Residents Affected by Apartment Fire Get Sunday Church Service

Story by Tara Humphries, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Wayne County American Red Cross

KINSTON, NC, Sunday, June 30, 2013 -  It is a very rare Sunday that Anna Mewborn doesn’t go to church. Thanks to the American Red Cross, the service came to the displaced Kinston Towers resident this Sunday.  Nearly 150 people were displaced after a fire broke out last Wednesday at Kinston Towers.  Since the residents were forced to evacuate, the Red Cross has been providing meals and other assistance to those staying at local hotels while they wait to return home.

When Mewborn had lamented Saturday to a Red Cross worker that she was going to miss services the next day. She recounted that only serious illness and incapacitation had keep her from getting to her church at least on Sunday and often many other days, every week of her almost 81 years.

Just a few hours and a few phone calls later, a preacher had been lined up to provide a sermon at Mewborn’s hotel the next day. Gloria Sanders of the Burning Bush Church Ministries in Kinston said she was happy to have the opportunity deliver a message.

At 5:30 that morning, God told her what he wanted his people to know: that they need to stop complaining, start counting their blessings, and always give thanks.

“As you count your blessings and count them one by one by one by one, you have no reasons to complain, regardless of what happened at Kinston Towers,” Sanders    Kinston6-30-13-d

Gloria Sanders thanks Anna Mewborn for participating in a worship service for displaced Kinston Towers residents organized by the American Red Cross.

told 15 clients and six Red Cross staff and volunteers.

“Too many times we look at the things we don’t have and we forget what we do have,” Sanders said. “Count your blessings. You got up this morning. … Count the little things, not just the big things.”

She encouraged the impromptu congregation to “refuse to be complaining today” and to instead see what they could do for others.

“What are you going to do with this day? We are so consumed with ourselves that we don’t see anyone else’s needs. When you see someone in need, help them,” Sanders said.

She alluded more than once to the work of the Red Cross and the assistance it was providing to the Kinston Towers residents. “Red Cross, you may not get all the gratitude you deserve, but your blessing is in Heaven,” she said.

As for Mewborn, she added her own testimonies to Sanders’ sermon and heartily sang along with the acappella hymns. She said she enjoyed the service, and the message was “one all of us needed to hear.”

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