Mennonites serve others in Atmore recovery efforts

Published 10:39 pm Thursday, September 23, 2004

By By Michele Gerlach
Elise Crook was extremely worried about the tree that fell across her bedroom as Hurricane Ivan tore through Atmore.
Her sons were unable to get to her, and one person had offered to take the tree off the house for $5,000.
As she pondered what to do, help arrived in the form of Christian Disaster Relief, a Mennonite organization. Within hours, the tree was removed and her house was protected against rain. That job finished, the crew moved on to help others of her Pensacola Avenue neighbors while similar crews helped people in other parts of the city.
"We'll do whatever," Kevin Mininger said. "We want to help whomever we can help."
Mininger said as soon as it was evident that people near the Walnut Hill Church would suffer the effects of Hurricane Ivan, fellow Mennonites from Mississippi and Louisiana began traveling toward Walnut Hill.
"They just loaded their saws and came this way," Mininger said. "We've got about 100 workers, and some of them were here practically by the time the storm was over."
The workers are being housed in the Mennonite Church in Walnut Hill and fed by members of the church.
Mininger said while he and other members of his church had damage, most of it was not to homes.
"I lost a machine shed, hay barn and chicken coop," he said. "But we're more concerned with people here who have damage to their homes.
"We're trying to get trees from houses," he said. "Because if it rains, it will really mess them up. When that's done, we'll clean up and get our stuff done."

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