THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Cathy Hart of Crivitz Helps North Carolina Flood Victims
Cathy Hart of Crivitz who proudly wore a Green Bay Packers hat, rode a bus from her Wisconsin home to help North Carolina Baptists on Mission Disaster Relief Hurricane Matthew recovery efforts. Gerald Williams, recovery team leader in Lumberton, says, "The Lord put her here. Cathy has shown a Christian attitude in everything she has been asked to do."
Hurricane Matthew forever changes her life
When Cathy Hart saw television coverage of Hurricane Matthew damage and flooding in North Carolina she heard a voice in her heart saying, "You must go help."
"But I kept saying, "No, I can't go.'"
If anyone had good excuses for saying "no," it was Cathy. She lives in Crivitz, more than 1,000 miles from flood and wind-stricken areas of North Carolina. Recently been released from a hospital, she lost her job and her car while hospitalized. She didn't have money for travel expenses.
"But every time I heard about the hurricane I was on my living room floor crying. It got so bad I had to turn my television off so I couldn't watch the news," the mother of three recounted.
"The Lord kept telling me to go to North Carolina and I kept saying, "no.' Finally one day, I looked up to Heaven and cried out, "I surrender. I'll go." That was the beginning of my new life," she says.
"Oh, I've been a Christian for many years, but I never really surrendered all of my life to Jesus. On that day, my life was forever changed," she added.
When friends raised enough money for her to purchase a bus ticket from Green Bay to Fayetteville, Cathy was on her way to the Tar Heel state. While on the journey, Cathy was sharing her story and her faith. "I feel sure I was able to help at least two other passengers," she says.
"My intention was to go to a shelter and help people who had lost their homes. But, when I got to Fayetteville a nice lady at the bus station told me the shelters there had closed. She told me to go to Lumberton because the shelters there might still be open," Cathy explains.
She arrived in Lumberton at 8:15 a.m. on a Sunday morning. Outside the bus station, Cathy could see a church steeple in the distance. Hiking to the church, she found herself at First Baptist Church. Just in time for the Sunday morning service, she worshiped with the congregation and afterward met with the pastor.
"I told him my story and that I wanted to help people who had been in the hurricane. But first, I really wanted a shower," she chuckled.
"That's how I got to the NCBM Disaster Relief site and met Gerald Williams. All of the volunteers here are so loving and generous. This organization is now my forever family. I came here broken and beaten but I will be going home healed. I want to go home to be with my daughter when she has a baby. But, I have told everyone that I am coming back to help rebuild," Cathy added.
While in Lumberton Cathy has worked long hours at Nathan and Mildred Hunt's flood-damaged home. The couple, in their 80's, lost every material possession they owned to the flood waters.
"I just love the Hunts so much and am so inspired by their courage. Mr. Hunt even arranged for me to speak at his church so I could share my testimony. I just want other people to say, "Hey, Cathy answered the call to help, I can too," she concludes.