Lipscomb University is offering two opportunities to travel to Florida and assist in Hurricane Michael relief efforts with a volunteer team of Lipscomb faculty and staff on Nov. 15-19 and Dec. 13-17.
When it struck the Florida Panhandle on Oct. 10, Hurricane Michael won the title of strongest storm to hit the continental U.S. since Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992. The category four storm destroyed Florida cities beyond recognition and has killed 35 Floridians.
Lipscomb University’s missions coordinator Josh Self said as soon as Hurricane Michael hit the coast students began asking how they could help.
“The damage hits really close to home for some students,” said Self. “It has affected a few students directly. It is affecting the community of students we have on campus – their churches and families.”
One team will travel to Panama City, Florida to work with Jenks Avenue Church of Christ, the home congregation of student Allison Lewis. Lewis’s preacher, Daniel Cherry, at Jenks Avenue Church of Christ highlighted that the hurricane affected everyone in the community, and as Christians, we have a great opportunity to serve them.
“For the church, this has offered us an unprecedented opportunity to be the light of Christ in dark times, said Cherry. “As a congregation we have been able to help about 2,000 families with day to day supplies they need. These are people, going forward, we would like to continue to serve with the gospel of Christ.”
Jenks Avenue Church of Christ and Palo Alto Church of Christ are already working on relief efforts together in Florida and have all of the supplies for the students who choose to attend this trip.
Four faculty and staff leaders will accompany 30 students to the Panhandle. These volunteers will join in on existing projects, a mud out project, which is the process of removing damaged dry wall, and a new insulation project, to assist in the hurricane relief efforts.
Self said that this trip provides an opportunity to do exactly what Cherry mentioned: to serve with the gospel of Christ in the midst of a tragedy.
“The call of the church is if someone is hurting or in need, then the church needs to step in, to serve and to give,” said Self. This is a really easy way for our students to jump in and answer that call. It is a big part of who we are as a mission’s program and of who we are as a school.”
Last year four natural disasters—Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and the earthquake in Mexico City—impacted more than 110 Lipscomb students.
Lipscomb established a Crowdfunding platform that eventually collected more than $61,000 to benefit 26 of the students whose families were directly impacted by the natural disasters.
The funding also purchased materials and supplies for several mission trips and families in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the island of Saba, a long-time mission site for Lipscomb that was hit hard by Hurricane Irma. More than 300 students showed interest in participating on the mission trips to the affected areas.
For more information on this trip, contact Josh Self at 615-966-6050. To register for the trip, click here. The trip costs $200, the upfront deposit is $100 to reserve your spot on the trip. If you cannot attend this trip, there will be another opportunity to travel to Florida Dec. 13-17.