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Rebuilding Home From Scratch

“It was terrible,” recalls Herman Peterson. “The hurricane was blowing rain and water almost 200 miles an hour. The soffits on the sides was blown out, too, and the water was going down through the walls into the floor.”

When Hurricane Michael flooded their home in Mexico Beach, Florida, Herman and Marie Peterson had to completely gut it. Even with all that work to do, Herman’s main priority is caring for Marie, who has Parkinson’s.

“I try to be strong for her,” he shares. “It just makes Parkinson’s worse when she’s got stress.”

“With no insulation in November and December, and it was forty degrees out, we couldn’t stay in here, so he put a bed up in the pole barn. He lit the propane fish fryer to keep me warm,” Marie says with tears.

For almost a year, the couple lived in their house with hardly any walls as they tried to repair their home on their own.

“How do you just about rebuild a house from scratch except for the slabs and the two-by-fours?” Marie ponders. “Last month he was trying to do some things. It was so hot in here that he had heat exhaustion. He sat over there on chair just getting sick to his stomach. We’ve done everything that we possibly can.”

When Operation Blessing heard about the Petersons, we knew that we needed to help. A team of volunteers rebuilt their walls, floors, and ceilings.

“It feels like a burden lifted,” Herman says. “You hear Christ talk in the New Testament, you know, ‘Come to Me and I will lift your burden.’ I know through Him all is possible, and I know that ya’ll are sent by Him. Thank you, thank you, thank you. We can’t say thank you enough. I know for myself, you can’t out-give the Lord, and when you’re giving to Operation Blessings, it’s just like giving to the Lord.”

“I just can’t thank you enough,” Marie says through tears. “To be able to have a home with floors and walls- these blessings are more than I could ever imagine, more than I could ever dream of. But, thanks to Operation Blessings and people like you, I’m going to have a home.”

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