Trenton Blog

Follow the FBC team who is back in Trenton, NC this week to continue work and clean up from Hurricane Florence. We’ll post here whenever we an update, so that our whole FBC family can hear of the work being done in Trenton! 


Final Day, Saturday May 18 by Pat Wilson

We are home and settled after our week in Trenton.  Although Saturday is usually my most active day, I’ve spent a good part of the day resting.

At this time last week, I was uneasy with my planning since many things were still up in the air.  However, as the trip neared, the preparations started coming into place.  This has taught me to be more flexible, which is very difficult for me.

I am amazed at the work that was accomplished this week and of those who came to help.  While our numbers were small, it was just enough to get the work done.  I’m attaching a panoramic picture that I took of the cemetery yesterday, which mowing was the highlight of the trip and the memory that I’ll cherish the most.

We are thankful for the investment God has called us to make in this community.  Some tasks may seem small, but God uses them for big purposes when we are faithful to respond.  




Day 4, Thursday May 16 by Amy Grizzle Kane

Today I was able to join Pat and Harold in Trenton for the day.  Richard, Gayle, and Karl were missed but we got a good bit done!  Pat and Harold continued the mowing and weed-eating for some folks in the community who are elderly and haven’t been able to tend to things.  It was special to see people come to visit gravesites and to know that with the weeds and grass managed, they can visit with more peace and beauty surrounding them.  We were able to continue to pick up some trash and otherwise help beautify the tiny community that is slowly coming back to life following Hurricane Florence last fall.  Daynette Snead, CBF Disaster Relief Coordinator in the area joined us in the afternoon as well and we were able to use our van to help move some supplies and the CBF supply trailer to a new location so that it is ready for other teams who will come to serve.  Pat, Harold and I enjoyed a great dinner in downtown New Bern…and we might have found some ice cream for dessert as well.   
We have enjoyed meeting those who live in Trenton and today I had a wonderful conversation with Weldon and Edna.  Weldon is an 86 year old man who is the caretaker for the Haiti Cemetary and often digs and prepares gravesites by himself.  His wife Edna is on dialysis and so our help at the Cemetary has been a great gift to them as he helps care for Edna as well.  Edna spoke of the Hurricane and says it does make you wonder how a good God can let something like this happen, “when you don’t have much to begin with and what you have, all of it, gets taken away.”  But she said as she thought that, what came to mind was a reminder that “God works in mysterious ways.” Edna spoke of the hope she’s been given by having people and churches like FBC care for them,  “The Lord has done great things for us.  The news will make you think everything and everyone in the world is bad, but it doesn’t talk about this, doesn’t talk about people caring and churches helping.  ‘Cause when folks who don’t know you leave their home to come see about you, it doesn’t get much better than that.”  We are thankful God has sent us to come see about the Haiti community in Trenton.  Thanks be to God we can be hands and feet to help share hope and love with those for whom recovery has been a continued struggle.   



Day 3, Wednesday May 15 by Pat Wilson

What a wonderful weather day that we enjoyed today!  Very productive day of lawn work with only a modest amount of sweating and wet clothing.  We are sad to see Richard, Gayle and Karl leave today but were fortunate to have them on the trip.

Our base of operations has been in the Haiti Cemetery.  We’ve been fortunate to park beneath huge trunked live oak and pine trees which have provided us with much needed shade.  It has been meaningful for us to help with the landscaping of this sacred ground for the Haiti community.

Since we have spent much time this week in the cemetery, it is interesting to learn the history of those buried there.  The oldest grave is almost 100 years old and it is interesting to note that there are more women than men who had lived at least 90 years and at least one of the women lived past her 100th birthday.

We are looking forward to another productive day tomorrow.








Day 2, Tuesday May 14 by Gayle Wiley 

It was great to meet Daynette Snead today in Trenton.  She is the CBF Disaster Response Coordinator and I was impressed with the relationship she has developed with the community and her sustained commitment to help the Haiti neighborhood in Trenton.  Today Karl Lewis joined us with some big mowers and the work has really progressed on the mowing of the cemetery and neighbors continue to stop by to check on us.  They seem to be coming to see a grave, but we are beginning to think word is just getting around the neighborhood since we are up to a count of 8 different people who have driven through in these two days.  Daynette has reassured us that she knows the neighbors are so grateful for the help since it had gotten to be a big project for them to tackle on their slower volunteer pace.  We are learning more about the history of the cemetery and the community as we have had chances to have conversations with several of the people who live in the neighborhood.    








Day 1, Monday May 13 by Pat Wilson 

Today began our second experience helping the Haiti community in Trenton, NC continue their recovery following Hurricane Florence last fall.  Pat Wilson, Harold Knight, Richard and Gayle Wiley were part of today’s team.  


The area looked somewhat different from when we left in December yet sadly the same.  While the traffic bustles on Highway 58, the Haiti community is much like it was in December.  Many of the houses are still empty since the hurricane of last Fall.

However, tall grass is a sign of renewal and growth after the long winter.  After 20,000 Fitbit steps and thanks to the efforts of Richard & Gayle Wiley, Harold and Pat, two yards, a church and part of the cemetery were mowed today.  Equipment was lost in the hurricane and most residents of the community have been focused on home restoration, not lawn maintenance.  Presence is a gift and we trust our being here reminds this rural, lower-resourced community that God is with them too and they are not forgotten even many months after the storm has passed.  




We continue an ongoing relationship with Trenton, NC to assist with hurricane recovery in partnership with CBF Disaster Response. Any amount of time you could give during this time-frame will be used to help continue to beautify and restore this rural, lower-resourced community after the impact of Hurricane Florence. Jobs may include yard work (with rebuilding, often yards are neglected) and/or assisting with downtown Trenton beautification. All levels of ability are welcome. You can come for one or all of the days listed. Contact Amy Grizzle Kane, if you are interested in participating.