PONTOTOC COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI)- A North Mississippi ministry that helps people rebuild after natural disasters will open a new facility to train hundreds of volunteers while helping other ministries and churches.
As last-minute landscaping was being finished, merchandise that helps support missionaries was being moved into place for a grand opening celebration.
“This is God moving in a big way,” said Steve Tybor, president and CEO of 8 Days of Hope.
The faith-based disaster relief ministry began in 2005 when Tybor and his Father organized a trip to the Mississippi coast to help those impacted by Hurricane Katrina.
Since then, the organization has coordinated relief efforts in cities and towns hit by natural disasters.
More than 35,000 volunteers from all 50 states have completed more than a million hours of work, without cost, to victims of hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods.
For nine months, volunteers have helped build new headquarters for 8 Days of Hope.
The 600,000 square foot facility has a conference room, kitchen, and warehouse space for equipment.
“This building is 92% complete, we have some concrete work, offices need furniture, but everything you see here has been paid for, from a donor who gave specifically for this project. People love to be part of something when they see God moving,” said Tybor.
8 Days of Hope will have its administrative office at the headquarters, and there’s also office space for new ministries and non-profits.
Initially, space is available, at no charge.
“We want this building to be an incubator, not for future leaders and arms for the ministry of 8 Days of Hope, but other ministries as well,” said Tybor.
Chris Chiles heads the ministry’s Rapid Response Team, which is on site 48 to 72 hours after disaster strikes.
He also oversaw construction of the new headquarters and says there’s one main reason for the ministry’s growth.
“Our only purpose is to share the love of Jesus, we use disaster relief and cleanup as a foot in the door and help people,” said Chiles.
The ministry will soon build safe houses for victims of sex trafficking across the United States.
The grand opening will be Saturday at 10 a.m.
It’s on King’s Highway, next to the headquarters of Global Outreach Ministries.