Volunteers helping with Matthew rebuilding efforts in Columbus County

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COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Whether it be a new roof over a Fair Bluff resident’s head or a wheelchair ramp to make life a little easier, 300 Mission Serve volunteers are trying to help people in Columbus County still recovering from Hurricane Matthew.

Thomas Samaha is the youth pastor at Cherry Grove Baptist Church in Cerro Gordo. He saw the destruction of Matthew first-hand. That’s why he wants to help.

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“They get a roof, they get a wheelchair ramp, they get something that makes a difference and brings their joy and their hope back,” Samaha said. “We’re able to share Christ with them on top of that, and it just puts all of the pieces of their puzzle back together for them, and they realize somebody cares, somebody loves me, we’re not forgotten.”

The break from the usual North Carolina humidity early this week has helped Samaha’s crew get the roofing done faster.

Jonah Walker came from Florida and skipped his friend’s wedding to come help.



“God just spoke into my life and was like you’re going on this trip,” Walker said. “At that moment, I was super excited, super stoked for it, so it’s a little different than most people. I had to call my friend and tell him, ‘Look man. I can’t come to your wedding. I’ve got bigger and better things I gotta do.'”

Walker says this week is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to help someone in need.

“It means the world. It’s a phenomenal opportunity. I’m sure it happens at almost every crew, but he comes out, sees us on the roof and he’s thanking us for our work, but every time he says thank you, I’m like, ‘No, thank you for the opportunity to be here to help you.'”

This week’s work in Columbus County is one of 17 projects Mission Serve is taking on this summer across the country and abroad.

This is the second year Mission Serve has helped Columbus County. Project coordinator Joe Monk says there’s still more work to do. He says the organization plans to bring volunteers back to the area next June if they can raise enough money to make the trip.