Christian aid group readies for the onslaught of the U-S hurricane season.

By July 11, 2006

USA (MNN)–Hurricane forecasters think 17 named storms will take shape in the Atlantic Ocean this year.

Nine of the 17 are predicted to become hurricanes and five of those are expected to develop into storms ranked as Category 3, meaning sustained winds of at least 111 mph.

That means damages, and lots of them. For those still reeling from last year’s hurricane season, this is news both good and bad.

Good, because it’ll be the opportunity to test systems put in place to cope with the monster storms. Bad, because it’ll be the opportunity to test systems put in place to cope with the monster storms. And when the system is tried by fire, will it work?

These are questions at the forefront for those in the strike zone. Even as the forecasts are dire, efforts to get past Katrina’s 2005 tantrum continue.

Mississippi’s hard-hit Hancock county is readying for a bumpy ride. International Aid’s Dean Agee says they are ready too.

The agency has finally moved out of emergency and launched restorative work. “We moved from that phase to setting up a volunteer center that would provide housing, meals and accommodations for volunteers that would want to come down and help in the rebuilding efforts.”

With all the manpower coming in to help, the problem was becoming where to put the volunteers through their stay…Agee says their solution was simple…and, as it turns out, much needed. Already, their volunteer center is booked. “We’re, through the summer, running about 300 people from church groups and other groups through the volunteer center.”

Because government aid has been non-existent or slow in coming, every day needs are overlooked or lost. At a time when Katrina’s survivors are still struggling, Agee notes the timing of their assistance. “Hancock County, where we’re working, is relatively unchurched. We are working with local churches to do the rebuilding effort.”

The ‘Aha!’ moment in the community comes as people put together the work of the teams, the association with the body of Christ, their reason for coming and a consistent testimony. Agee adds, “As a good friend of ours who lives down there says, ‘You know, it’s really the church groups and the volunteers that are doing the rebuilding.'”

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