Dear Pillar Monthly Friend:
The night had been one of frightening wind and torrential rain. Mrs. Louise Weaver, 86, a widow alone, was uneasy. About 6:00 a.m. she heard pounding on her second-story window, three feet from where she was trying to rest. Firemen were outside. They gently helped her into a life jacket, onto a fire escape and into their boat.
Next door, Miss Lois Stewart was rescued from a roof of her home.
Down the lane, Mr.
and Mrs. Reuben Truitt were helped from a second-story window directly
into the boat. Each left their homes with only the clothing they wore.
In ali, some 60 residents, employees and family members were recovered
from a life-threatening flood. The sun had not yet risen.
On September 16-17, the Headquarters of the Pillar of Fire Ministries at Zarephath, New Jersey, were inundated with 15 inches of rain dropped by Hurricane Floyd as it made its way up the East Coast of the U.S. Added to the rainfall, runoff from miles around came pouring over a 20-foot dike that surrounds our Headquarters' campus. It also covered acres of cropland, and saturated outlying residences.
The result was a massive flooding of our Administrative, Chapel, Radio, Bible Institute, Elementary/Secondary Education and Residential Complex. Since the flood came in the night, there was little opportunity to save either corporate or personal belongings.
The devastation of inventory and equipment, including computer systems, telephones, office equipment, chapel furnishings, school desks, library books and a number of vehicles, was nearly complete. Waste from sewage treatment plants, lagoons, oil collection sites and whatever else in the Hurricane's path was mixed with the water. It filled basements and first floors of buildings. Contamination covered and seeped into everything it touched. This is the bad news.
But, there is good news. No one was hurt or killed. More than a thousand volunteers from surrounding neighborhoods came in the weeks that followed, and helped clean the buildings and grounds. Wearing boots, plastic gloves and often masks, they worked at removing once-valuable assets from buildings--right down to carpeting, drywall and insulation. They gathered debris that had settled on our lawns. They hauled hundreds of tons of saturated refuse away. They sprayed, scrubbed and sanitized.
Words are inadequate to express our gratitude for the generosity of these wonderful men and women, boys and girls who exposed themselves to serious health hazards, that the work of the Lord might regain its footing at Zarephath. Our appreciation extends also to the Salvation Army and Red Cross for their respective and timely assistance.
Nearby friends and acquaintances--even strangers--have spontaneously contributed nearly $298,000 to the Zarephath Relief Fund. This money, along with $264,400 in insurance coverage, along with the help from the volunteers, helped stabilize an otherwise impossible situation. Most personnel and nearly all offices are still in temporary housing. They will not be home for Christmas.
Devastation is so extensive that restoration costs are estimated at 2.5 to 3 million dollars. Renovating, refinishing and furnishing 11 major buildings will be a formidable, time and money consuming task. Obviously, we have a need.
That is the reason for this letter. Having come into your home and/or business for many years with inspirational, encouraging, convicting and edifying words; having shared our spiritual values, concerns and insights with you, The Pillar Monthly family wonders whether you, also, might be willing to become a volunteer on behalf of this need.
We wonder if you would be willing to volunteer $1,OOO toward the healing of this 100-year-old site of God-inspired ministries. 2000 contributors, joining those who have responded in helping to stabilize the situation, would give a huge boost toward restoration of the Pillar of Fire Ministries.
If $1,000 is too much for you to consider, any gift given toward this effort will be welcomed. If God has blessed you and you are inclined toward a greater contribution, perhaps you can volunteer for yourself and another who has no means.
God has His stewards among our readers who are standing "at the ready." Are you one of them?
In any event, we will surely appreciate your prayers.
Please mail your contribution to Zarephath Relief Fund, Pillar of Fire, Zarephath, NJ 08890.
Your contribution is tax-deductible. More importantly, it will be noted by The One Who Volunteered His Life, that we may live.
Please !et us hear from you. Thank you, and God bless you abundantly!
Sincerely your brother, Samuel E. Deets, Director of Development
Background on this page courtesy of Windy's Backgrounds