Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sandy Relief Update From David Cohen Executive Director of Hope For Atlantic City;

Hope for A.C. in partnership with New City Fellowship of A.C., Mission to North America, Green Tree Church, and hundreds of volunteers from local and not so local churches has been able to reach into the city and demonstrate God’s love and mercy to a hurting community.  

We are currently active in helping clean and rebuild 17 homes and have been in over 40 homes since starting our disaster response. 

But I think it is important to remember that in these homes are people. We have seen families in dire straits due to the disaster and our ability to give them some hope and comfort is what this is really about. 

On behalf of Hope for A.C.  I want to personally thank all the volunteers that have served and to everyone who has given, prayed, and kept us in your thoughts it makes a difference. We serve a generous and merciful God who has been with us every step of the way, and that gives us the confidence to keep on rolling!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Volunteer Testimony

A great testimony from Otto, one of our volunteers from Sovereign Grace Church in Marlton, NJ. Enjoy!

Little did we know what God had in store for us when arriving in New City Fellowship Church.  I sent one of my team leaders and his crew to 234 Nevada Ave.  Looking back I could not have asked for a better servant than Sam Cardillo who, by the way, is also one of our Community Group leaders at our church.  His heart to serve in a very conscious manner was exactly what God had planned for the Ahmed family at 234 Nevada, Ave.

His gentle touch had this family in tears of joy as they experienced the gospel at work in their home.  They kept asking the team, “Why are you doing this?”  Being of a Muslim background, they just could not understand why we were helping them and kept calling the teams that continued to come down, “angels.”  Even the teens who volunteered saw their own hearts changing as they engaged themselves in the lives of the Ahmed children. The Ahmed children were begging the teens to come back down again and have stayed in contact with our teens to this day.

The greatest blessing for me happened the weekend before Christmas. My goal was to give the Ahmed’s a functional kitchen by the end of Saturday, 12/22/12. In spite of some unplanned set backs, God was so kind to allow us to make that goal happen.  The greatest joy came on one Saturday, around 11:00 AM, when Mr. and Mrs. Ahmed came to me and said how fortunate they have been and still could not wrap their minds around why we were helping them rebuild their home.  In the words of Mrs. Ahmed, “my husband and I have discussed it and we want to volunteer to work side by side with you on the next house.”  Well, praise be to God, because understanding their culture, you do not rub shoulders in this way with Christians.  BUT GOD...

Another great plan that God has is the skilled people, who themselves, are not Christians that have joined our teams in serving.  These skills are what have helped us complete several different goals.  In just a few short weeks, not only have we rubbed shoulders with skilled unsaved volunteers, but I have seen volunteers who are in broken marriages, as well as  those struggling with despair in their own personal lives, begin to heal through serving.  Therefore even solid Christians are seeing first hand how God increases their faith.

I hope and pray this note encourages you as it has me.

We here in Marlton, NJ cannot wait to see what God has in store in the next five homes and how He will play the gospel out in them.  Please be reminded that this is just a few of the many miracles that God has performed in our lives while going through this journey.

Serving the Risen Savior,
Otto Lubrich, Jr.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Winter No Man's Land

During the Christmas season we often take delight in walking in a winter wonderland. Unfortunately, for many Atlantic City residents, they’re stuck in a winter ‘no man’s land’ instead. While some are beginning to move back in to restored housing, many are living on the second floor of their homes because their first floors have been badly flooded by Sandy. To make matters worse, some still have no heat and others no hot water.

By the grace of God, the generosity of God’s people and the tireless efforts of volunteers around the country, we’ve been able to provide a water-heater for one family while we continue to work on their downstairs. For another, we’ve just begun the ‘gutting’ process of their downstairs and are just beginning to dry it out using sump pumps, fans and dehumidifiers. Their roof has some serious issues as well.

I am posting some ‘before’ pictures and will post some ‘after’ in the coming weeks as the volunteers make progress. Thank you for your prayers, financial help and volunteer labor. It means so much to the families who are struggling to get back to some semblance of ‘normal’ life. God bless!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

And the beat goes on (thank God!)

Karen works at the AC rescue mission and lives in an Atlantic City neighborhood that was hit hard by Sandy. Her floors and walls had to be ripped up and she lost her appliances in the flood. Like many others, she had no flood insurance.

But with the generous help of Donal McCarthy, volunteers from Cov. Pres. in Cherry Hill, NJ and a generous woman named Amy from Doylestown, PA her home is getting the TLC it needs! Amy donated NICE kitchen cabinets, a refrigerator and washer and dryer to make her house a safe and happy place to live in again. Stay tuned for more stories like this and more pics as well. God is good!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Marching On

Marching On!

We’ve been blessed to have over 200 volunteers come through our disaster relief station here in AC so far. But the simple truth is we will need hundreds more in the next few months and beyond.

We have serviced dozens of homes that have been devastated by flooding here, are currently working in dozens and have somewhere between 20 and 30 homes on the list to be assessed. This does not count the hundreds that no one has gotten to yet.

We are meeting families on a daily basis that have nowhere to turn. Their first floors are waterlogged and mold is growing up their walls.

If you were wondering how you can help in the Atlantic City area, we are in desperate need of volunteer teams willing to help us provide the following three things in Jesus’ name:

1. Clean out under crawlspaces, pull out affected sheetrock, flooring etc.,  in flooded homes.

2. Treat the affected areas for mold.

3. Put homes back together again!

If you are willing to send a team for a weekend or a week (or two!) please contact Sherry Lanier at  who is scheduling teams for us and she’ll get you signed up. All for Jesus!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Further on down the road ...

And the journey continues. What a joy it is to play a small part in blessing so many people who had nowhere to turn when Sandy left a wake of destruction behind. I’m especially overjoyed to see Mary, 79 years young, filled with gratitude for the teams that came to give her relief and who will continue to come until the job is done.

Or I think of 83 year old Mrs. Jones, from Atlantic City. Her downstairs has been gutted, treated for mold, the plumbing fixed and is ready to be built back up. When it’s done it will be in better shape than it was even before the storm!

We may have even found an administrative assistant to help Dave Cohen and I manage the teams that come to help and the families in need of their services. This will be a tremendous blessing as I need to give more focus to my sermon preparation and leading worship! 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Journey Continues

While Hurricane Sandy was flooding my crawl space and completely destroying my heating unit in Ventnor, NJ, just 3/10th of a mile from the Atlantic City border, I was warm and safe at Beacon Evangelical Church in Galloway, NJ.  While I was there, wondering what we would all be going home to, I received a call from a brother named Arklie Hooten, the head of MNA disaster relief.

‘Hoot’ (as he is affectionately known by his friends) came along side me and guided me through the steps we needed to take to become the host church for MNA disaster relief in the AC area. We have no building of our own, no real manpower, very little financial capital … you get the picture. So why did I jump on the offer immediately? Because God has been training me for the past four years for just this type of situation.

You see, living on the edge and being forced to trust God to provide what we need as we step out in faith to minister to the needs all around us here in the Atlantic City area is already a way of life for us. It’s what we do on a daily basis.  Sandy’s arrival simply broadened and deepened the need for mercy ministry in our neighborhoods here in the AC area.

We’ve had the privilege of hosting well over 100 volunteers thus far who have begun the arduous work of cleaning under crawl spaces, removing saturated sheetrock and flooring and replacing it with new, dry materials as well as replacing furniture and appliances for individuals who are truly in need. These communities will be in need of such assistance for months to come. 


One such neighbor is a young single mother named Tonya. Her home was flooded and needed to have everything from the floor to a few feet up the wall replaced. Unfortunately she had no flood insurance. Volunteers from a number of churches were able to restore her house to working order well in time for the Advent season.  Kitchen cabinets, appliances, flooring, sheet rock, electrical sockets, etc., were all donated, purchased and installed thanks to a number of churches all working together to make it happen in the name of Christ!

But this is only one story of many and there will be many more to come in the ensuing months. We will need volunteers to come and serve here in the AC area well after the initial offers to come and help are a distant blip in 2013’s rear view mirror.