The Difficulties of Starting a House on the Jersey Shore

December 9, 2013 • United States
Samaritan's Purse New Jersey Rebuild

Nearly a year after Superstorm Sandy destroyed their home, Mike and Joyce are thrilled that Samaritan’s Purse has stepped in to help them rebuild.

Carol King is the Samaritan’s Purse office manager for our Ocean County, N.J., rebuild project.

Mike said the day he saw the first test piling set on his lot in Ortley Beach was the happiest day of his life. There were recognizable tears of joy and relief that day!

Of course Mike qualified this as maybe the happiest day after the day he married and the days his children were born.

Samaritan's Purse New Jersey Rebuild

Mike and Joyce’s home was special to them because it had belonged to Joyce’s father before he died.

Mike had spent many weekends traveling to his father-in-law’s house in Ortley Beach over the years. He enjoyed Sunday night crab dinners and using his skills as a carpenter to do repairs and improvements to his father-in-law’s house. Joyce, his wife, was one of three sisters who all loved this family gathering place. But it was Mike and Joyce who wanted to make it their home after Joyce’s father died. This would be their final home after years of child rearing. Now they could have their own place to retire and fill it with more of the same memories.

When Superstorm Sandy destroyed the house and the property in one great swoop, it was a devastating blow to Mike, a man who had worked hard all his life.

The Storm occurred on October 29, 2012.

Months of worry and anxiety set in.

And then they were led to partner with Samaritan’s Purse.

Samaritan's Purse New Jersey Rebuild

The new homes that volunteers are building must be a certain height off the ground to help them sustain future storms.

We would like to say that was the end of worry, but that was just one step along the journey. It would take months and months of time and energy to get things rolling. Trip after trip to permit offices were required for another stamp or another bit of documentation. Certified letters had to go out to all the neighbors informing them of the work to come. The original house had to be torn down and the bulkhead rebuilt.

But now, a full year later, Mike and Joyce are finally watching their hope fulfilled. The home they lost is being rebuilt.

For the volunteers who have committed to pray and work alongside us, this journey is at its crest! We have gotten through the grueling paperwork, and we have started our first new construction. Mike is joining us every day he can. And his excitement and joy are contagious.

Our gratitude goes out always to God—the giver of life and the restorer of hope. It also goes out to you, His helpers, the generous donors and prayer warriors who have joined this work.