clean up has happened, and works with local churches, government agencies, and non-profits to help people in need. Many people don’t have insurance or enough insurance to rebuild that is where 8DOH helps.
They also started an emergency response division that goes immediately after a disaster to clean up and bring immediate hope to a community. This involves cutting up trees and removing debris and even gutting homes. The first trip was in Buffalo NY after a major snow storm. Volunteers went and shoveled snow and dug people out. The Rapid Response team has traveled to 19 different communities and has blessed 1,870 families within three days of the disaster!
Thousands of people have been impacted by 8DOH. The thing that is most important to know about 8DOH is that they focus on bringing the love of Jesus Christ to the people they serve. There is an emphasis on praying with homeowners and taking the time to listen to their stories and show them love and respect. Many people have come to a relationship with Christ or renewed their commitment to Christ as a result of people loving and serving them.
The people that volunteer with 8DOH are from all over the country and from all kinds of churches. That is the beauty of 8DOH, it’s Christians from all over the country coming together to be the church to people that desperately need some hope.
That is why Eight Days of Hope exists, to show the love of Jesus Christ to people that are feeling hopeless and helpless. To love and to Serve.
Watch the year-end summary video to learn more about what 8DOH does.
Be sure to check out the Penned In His Image page dedicated to Eight Days of Hope here.Chad Stutzman is currently the campus pastor for the Coshocton campus of NewPointe Community Church. He has been with NewPointe for over 15 years in many roles. Chad has a passion for developing people and helping them grow in faith, character, stewardship and leadership. He loves coffee, reading, playing the bass guitar, and watching sports.