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Faith-Based

A Faithful Encounter

Gertrude Fay Hudson has lived in Asbury Park since she was eight years old. Her interview took place at the Trinity Church soup kitchen, which she and her family have been members of for over 15 years. During Hurricane Sandy, having nowhere else to go when her apartment complex was evacuated, she stayed with her ex-husband.

A renewal in faith

Bob and Pamela Vazquez are residents of Union Beach, New Jersey. During Hurricane Sandy, they chose to stay in their home, with Pamela almost drowning twice from the storm surge. Their home sustained tremendous damage from the storm, and they are still struggling to recover. In their narrative, they describe how their experiences during the storm and the volunteer work they did after led them to embrace Christianity. They chose to be baptized in the Raritan Bay, the very body of water that ravaged their home during the storm.

The beauty of the storm

Mark and Lorraine Case are residents of Toms River, New Jersey who attended Saint Elisabeth Episcopal Chapel in Ortley Beach. The waterfront Chapel was a landmark in the town for 128 years, and it was completely destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Both Mark and Lorraine explain the tremendous loss their community faced after the storm, and share how their faith has helped them face challenges in the storm’s aftermath.

Somewhere between depressed and desperate

Al Spangler resides in Seaside Park, New Jersey, where he is Pastor of the Union Church of Seaside Park. During Hurricane Sandy, he remained in his church and watched as the storm brought its fury to the Shore. In the aftermath, he has helped members of his community to find strength in a time of emotional turmoil. In his narrative, he speaks of his experiences during the storm as well as thoughts about the recovery, and he notes that his pastoral responsibilities were both a burden and a blessing during this difficult time.

A preacher and a bar owner

Carl Williamson is a minister at the Gateway Church of Christ in Holmdel, New Jersey. Just days after the storm, Carl spearheaded the creation of Gateway Disaster Response, a ministry aimed at coordinating recovery efforts in the nearby town of Union Beach. A largely blue-collar community on the Raritan Bay, Union Beach received some of the worst devastation from Hurricane Sandy. In his narrative, Carl discusses the origins of the ministry, its work over the past two years, and how his personal faith has helped him in his work.