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Holly Hill Inspiring Response

On Tuesday, October 6, 2015 we responded ERT Teams to a couple of areas in the state. One of which was Holly Hill, SC for two damaged roofs and a flooded family restaurant. A restaurant is something we had not helped muck out in our 10-years of response throughout the southeast but this one was unique. Two pastors and city personnel referred us to the family owned business that had flooded from flood waters and through leaks in the ceiling. This restaurant is vital to the community as a food resource and they had no flood insurance. We learned that it is also a well know Christian ministry that is constantly providing meals to those who cannot afford it for whatever they can pay towards the meal.

On three occasions, two pastors and I had gone to Holly Hill doing assessment and trying to make contact with city officials but it seemed the devil was hampering our efforts. At the last minute on the morning of the 6th we decided to take a team to Holly Hill knowing there was damage there and feeling God’s calling to go.  Before leaving Rev. Fred Buchanan, who had visited Holly Hill and gave his card to a policeman and the mayor, gave me a call with the address of Shirley Abraham’s business the County Corner Diner located up town Holly Hill. I stated we usually do not help businesses unless there are no other needs. Rev. Buchanan replied she has no insurance and one of the policemen had given her Buchanan’s card when he saw her broke down in tears at her flooded restaurant. She then called Rev. Buchanan and tearfully told him of her need for help.

We went to Holly Hill and while completing work on one job, Pastor Terry Martin and I went to buy some needed material from a hardware store and to assess the damage at Abraham’s restaurant. As we pulled up to her restaurant it had a closed sign on it and the lights out. I stepped out of the truck wearing one of our ERT shirts and a lady that was walking down the sidewalk paused in front of me, put her hand over her mouth as to catch her breath and with tears in her eyes asked “did ya’ll come for me?” I replied, “If you own this restaurant then we did.” She started praising God and shouting, “Thank you Jesus!” We looked the flooded out restaurant over and I told her it was a big job and that we had one more roof job to do so we would probably not get to help her until several days or a week later. She nodded that she understood and thanked us for coming by. As we drove off Rev. Martin and I distinctly felt God telling us to go back and tell her we would help her today if it meant stating into the night, to which we did.

We returned later with our team and she then told us a story of how depressed she was that her business appeared ruined. When she went to leave home to go to the restaurant her daughters asked why are you going? You cannot open the restaurant in the condition it is? Shirley Abraham replied, “I fell God telling me to go and not open up but to just stay there and see what I do. Then your team arrived and I knew you were God sent and that God wants my ministry from this restaurant to continue and he really does care for and love me!” After cutting and tearing out the storm soaked carpet and mucking out her restaurant we sat down to a wonderful home cooked meal by Shirley Abraham and her daughters and we thanked God for how wonderfully good he is – “all the time!”

– Billy Robinson – SC UMVIM Disaster / ERT Coordinator

Sallie Clamp & Rev. Bob Allen of SC ERT tarp the roof of a damaged home in Holly Hill, SC

Sallie Clamp & Rev. Bob Allen of SC ERT tarp the roof of a damaged home in Holly Hill, SC

Sallie Clamp & Rev. Bob Allen of SC ERT tarp the roof of a damaged home in Holly Hill, SC

Sallie Clamp & Rev. Bob Allen of SC ERT tarp the roof of a damaged home in Holly Hill, SC

Rev. Bob Allen cutting out flooded carpet from a flooded building in Holly Hill, SC.

Rev. Bob Allen cutting out flooded carpet from a flooded building in Holly Hill, SC.

Rev. Bob Allen cutting out flooded carpet from a flooded building in Holly Hill, SC.

Rev. Bob Allen cutting out flooded carpet from a flooded building in Holly Hill, SC.

Shirley Abraham, Becky Allen and Rev. Bob Allen start mucking out a flooded building by pulling up the storm soaked carpet

Shirley Abraham, Becky Allen and Rev. Bob Allen start mucking out a flooded building by pulling up the storm soaked carpet

SC ERT member Becky Allen and Shirley Abraham get in a big emotional hug after  ERT members helped muck-out Abraham’s building and family restaurant in Holly Hill and Abraham cooked the tired and hungry team a big supper

SC ERT member Becky Allen and Shirley Abraham get in a big emotional hug after ERT members helped muck-out Abraham’s building and family restaurant in Holly Hill and Abraham cooked the tired and hungry team a big supper

Permanent link to this article: http://www.umcsc.org/home/holly-hill-inspiring-response/