‘Help your brother’

Published 9:40 pm Friday, April 29, 2011

GREENS CROSS – Even more help has arrived in the Roanoke-Chowan community.

Mennonite workers from the Weaverland Disaster Service are stationed at Greens Cross Baptist Church to help those who are attempting to rebuild after tornadoes ripped through Bertie and Hertford counties April 16.

“We are a Mennonite church group that has a volunteer youth service for young people to do work for those who need it,” said Moses Martin, one of the men leading the delegation in Bertie County this week.

The group arrived Monday and began working, mostly with cleanup, and plans to stay as long as they are needed.

The disaster service began in New Orleans in 2006 and the workers have a station there. They also aided those struck by tornadoes in Tennessee in 2008.

“We do basically anything in building and repair,” said Bob Weaver, who was also with the group. “We can do anything from repair to the whole house.”

The men said the labor was provided free, but homeowners had to supply the materials.

“We have our own tools and our own supplies and we supply our own food,” Martin stressed.

The group was offered a place to set up shop by Greens Cross Baptist Church Pastor, the Rev. Mike Willard. He said one of the workers was in Bertie County surveying the damage.

“I stepped out from a debris pile and there he was,” Rev. Willard said. “God put us there together and it went from there.”

He said the church was looking for a way to aid the community and it seemed the partnership was a good way to help.

“It was just a perfect fit of Christians coming together,” he said.

The Weaverland Service workers said they wanted to help those who couldn’t afford to do the work themselves.

“We appreciate working with those who can’t afford to pay someone,” Martin said. “It teachers our young boys that they don’t have to buy new things, but that they can repair what they have.”

Martin and Weaver said they had been working in Bertie and Hertford counties and were available to continue that work and even aid in the areas affected in Gates County.

Normally, the team will consist of 12 people who come in each week to offer assistance. Martin said the volunteers come because it is what God wants from them.

“It’s a commandment of the Lord to help your brother in need,” he said.

Weaver said he was impressed with how many local people had been there working and pitching in to help their neighbors.

What the group wants to do now is begin compiling a list of places that need help. Those who need assistance with rebuilding can get in touch with them by calling 717-672-1140 or by contacting the parsonage of Greens Cross Baptist Church at 794-4566.

“We want to help anyone who calls that we can,” Weaver said. “We’re not going to ask you where you go to church.”

Those in need of assistance are asked to begin calling as soon as possible so the group can plan its work schedule.