We are blessed to have made wonderful acquaintances over the years and one of those fine folks is Matt Stewart, a housing field coordinator with the U.S. Housing and Urban Development office (HUD) out of Jacksonville. He and his dedicated team of colleagues have spent long days that have turned into long weeks and months, helping displaced survivors of Hurricane Michael in Florida’s Panhandle.
Matt recently shared the story of a group of 42 high school students from Jacksonville who decided to spend their spring break in “service over self” to help those less fortunate in Panama City. One of Matt’s HUD colleagues had shared with fellow parishioners at home about the devastation in the Panhandle after the hurricane. The church, Evangel Temple Assembly of God, moved to action. The youth group partnered with a local church in Panama City for logistics and accommodations and decided to travel for their spring break week, with chaperons in tow, to help make a difference.
They helped with neighborhood cleanups, debris removal and repairs at the Fletcher Black and Massalina public housing complexes. They also assisted seven elderly and disabled homeowners, and helped provide aid at two churches, Callaway Assembly of God, and their partner project and host for the week, First Assembly of God.
What a difference they made in just a week and what a lesson for the rest of us on the power of today’s youth!