Day 1 in Prattsville by Elise Hanley
Posted on May 4, 2012 by Elise Hanley

Story of MY life: I began the day by running late!

So by the time Tom, Efrain, Sarah and I departed from Marble Church, we were already an hour behind. On the road, we literally went "into the woods" as our directions had us detour through the Huntersfield State Forest. Beautiful... but a scary drive: a winding, dirt road with poor traction. After many mumbled prayers we came out at the other end and to the Huntersfield Christian Training Center, where we are staying and being provided breakfast and dinner each day.

Turns out Rev. Travis and Nick and Leonard also drove through the forest! So we began this trip with a bit of a test of faith (and driving skills!) and only Win came the 'right' way!

We settled in - our rooms are lovely. We met Tracy Gockel, who, along with her husband Charlie, run the center and also help oversee, organize and fund the rebuilding efforts in Prattsville.

Since it was too late to start working, we drove down to town, made a quick stop at the grocery store, then took a walk down Main Street. Tom and I were up here in November - we were pleased to see progress. Others in our group were saddened to see continued mess - some homes are condemned yet haven't been touched since the hurricane.

We returned back just in time for dinner! We met Laurie and Bruce Hawley who are the mission coordinators on behalf of the RCA. We also met folks from a group from Wisconsin, and we talked about the work, the progress and the challenges.

The volunteers here are mostly, I'd guess, in their 40s-50s and older, and primarily white, and many are married couples. I am proud of the diversity of our group, I think We well represent Marble, with members of the Men's Ministry and GIFTS Fellowship proudly taking part in this mission.

After dinner we took in the beautiful weather, playing Frisbee and going for walks. We then gathered around a rock for a communal dessert (who HASN'T had Little Debbie Nutty Bars before?) and a time of devotion and prayer.

We are off to bed to be up early tomorrow - I look forward to what the day will bring. Thanks be to God for our group, for those showing us such gracious hospitality, for all those leading and working with us, and may God bless all the people in Prattsville.


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