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'These Right Here Are Tears of Joy': Operation Blessing Brings Relief to Disabled Florence Survivor

09-27-2018
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Personal stories of the aftermath of Hurricane Florence continue to unfold, like the story of Keith Smith. Keith is disabled, lives on his own, and was completely overwhelmed when floodwaters ravaged his home. So he did the only thing he knew to do: he called Operation Blessing for help.

"This whole room was filled with memories and things that just pile up in life. There are so many things that you just don't know what you've got," he said.

Just last Friday, Keith could only describe his situation as overwhelming after Hurricane Florence left his New Bern, NC home under three feet of water. His clean-up dilemma was especially complicated because Keith is disabled after a car accident left him with limited mobility.

"To not be able to take a step in the right direction, for fear that it won't be enough to make a dent in the problem. I knew I would be wasting my time as one person trying to fulfill the need. I don't know how I was going to get this accomplished," he says.

But Keith's solution was just a phone call away. "I called Operation Blessing. I asked for help, and the good Lord provided. He gave me some very nice friends. The people that have showed up here have become lifelong friends."

James Baucom was one of the Operation Blessing volunteers that sprang into action for Keith.

Standing inside Keith's flooded home, James says, "There was a lot of stuff now. Don't underestimate what you see... This is the results of some good hard cleaning right now."

James and the OB volunteers from Without Limits Church spent the weekend gutting Keith's home getting it ready for refurbishing.

"Volunteering is good for the spirit and the soul and a good way to give back to the community that you live in," he says.

The team made sure to take time out to pray for Keith. "They came here and they prayed, and we've fellowshipped all day long here together, and laughed together. They've lifted my spirits up."  

Keith is forever grateful to the OB team that brought a lot of calm in the midst of a storm.

"These right here are tears of joy because I'm so relieved. My soul is in a better place today than it was yesterday. And I'm so grateful to the help that you guys have given me. I could never express enough gratitude."

 

 

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