A Kentucky family that lost their home in a flood last year were moved to tears Thursday when they were gifted a new house built by more than 150 volunteers from seven different states in just 11 days, thanks to the efforts of a Christian charity.
“In what time that they’ve been here that they could do something this beautiful it’s remarkable,” Jamie Smith, the matriarch of the family in Letcher County that lost their home last July, told WYMT after she saw her new home.
The volunteers and funding for the new Smith family home came thanks to the efforts of the nonprofit crisis response organization God’s Pit Crew, which aims to “become one of the most effective disaster relief organizations in America so that we can continue responding as God leads to hurting people in times of crisis — whether it be across the street or around the world,” according to their website.
"We just felt compelled to try to do something to help them get their lives back together. So after all of our interview processes, we chose them and we're thankful we were able to raise the funds," Randy Johnson, who founded God’s Pit Crew with his wife, Terri, in 1999 told WCHS.
According to their website, God’s Pit Crew is now also responding to the disaster in Winona, Mississippi, after 26 people died in a tornado that also caused widespread damage. They are also responding to crises in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Adamsville, Tennessee, where residents have suffered tornado damage.
“We’ve built a lot of houses over the years and they’re all special, but I can’t tell you how many volunteers and people have said there’s something different about this one. And we don’t know what it is but it’s special, and I say it’s because of you all,” Randy Johnson told the Smith family shortly before they were given the keys to their new home.
“It’s more than we could have ever dreamed of, and we are forever grateful to God’s Pit Crew because from the beginning to the end of this process they have been absolutely wonderful,” Smith said of her new home.
She said her husband makes instruments and they were able to save some of them from the flood and she was moved by how the builders were able to include what they saved in the design of their new home.
“He makes instruments, and these instruments he had made we saved them from our house. They didn’t get in the water, and we were able to save them, so that meant a whole lot. Just the little touches that they’ve put on the house. I mean you know they just think of everything,” she said.
“When you’ve lost everything, you wonder where to go from here. I could have never dreamed we would be here today,” she added. “God is good. God is amazing and we are so blessed.”